In 2010, Chef Lon Symensma moved to Denver to open his flagship restaurant, ChoLon. Having just left New York City's swanky Buddakan, which was the 5th highest grossing restaurant in the United States at the time, he was ready to start his own venture. ChoLon, which translates to "big market,” is named after the largest Chinese-influenced market in Saigon, Vietnam. In 2011, ChoLon was a James Beard finalist for the "Best New Restaurant in America” award. In 2012, Symensma was nominated for Food & Wine's "Best New Chef” in the Southwest. ChoLon's upbeat service, sexy ambience, and innovative cuisine has led the restaurant to be ranked in the top ten of 5280's "25 Best Restaurants” list every year since it opened.
In spring of 2015, Symensma opened Cho77, his highly anticipated second Denver restaurant. Inspired by the style and flavors of street vendors found across Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore, Cho77 is a casual, exciting complement to ChoLon.
Symensma opened the third restaurant in ChoLon Restaurant Group, Concourse Restaurant Moderne, in the spring of 2017. Concourse is located in Denver's newly renovated Stapleton neighborhood, the former home of the Stapleton International Airport. Concourse offers elevated New American cuisine in a family-friendly environment for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Symensma's accomplishments include earning a silver medal for team USA in the 1996 Culinary Olympics and graduating with honors from the Culinary Institut
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