DENVER (CBS4) – The owner of the popular restaurant Strings in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood has died.

Noel Cunningham passed away on Thursday at the age of 62. He was a leader in the community and philanthropist.

He and his wife Tammy founded the Cunningham Foundation in 2003 and were very involved in other charities. In addition to Strings, located on 17th, he was a founder of the Lakewood restaurant 240 Union.

Tim Wieland, CBS4’s news director, said on his Twitter feed that he was stunned to learn of the death of his friend.

“‘Strings’ was a wonderful restaurant, but just a platform for Noel to do the work that made him happy-helping others learn the joy of giving,” Wieland wrote.

Strings is popular among local and tourists alike. Former President Bill Clinton is among those who has enjoyed dining there.

Cunningham grew up in Dublin, Ireland. As a teenager he dropped out of school to work for his uncle — Ireland’s first TV chef. He went on to become the youngest non-French sous chef at London’s Savoy. Then he packed up his family in 1976 and moved to America.

In the 1980s he bought the building in Denver which became Strings.

Watch an archived CBS4 report below with Cunningham where he both shows off his omelet-cooking skills in the Strings kitchen and talks about his foundation:

The Denver Business Journal named Cunningham its Corporate Citizen of the Year in 2004.

CBS4 Critic at Large Greg Moody wrote of Cunningham last year that he “not only makes Strings a wonderful place to eat, but, he makes Denver a better place to live.”

The Cunningham Foundation “helps the courageous people of the impoverished areas of Ethiopia to help themselves.”

LINK: Cunningham Foundation


Comments (2)
  1. Don Guizzetti says:

    This is a very sad story indeed. Noel Cunningham was one of the most genuinely caring and generous people to walk this earth. There are countles–read thousands or tens of thousands–who have been and will continue to be touched by Noel Cunningham’s and his wife Tammy’s love of people and generosity and as many who will mourn his passing. He was whay many strive to be–a good man. The outpouring of grief in the days and weeks ahead will reflect the myriad lives he touched from high schools in the USA to mission schools in Africa. My wife and I will be among the throngs who will miss this truly wonderful man very, very much.

  2. Tony Pitman says:

    A sad day indeed.

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