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Iconic restaurateur Thoa Fink honored during Celebration of Life

April 20, 2015

The Celebration of Life for Thoa Fink, one of Denver’s most storied restaurateurs who succumbed to cancer, will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Milwaukee Tavern, 201 Milwaukee St.

Tavern owner Corky Douglass (another famed Denver restaurateur who owned Tante Louise) is planning the event along with Oahn Vu, Fink’s oldest daughter.

Fink’s Denver history includes Chez Thoa, an elegant Vietnamese/French restaurant in the basement at 158 Fillmore in Cherry Creek North. Later, upstairs on street level she opened the Italian restaurant Boccalino. It was a smash hit from the first day. She followed that with Cactus, a large gourmet Mexican restaurant in Denver’s Design Center.

The Celebration of Life event is open to the public.

“Thoa put up a great fight against cancer over a number of years,” her friend Mike Gaughan told me. “We all have special memories of her. She expressly asked for no funeral so her daughters, Corky and others are celebrating her life.”


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Cherry Cricket and Wynkoop buildings for sale, but restaurants staying put

April 20, 2015

Last week a Facebook post caused a fuss when it said The Cherry Cricket building at 2641 E. Second Ave. is up for sale, but no need to panic.

Wynkoop-Breckenridge LLC, whose real estate holdings include The Cricket as well as the Wynkoop Brewing Co. at 1634 18th St. are being sold and leased back for 20 years with four five-year options. The existing restaurants will stay put.

It’s just a financial move, according to Wynkoop-Breckenridge honcho Lee Driscoll, who said the company will use the money to pay off debt and subsidize further expansion.

“We hope to enter into a sale leaseback,” Driscoll said. “We sell the building and take back a 20 year lease with four five-year options. This is really a financing transaction given we will be the tenants for the next 40 years.”

The Wynkoop Brewing Co. was founded by Gov. John Hickenlooper who started the brewery after he was laid off from his job as a geologist.

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Pay it forward with a random act of kindness

April 20, 2015

On April 10, Gov. John Hickenlooper, backed by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, Southwest Airlines and The Biennial of the Americas, advocated for travelers to perform a random act of kindness as he stood outside a Southwest Airlines gate at Denver International Airport.

“There are hundreds of opportunities for random acts of kindness,” Hickenlooper said. “On Southwest, it might be letting that mother and two kids get into a row and let them have a place where they can all sit together. Our belief is the more people do a greater number of these random acts of kindness the better the world is. I think it lifts everyone up.”

#StateOfKind Challenge asks Colorado citizens to collectively perform 10,000 acts of kindness in the six months between Hickenlooper’s inauguration Jan. 13 and the third annual Biennial of the Americas event on July 14.

For more information, go to www.stateofkind.co.

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was established in 1995 as an internationally recognized nonprofit, headquartered in Denver, dedicated to inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. RAK provides free online resources to encourage acts of kindness across the globe, specifically in school communities. www.randomactsofkindness.org

Hick Pay It Forward1


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Karaoke contest this week at Punch Bowl Social

April 20, 2015

In celebration of National Karaoke Week through Saturday, Punch Bowl Social at 65 Broadway is offering a-dollar-an-hour karaoke for groups up to 10 plus a contest.

Share your best karaoke video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram from Punch Bowl Social’s private karaoke rooms using #PunchBowlKaraoke, and be entered to win a private two-hour party for up to eight guests with two punch bowls and tasty snacks for all.

More information at www.punchbowlsocial.com/denver.


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St. Julien dishes up Earth Week menu

April 20, 2015

In celebration of Earth Week this week and Earth Day Wednesday, St Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder will be offering several events and specials:

* On Earth Day Wednesday, Jill’s Restaurant is hosting Dine out for Wildlife with an eight-course vegan dinner. Priced at $47.95 per person, a portion of proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. For tickets or inquiries, contact Jill’s Restaurant at 720)-406-7399, and visit www.stjulien.com/d/dining/menus to view the menu.

* During all of Earth Week, T-Zero Bar & Lounge’s popular cocktail The Green Martini will be offered at the reduced price of nine dollars. The Green is a mix of gin, tonic, cucumber syrup, fresh squeezed lime and a cucumber garnish served up.

* To mark the end of Earth Week, Jill’s Restaurant will offer a fully-Vegan Ooh-La-La lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Friday. This lunch buffet comes with a complimentary glass of rosé and includes a variety of dishes inspired by France’s southern regions.

