Popular coastal Mexican restaurant closes in Denvers Highland after 15 years

After 15 years in Denver and five in Boulder before that, Lola Coastal Mexican has closed for good, to reopen next as a fried chicken and beer joint.

The Mexican restaurant was a long-running concept by the same Boulder-based owners behind Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, Centro Mexican Kitchen and West End Tavern.

“Jen Broyles (managing partner), Dana Query and I deeply appreciate all the support and enthusiasm you’ve given Lola during her first four years on South Pearl (Street) and the last 15 in her corner casa on 16th and Boulder streets,” Big Red F Restaurant Group chef and founder Dave Query said to fans in a release.

“And special thanks and forever appreciation to all the amazing chefs and tireless front-of-house staff who worked so, so hard to make Lola successful for the last two decades,” he added. “We couldn’t have done any of it without you.”

Query’s Big Red F Restaurant Group announced the restaurant’s closure on Monday, adding that another popular Big Red F concept will soon take its place. The Post Chicken & Beer specializes in “thigh fries,” fried chicken sandwiches and chicken and waffles, among other dinners, salads and sides. It sells house-brewed beers across six locations already on the Front Range.

“We’re confident that our gluten-free, Colorado-style fried bird, farm-fresh sides, and food-friendly craft brews will find a great home in this ever-evolving neighborhood,” Query said of The Post.

Query and his team had overhauled Lola’s design and menu in 2019, less than a year before Denver restaurants closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, Lola had closed for a week for the renovation and welcomed a new chef, Javier Plascencia, who remade the menu with dishes from Baja, Mexico and influences from the Mediterranean.

Then, after closing again due to COVID-19, Lola reopened with takeout and delivery options and a new walk-up window for outdoor service. The restaurant got creative with pop-up events, including The Tender Project, which sold chicken tenders, “thigh fries” and house dipping sauces to customers wanting quicker and easier takeout options during the pandemic.

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