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Vickers golf tourney brings out local notables for a cause

May 22, 2015

Yes, I have interviewed national celebrities including Oprah and Richard Simmons during my many years as a journalist. But nothing thrills me more than to be recognized by our local notables.

So Wednesday evening at the cocktail reception for the Jack A. Vickers Invitational Golf Tournament, a benefit for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, was a fame fun fest for me.

I loved reconnecting with Hall-of-Famer Broncos QB John Elway and his buffed wife, Paige, who dished with me about being on Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” with my favorite talk-show host Andy Cohen.

Paige confessed to following most of the “Housewives” franchises (I am obsessed), and I urged her to add “The Shahs of Sunset” to her play list.

Also sidled up to former Broncos QB Brian Griese, who doesn’t age, and retired NBA great Chauncey Billups who asked me where have I been? Really? Don’t ask me what I said because I was overwhelmed that he even know who I was!

Andrisen-Morton menswear spokesmodel Craig Andrisen started the live auction by commenting on the inclement weather, “This is the first annual Jack Vickers snowball fight. Next year we are going to Vail.”

Billups took a turn at the mic. “Thanks to Mr. Vickers for supporting my neighborhood. Give what you can because it’s going to good people. I remember going to the rec center every day of my life.”

The hearty partiers hit the Castle Pines links on Thursday morning. Bless their frozen selves.

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Z Block breaks ground on hotel, retail and restaurant space

May 22, 2015

Ground was broken last week on Z Block, on Wazee Street between 18th and 19th streets, a hotel and retail/restaurant project being built by McWhinney, a Colorado-based real estate investment, management and development company.

McWhinney has joined with former Union Station partner Sage Hospitality, together with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and long-time property owner Grand American to redevelop Denver’s historic Windsor Dairy Block.

The development will have direct access to downtown Denver via the connector shuttle, MetroRide, and is within a block of Denver Union Station, providing easy access to Denver International Airport and all other light rail system destinations. Slated to open in the fall of 2016, Z Block features McWhinney Real Estate Services as the managing partner, Sage Hospitality as the hotel manager and operator, NKGF as the project’s office and marketing partner.

“Z Block is an outstanding project that will make the entire state proud,” said Chad McWhinney, CEO and Co-Founder at McWhinney. “By further revitalizing LoDo, Colorado is increasingly attractive to new business, workforce and tourism.”

The Sage Hospitality hotel at Z Block will have a dedicated entrance and, as the closest hotel to Coors Field, will offer exceptional views and convenient access to the ballpark and other downtown destinations. Sage Restaurant Group, developer of The Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar also in downtown Denver, plans to implement one of its newest brands in part of the available restaurant and retail space.

“The hotel at Z Block is a continuation of a very positive relationship between Sage Hospitality and McWhinney,” said Walter Isenberg, president and CEO of Sage Hospitality. “After the successful redevelopment of Denver Union Station, we are very pleased to work with McWhinney on another signature Denver project.”

Z Block will be leased by industry leader NGKF. The NGKF team is led by Tim Harrington and Tom Lee who will lease and market the office space at the historic Denver redevelopment. The commercial real estate firm is known for helping shape Denver for 125 years.

For additional information, visit www.zblocklodo.com.




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Military folks honored with Elitch Gardens discount tix

May 22, 2015

Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park is making a splash this Memorial Day weekend when the water park opens on Saturday for guests to enjoy all the water slides daily through Labor Day.

Guests can take a plunge on Splashdown, float down the Castaway Creek Lazy River, or lounge in the full-service cabanas while the kids play in Hook’s Lagoon. Plus, coming soon is the monstrous addition SlideZilla, the all-new six-story Hydro-Beast.

On Sunday, Elitch Gardens will hold Military Appreciation Day in honor of Memorial Day weekend. As a show of appreciation for the sacrifices military service personnel have made for our country, half-priced admission is being offered online for the day to all military service personnel, veterans and families. The patriotic holiday celebration continues with the 101st Army Dixieland Band performing live on Main Street from noon to 2 p.m. and culminates as the park lights up the Downtown Denver skyline with a fireworks display.

Half-price Military Appreciation Day tickets can be pre-purchased online through GovX. Discount tickets will also be offered at the Main Gate with Military ID. Visit www.ElitchGardens.com/Military-Appreciation/ for more information.

