Govinda’s Garden is closing — April 29 will be last day for Denver vegan eatery

The Radha Krishna Temple is taking back control of the restaurant.

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Govinda's Garden Café. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Govinda's Garden Café. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver is losing one of its vegan restaurants, and probably its quaintest.

Owners Nandini and Carlos Rossi announced earlier this week that Govinda’s Garden Café will close April 29.


“It is with a heavy heart that we are writing this communication to all of you,” Nandini Rossi wrote. “So, the sad news; my husband Carlos and I will be closing our Govinda’s Garden Vegan Café as of April, Saturday the 29th and as of that date we no longer be serving our healthy vegan buffet to you all, as we have for the past three and half years. We are so sorry.”

The note says the Radha Krishna Temple is taking back control of the restaurant, which it ran before the Rossis. It’s uncertain whether they’ll continue to serve food.

Govinda’s is the latest in a steady stream of closing mainstay Denver restaurants. It’s also the second vegan restaurant to close this year — Handy Diner closed in March — and another in a line of vibrantly painted Denver restaurants to close somewhat recently. We can only hope the building doesn’t meet the same gray-painted fate as Le Central and Gypsy House.

The restaurant will host a goodbye celebration on Earth Day, April 22. Details to come.

Here’s the full letter from the Rossis:

Dear friends and customers, 
It is with a heavy heart that we are writing this communication to all of you. You all are very dear to us and we have developed wonderful personal relationships, friendships and connections with you. It has been our deepest satisfaction getting to know so many and to serve you over the past years.
The Temple had informed us that they want to take over the management and running of the restaurant awhile back. This was unsettling to us and we were hopeful in our numerous meetings and discussions with the temple management that things might change, but this was not to be. So, the sad news; my husband Carlos and I will be closing our Govinda’s Garden Vegan Café as of April, Saturday the 29th and as of that date we no longer be serving our healthy vegan buffet to you all, as we have for the past three and half years. We are so sorry.
At this point we do not have any information about what the temple plans are. When they plan to open? How many days and hours? We do not feel they plan to continue to be a 100% vegan buffet. We hope that they provide us with this information so that we can pass it on to you all before our departure. Our prayer is that the temple continues to run their buffet successfully that it remains the special place.
As the saying goes, “that which appears to be the end, may only be the beginning”. Our favorite spiritual songwriter George Harrison sang in his first solo album: “All Things Must Pass”.  We see the signs and humbly accept the plan of our Sweet Lord.
My husband and I will be taking some time for rejuvenation and healing and to take care of some personal things. When the time is right, we plan to open a vegan catering business… a cookbook book perhaps with all the Govinda’s Garden Vegan recipes you love so much. We will be dividing our time between Denver and Dallas, so we are still looking forward to see many of you in the future.
We will have our last event on Saturday, April 22, Earth Day. A combination of a farewell and celebration for Mother Earth. We will post about this happienng soon.  
We hope we can see you and give you a big hug perhaps on our Earth Day Finale Celebration, before our departure, and look so forward to seeing and serving you all in this our final month.
In closing, we want to thank you all so much for your support, encouragement, appreciation and yes, love.
Many blessings and best wishes for you all.
With gratitude
Your friends and servants
Nandini and Carlos Rossi