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New American Standby Pistol Whip Will Reopen With a New Name and Menu

Blue Pebble will offer steaks, pastas, and even a cajun boil

Long tables for larger groups or communal seating in the bar area at Pistol Whip.
Pistol Whip
Jonathan Phillips

The owners of Pistol Whip in the Santa Fe Arts District told the Denver Post last spring they had been planning to open the restaurant, which serves a New American menu, for a decade.

But a little under five months after the husband-and-wife team behind Pistol Whip opened the long-planned restaurant in a new buildout next door to the tattoo shop they have owned for 18 years, Pistol Whip has been sold to a new owner who plans to reopen it with a new menu under a new name.

Rick Carney, who has spent over 40 years working in restaurants and bars in Denver and Durango, told Eater Denver Wednesday he has purchased Pistol Whip and plans to open a new restaurant and bar in the space called Blue Pebble Handcrafted Food and Drinks.

Carney’s purchase comes after the Denver Post reported earlier this month that Pistol Whip’s owners had put the restaurant and its 5,250 square foot building up for sale. Holly Slaughter, who owns the restaurant with her husband, John, told the Post that the pair was “looking for people who want to invest” and that there were “a bunch of scenarios we are looking for.”

However, the one they have settled on involves selling the restaurant to Carney, who says the couple approached him about the restaurant. Carney will take over the space, which is located at Santa Fe Drive and 7th Avenue, in the first week of October. The restaurant, which currently remains open as Pistol Whip, will then close for about a week before reopening as Blue Pebble.

Though Carney did not want to speak on behalf of the Slaughters about what led to their decision to sell, he said the purchase represented a great opportunity to take over a “beautiful building that is less than six-months old, beautifully-decorated, and has the best equipment.”

He also said that Blue Pebble, like Pistol Whip, will be a “casual fine dining restaurant,” though he sees his new establishment as being tilted more toward the casual side of that spectrum.

“I would still classify Blue Pebble as casual fine dining but just maybe a little more casual-er than Pistol Whip is,” Carney said. “Pistol Whip was definitely more high-end, while this is going to be something that is a little more accessible and at a lower price point.”

Pistol Whip’s menu was focused on large plates such as trout, salmon, and short rib that ranged in price from $15 to $32.

Blue Pebble will be open for lunch and dinner as well as brunch on weekends. Carney said the restaurant will feature a full menu featuring three or four different steaks, five salads, ten appetizers, pastas, and sandwiches.

Other menu items will include pork chops, grouper and fried chicken. There will also be several vegetarian and gluten-free options, including salads and sandwiches. A cajun boil special will also be offered on Thursday nights.

Blue Pebble will also keep Pistol Whip’s full bar (Carney said he is not doing much to change the look and decor of the still-new structure) and offer a full wine list as well as 20 beer taps. The restaurant’s name is a reference to the Earth and the restaurant’s aim to be sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

Carney also currently owns Moe’s Starlight Lounge in Durango, though he said he had actually mostly retired from playing a direct role in operating the business. However, the opportunity to open the Blue Pebble is bringing him out of retirement, he said, as it is one that is “just too good to pass up.”

Pistol Whip

698 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204 303-963-5346 Visit Website