Visit ElitchGardens.com for more information and to purchase discount tickets.


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Downtown Denver Partnership annual awards announced

May 22, 2015

On Thursday, the Downtown Denver Partnership presented seven awards to the people, places and businesses driving progress towards an economically healthy, growing and vital downtown at the 54th Annual Downtown Denver Awards Dinner, presented by Polsinelli.

The honorees, selected by a jury of key business leaders convened by the Downtown Denver Partnership, are businesses, projects and initiatives that had the most significant impact on the center city in 2014. Awards were presented to:

“We are grateful for the opportunity to pause each year to celebrate the excellent achievements that advance us toward our vision of a world-class center city,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “This year’s winners are city builders who have made Denver stronger, and they are instrumental in establishing Downtown as the economic engine that drives the city, state and region.”

A record-setting 1,000 people were in attendance to celebrate the award winners at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.



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Celebrate National Burger Month with a boffo bite

May 22, 2015

No wonder I’ve been craving burgers! Did you know that May is National Burger Month?

If you’re near Governor’s Park, you might want to stop in at MAX’s Wine Dive (696 Sherman St. – www.maxswinedive.com/denver-east-7th-avenue/) for the fried chicken, but don’t miss the simply named Signature Burger – Angus short rib, chuck and beef belly on a (double grilled) brioche bun, house-made everything from pickles to jalapeños to ketchup.  And you can add on triple-cream brie, Danish blue cheese and applewood-smoked bacon, mushrooms, caramelized onions and Gruyère or all of those to make it a Wine Dive Classic.  Coronary bypass?  Optional.

An investigation into the best burgers in town must lead to Humboldt Farm, Fish & Wine (1700 Humboldt St. – www.humboldtrestaurant.com) for a Humboldt Burger.  The sleeper burger from a place known more for its surf than its turf, Humboldt’s is  made with Niman Ranch beef-bacon blend – a blend that leads to a naturally juicy, succulent burger.  Crispy fried onions add crunch, and a layer of sharp cheddar adds tang before it’s finished with a smoky sweet onion jam.  Served on a crusty, buttery brioche bun.

When you’re in the mood for something a little unusual, head over to Argyll Whisky Beer (1035 E 17th Ave. www.argylldenver.com) for the lamb burger with cucumber yogurt relish and tomato jam to add a hint of tang and sweet to this Uptown gastropub’s offering.

If you’re in East Boulder, try the burger at Blackbelly Market (1606 Conestoga No. 3 – www.blackbelly.com) Award-winning chef Hosea Rosenberg’s Blackbelly Market has made a name on its in-house butchery program, and one of the results is the house grind burger. The burger boasts naturally house-made bacon and beef, and when you add on Tillamook cheese and a farm-fresh egg (from Blackbelly Farm, of course) and you’ve got an outstanding burger.

Brand new to the menu at Session Kitchen (1518 S. Pearl St. www.sessionkitchen.com) is the Mushroom Manwich Burger with arugula, smoked pepper vinaigrette and stracciatella is served with kennebec fries.

Stout Street Social (1400 Stout St. www.stoutstsocial.com/) located across from the Colorado Convention Center offers multiple  burger selections. A diner favorite is the Colorado Bison Burger with all natural grass fed bison, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion, while the bacon-guacamole burger is a hand-pressed beef patty with pepper jack cheese, spicy aioli, guacamole, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Say cheese as you bite into a burger!

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

May 22, 2015

Eavesdropping on one woman to another at Brooklyn Pizza on Leetsdale and Monaco: “I try watching the Kardashians, but I get so mad that I’m not that rich nor that stupid.”

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Boulder included in most underrated American food cities list

May 20, 2015

Thrillist, the list-loving website, has chosen the seven most underrated American food cities in 2015, and Boulder made the grade.

Thrillist said, “When people think of America’s culinary capitals they usually look to the coasts: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans all regularly top the lists of the best American food cities. But hiding in the ‘flyover states’ and in ‘harbors-that-not-many-people-live-in’ is a cache of culinary talent that’s just as worthy of sinking your teeth into.

