ChoLon, which translates to "big market”, is named after the largest Chinese-influenced market in Saigon, Vietnam. Chef Lon Symensma brings to life his extensive culinary travels throughout South East Asia, in his Denver restaurant, with a menu featuring inspired interpretations of traditional dishes found across the continent. Presentations are ideal for sharing. From dim sum or "small bites" to large family style plates, authentic flavors get a unique twist to please modern tastes. The bar and lounge serves handcrafted, artisanal cocktails developed to enhance Symensma’s creations. The venue is also ideal for business meetings and presentations and features a large projection screen in the lounge area. In addition to lunch and dinner service, ChoLon offers an all day menu, which may be enjoyed in the lounge.
Culinary Institute of America classmates, Lon Symensma and Alicia Pokoik Deters, founded ChoLon Bistro, and Flow Restaurant Group, in 2010. Lon and Alicia met in 2000 while they were both doing fellowships in Escoffier, the Classical French restaurant at The CIA in Hyde Park, New York. In 2002, Alicia departed the Big Apple for the mountains of Colorado to complete her MBA and MS in Real Estate and Construction Management at DU while Lon decided to continue his culinary training and left NYC to travel throughout Europe and Asia.
Lon spent a year working at two Michelin two-star restaurants in the south of France and apprenticing at the acclaimed Arzak restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain. The following year Lon continued his travels throughout Southeast Asia and China under the guidance of mentors and renowned chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Gray Kunz and was a part of the opening team at Jean Georges Shanghai. When Lon returned to New York City, he joined Jean-Georges at his iconic Southeast Asian inspired restaurant, Spice Market.
With numerous culinary accolades and five years as the Executive Chef at Buddakan, which earned a coveted New York Times two star review and the fifth highest grossing restaurant in the United States, Lon moved to Denver to join Alicia and Jim to make their dream a reality.
Upon opening, ChoLon was a James Beard Finalist for Best New Restaurant in America. Details magazine named ChoLon one of the top 10 New Asian Restaurants in the country. For the last two consecutive years, Chef Lon has been recognized as Denver's Best Chef by Denver Westword and has lead the establishment to be the 2nd Best Restaurant in Denver/Boulder by 5280 Magazine.
Meet The Team
Team ChoLon is composed of a stellar group of individuals, bringing together a range of experience and skill in the kitchen and dining room.
Executive Chef, Lon Symensma
Executive Sous Chef, Ryan Gorby
Sous Chef, Jeff Stoneking
Sous Chef, Thach Tran
Director of Operations, Dustin Skudlarek
Manager, Nick Porpiglia
Manager, John Van Ness
For all group dining and catering requests, contact Nick Porpiglia: Nick@cholon.com.