Owlbear Barbecue, one of Denver’s best barbecue joints, to close for good amid the pandemic


Owlbear Barbecue quickly rose to cult status around Denver after its Larimer Street opening in 2019. But less than three years on — and two of them during the pandemic — the Texas-style smoked meats shop is closing its doors.

Owlbear will open for two more meal services at 2826 Larimer St., from 11 a.m. until sold out this Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 22-23. After that, owner and pitmaster Karl Fallenius has no plans to continue cooking for Denverites.

“I’m deeply questioning whether I want to stay in the service industry, or keep doing food at all,” Fallenius told The Denver Post. “I don’t really love the industry so much, and I’m sick of trying to fight it.”

In terms of restaurant and especially barbecue culture, Fallenius has bucked against industry norms. At Owlbear, he sourced meats from ethical (non-factory farmed) producers and used compostable serving ware in an effort to lessen the restaurant’s environmental impacts.



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