“We’ve already touched on seven of these underdog cities, but our country’s cupboards are hiding so much more deliciousness and so many cities’ scenes have exploded in the past year, so we thought it worthwhile to give props to seven more gastronomically obsessed towns. And to show just what makes each great, we tapped a local writer to share what makes that food scene unique. Here are seven cities you’ll immediately want to visit.”

About Boulder: “Boulder residents would likely be surprised to find their town on an underrated food city list. And it’s not only because Bon Appétit magazine picked Boulder as America’s Foodiest Town in 2010. Take a walk down Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, and you’ll see what the magazine folks saw.

“Start at Frasca Food and Wine, where co-owners Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson and Bobby Stuckey have two James Beard Awards. Stuckey is one of 118 Master Sommeliers worldwide, as are six other Boulder residents. Not bad for a town with a population of 100,000 and change. Head west (toward the mountains) and make another stop at OAK at fourteenth, where local meats, vegetables, and even luscious Colorado peaches take a turn in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven.

“Veer a block or so off Pearl to find the Black Cat, whose chef-owner, Eric Skokan, raises the restaurant’s vegetables (including heirloom dent corn for GMO-free polenta), as well as ducks, pigs, and beef cattle on his farm on county-owned land preserved for agricultural uses. This year, Skokan released a cookbook, ‘Farm Fork Food’, that he edited on his smartphone from the seat of his tractor. Or try The Kitchen, which has nourished relationships with local organic farmers since it opened in 2004; its nonprofit Kitchen Community builds school gardens, placing more than a 100 in Chicago, where it also recently opened a restaurant to positive reviews. You also might want to try Salt, where the food is local, seasonal, and GMO-free.

“Food, health, and sustainable agriculture have a long, intertwining history in Boulder. The bustling Boulder County Farmers’ Market, also near Pearl Street, got its start in 1987. The town that popularized herbal tea and tofu also had a strong hand in craft beer, with Boulder County boasting 40 breweries and counting. After you’ve taken in the scene, do what Boulderites do: eat and run (or hike or bike). There are trails just a few steps away from those amazing restaurants.

“And if that’s not enough for you, go east a couple of miles and find ‘Top Chef’ winner Hosea Rosenberg’s Blackbelly, which received well-deserved national attention when it opened last year.” - Cindy Sutter, Daily Camera food editor.

Rounding out the “most underrated list” are Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Kansas City, Mo.; Memphis, Tenn.; Portland, Maine and Providence, R.I.

Read the whole story at www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/where-to-eat-in-america-the-7-most-underrated-american-food-cities-in-2015.

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Sullivan’s selling half-price bottles of wine till restaurant shutters

May 20, 2015

I told you earlier that Sullivan’s, the LoDo steak house owned by Texas-based Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, will close after dinner service May 30 at the end of its lease in the historic building on the corner of 17th and Wazee streets.

To ease the pain of separation, Sullivan’s is offering half price on all bottles of wine through May 30.

The 16-year-old hotspot was a favorite of Rockies fans who stop in for a quick drink and bar bites before and after games at nearby Coors Field.

“We truly value the employees that made Sullivan’s a favorite amongst our appreciated guests and have programs in place to make sure they are taken care of during this time of transition,” Del Frisco’s Group said in a statement to the Denver Business Journal.

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‘The Price Is Right’ coming to Denver

May 20, 2015

Ready to test your shopping savvy?

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for “The Price Is Right Live!” at 8 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Bellco Theatre, 700 14th St.

Reserved tickets are $39.50 to $49.50 plus service charges, and available online at www.axs.com. To charge tickets by phone, call 1-888-929-7849.

“The Price Is Right Live” is the interactive show that gives eligible individuals the chance to “Come on down” to win. Prizes may include appliances, vacations and a new car. Play classic games from television’s longest running and most popular game show from Plinko, to Cliffhangers, to The Big Wheel and even the fabulous Showcase.

Playing to sold out audiences for nearly nine years, “The Price Is Right Live!” has given away more than $10 million in cash and prizes and sold more than 1.2 million tickets.

Additional purchase not required for contestant registration. Open to U.S. legal residents, 18 years or older. Ticket purchase will not increase your chances of being selected to play. For complete rules and regulations, including eligibility requirements, visit or call the venue box office. To enter theater to watch show, a ticket purchase is required.

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