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

April 20, 2015

Eavesdropping one woman talking about hair to another woman at Tony’s Market on Broadway: “Your hair color is ombre.”

“Ombre? I thought that was a movie starring Paul Newman.”

(20th Century Fox)

(20th Century Fox)

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Want to see this column continue? Want to advertise your business here? Call Trisha today at 720-985-6947 or e-mail her at trilind@hotmail.com.


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City Park Jazz opens 29th season June 7

April 17, 2015

City Park Jazz heads into its 29th season with a great lineup of free Sunday concerts in the park. Spanning 10 weeks across June, July and August, the collection of local musicians in this year’s lineup crosses cultures, styles and genres in a way that reflects the musical and cultural diversity of Denver.

“We’re really excited about this year’s slate of amazing performers,” said Bob Nelson, president of the non-profit City Park Jazz Board of Directors. “We open with longtime Denver favorite Selina Albright, we have a very funky newcomer to our stage in The Messers and we’re closing out with the Sammy Mayfield Revue. We’ve got a great, eclectic and culturally diverse mix of bands sprinkled in between.”

City Park Jazz is also announcing the call for entries for its 2015 signature season T-Shirt. This year’s competition is only open to current art students over the age of 13, attending school in Colorado. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. May 8. All entries should be submitted via email to cityparkjazzdenver@gmail.com.

Submission requirements: Submissions must be original artwork. Submissions must be high-resolution (300 DPI), and in either a PDF, JPG or EPS format. The City Park Jazz Board of Directors Marketing Committee will select the winner, who will receive a free T-shirt and $500.

The season runs every Sunday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. starting June 7. The free concerts are staged at the bandshell in City Park.

The lineup:

* June 7 – Selina Albright.
* June 14 – Annie Booth Quartet.
* June 21 – Nelson Rangell.
* June 28 – Paa Kow Band.
* July 5 – The Messers.
* July 7 –  Erik Trujillo and the Mambotet.
* July 19 – Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.
* July 26 – Lynn Baker Quartet.
* Aug. 2 – Ellyn Rucker Trio (and guests).
* Aug. 9 – The Sammy Mayfield Revue.

For additional information about supporting City Park Jazz as a sponsor or concert volunteer, visit the website at www.cityparkjazz.org.


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Judi’s House fundraiser features NFL greats Archie Manning and Bob Griese

April 17, 2015

On May 5 at the Judi’s House Inaugural Speakers Series Luncheon “Strength in the Face of Adversity,” former NFL quarterback legends Archie Manning and Bob Griese will engage in a personal conversation about how the loss of their fathers at a young age a­ffected their personal and professional journeys as athletes, fathers, husbands and men.

Former NFL quarterback and co-founder of Judi’s House, Brian Griese, will lead the conversation with these two remarkable men, and take the audience from the depths of their personal struggles to the peak of their professional triumphs.

The luncheon takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 5 at the Denver Marriott City Center, 1701 Calif. St. Event chairs are Sheila and Hassan Salem and Mimi and Ed Roberson. Honorees are Sharon Magness Blake and Ernie Blake.

Bob Griese lost his father at the age of 10, while Manning lost his father when he was a teenager. Bob’s son, Brian, lost his mother when he was 12 years old. In the Metro Denver area alone, an estimated 30,000 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling before the age of 18. That number climbs to more than 60,000 for the state of Colorado, and more than four million nationally.

While these statistics show the high prevalence of childhood bereavement, most grieving youth do not know other peers their age who have had a parent or sibling die, so they feel alone with their grief.

Brian Griese and his wife, Dr. Brook Griese, a clinical child psychologist who specializes in trauma and loss, founded Judi’s House in 2002, in memory of his mother, Judith Ann Griese. Judi’s House is the only free-standing organization in Metro Denver devoted solely to supporting grieving children and their families through direct service, research and training initiatives.

Recognizing the need for children’s bereavement services beyond Metro Denver, Judi’s House is developing JAG Institute — also named in memory of Brian’s mother, Judith Ann Griese —to expand our reach to other communities, including rural areas that do not have access to effective grief support programs.

JAG Institute will expand upon Judi’s House programs by:

  • Training professionals to provide trauma-informed grief services.
  • Educating caregivers and communities about supporting grieving youth.
  • Offering resources and clinically sound tools to be used by clinicians and families.
  • Sharing evaluation and research findings to improve the quality of care for grieving children and families.

More information at www.judishouse.org.


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