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Williams & Graham named Best American Cocktail Bar

July 29, 2015

Williams & Graham, the false-front bookstore speakeasy in LoHi has been named the Best American Cocktail Bar at the 2015 Spirited Awards.

The award is so prestigious that the news was picked up by the venerable Esquire magazine, which said about W&G, “Here’s everything you need to know about it before booking a flight.”

The story went on to say, “Outside of coastal cities and Chicago, no interior-American bar has ever won the coveted Drinks International award. New York Times cocktail writer Robert Simonson similarly tweeted that (co-owner) Sean Kenyon’s Bartender of the Year win at last year’s Spirited Awards was the biggest thing ever to happen to Denver’s cocktail scene. Last weekend, at a competition in New Orleans, Williams & Graham was named the Best American Cocktail Bar at the 2015 Spirited Awards.

“Along with his business partners, the 46-year-old Kenyon, a veteran bartender from a long line of New Jersey bartenders, will next month open a new venture, The Occidental Room. It’s connected by a short hallway to Williams & Graham, but it’s a different beast entirely, and one that makes concessions to the 21st century in a way that would shatter Williams & Graham’s meticulously crafted fantasy.

“The 1,200-square-foot space, a former Native American art store, will seat just under 100, including on a modest patio with a view of the Denver skyline to the south. Exposed brick and scuffed wood floors frame a subtle counterculture theme with references to art, literature and music (the bathroom doors bear images of Blondie and Iggy Pop; cue jokes about which one the guys should use). Walls of vintage boomboxes and cassettes, along with arcade games, TVs, darts and a bocce court, further accent the casual theme. Power outlets and USB ports are plentiful.

“There’s no small amount of anticipation surrounding a new business from the owners of one of the country’s most lauded bars. Drinks will be cheaper, yes: an average of $8 per cocktail instead of Williams & Graham’s $12. A 12-tap beer system, which Williams & Graham lacks, will ensure that few (if any) orders need to flow to the Occidental Room from its more exclusive relative.

“But Kenyon insists that his many, deeply held philosophies on hospitality will extend to the Occidental.”

For the rest of the story, go to www.esquire.com/food-drink/bars/a36697/williams-graham-bar-denver/?fb_ref=Default.

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Green Russell named one of 30 greatest bars in the world

July 29, 2015

Green Russell, owned by super chef Frank Bonanno, another Denver bar getting a national nod, was named one of the “30 greatest bars in the world” by Conde Nast Traveler.

The magazine “tapped mixologists, bartenders, cocktail kingpins and professional drinkers to find out what makes a bar truly great.”

For the rest of the list, go to www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-07-21/the-greatest-bars-in-the-world.

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Jax Fish House founder bringing GoodBird Kitchen to Stanley Aviation Marketplace

July 29, 2015

GoodBird Kitchen will bring its award-winning fried chicken and fixin’s and Post Brewing Company beer to Stapleton in the spring of 2016. Dave Query, chef/owner of the Big Red F Restaurant Group, has signed a lease on a space in the new Stanley Aviation Marketplace.

GBK will be a smaller, more streamlined version of The Post Brewing Company in Lafayette. It will offer its famous fried and rotisserie bird, local farm fresh sides, homemade pies and award-winning Post beers. Guests will order at a counter prior to being seated and full service will be available from that point forward. Dining rooms will feature the same cozy Colorado Mountain-meets-Michigan Roadhouse feel that has made The Post comfortable for its diners. Prices will start at seven dollars and top out at $14 for platters, and buckets of chicken and big family meals to-go will be available from walk-up to-go windows.

“We are trying to create a simple, easy to use, value driven chicken concept,” Query said. “We like cooking bird the same way we like cooking and working with fresh seafood at Jax. The biscuits, the award winning pies, the field-driven side dishes that we feature by the dozen each night. It’s all good. It’s all GoodBird Kitchen.”

GoodBird Kitchen will feature can and draft beers produced exclusively by Brewmaster/Partner Bryan Selders of The Post. Many limited editions and “only-available-ats” will be featured at GBK.

The food will be in the hands of Chef/Partner Brett Smith. Brett has been working to perfect this bird and all the sides coming out of the wood oven that have made The Post kitchen what it is.

The bar/program will be directed by Post Bar Manager/Partner Brian Selbitchka. Beer, chicken friendly wines and a straightforward classic cocktail menu will be available.

The Stanley Marketplace is a budding urban marketplace on the borders of Stapleton and Aurora. It was once the Stanley Aviation headquarters – where airplane ejector seats were engineered and manufactured – and when it reopens in 2016 it will be a community hub and gathering space with numerous like-minded businesses, a park, a beer hall and more. In addition to GBK, there will be Tootsies the Nail Shoppe, Kismet, wax, Stanley Beer Hall, Endorphin and Kindness Yoga.

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Free ‘Miracle’ movie at Civic Center Park Sunday

July 29, 2015

Grab a blanket or folding chairs and head to Civic Center Park Sunday for a free screening of “Miracle,” presented by Western Union.

Pre-movie activities with the Colorado Avalanche start at 6 p.m. Movie starts at dusk. Bring your own picnic or enjoy on-site food trucks.

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CoBank takes over Colorado Open Championships as title sponsor

July 29, 2015

On the heels of the completion of The Colorado Open Championships at Green Valley Ranch Golf Course, the Foundation has announced that CoBank will become the new title sponsor of The Open Championships. CoBank, the largest financial institution headquartered in the state, succeeds HealthONE as the open’s primary sponsor under a five-year agreement beginning in 2016.

“Over the past 50 years, the Colorado Open has built a reputation as one of the premier state opens in the nation,” said Eric Kenealy, board chairman of The Colorado Open Golf Foundation, which organizes the championships. “We deeply appreciate the strong support we’ve received from HealthONE, our title sponsor since 2004. And we’re delighted to be beginning a new chapter now in partnership with CoBank.”

Founded in 1964, The Colorado Open Championships consist of three annual golf tournaments: The Colorado Open, The Colorado Women’s Open and The Colorado Senior Open. All three tournaments are now played at the Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver. Over the years the open has hosted some of the greatest names in the history of golf, including Sam Snead, Billy Casper, Hale Irwin and Phil Mickelson.

”Colorado is a great state in so many ways, including a broad and robust interest in golf, and it deserves a great open,” said Bob Engel, CoBank’s chief executive officer. “We’re delighted to be succeeding HealthONE as title sponsor and look forward to enabling these fantastic tournaments to continue.”

CoBank has more than $100 billion in assets and provides credit and financial services to agribusinesses, rural utilities and other rural enterprises in all 50 states. The bank employs approximately 650 people at its headquarters in Greenwood Village and another 250 at regional offices around the country. The bank has been a sponsor of pro-am events at The Colorado Open and Colorado Women’s Open for the past two years. With the title sponsorship, the three tournaments will be renamed as the “CoBank Colorado Open Championships.”

Engel said one of the main reasons CoBank was interested in sponsoringTthe Colorado Open was that a portion of proceeds supports the Green Valley Ranch First Tee program, which uses golf to promote integrity, respect and perseverance among youth.

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock praised CoBank for stepping forward to take over the title sponsorship. “We enjoy a rich history in the sport of golf and offer some of the best venues in the country,” Hancock said. “But tournaments can be more than great courses and competitions when committed, community-minded corporate sponsors get involved. We’re fortunate to have companies like CoBank in town to support this kind of event, keep it moving forward and ensure that it also benefits our local kids.”


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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

July 29, 2015

Eavesdropping on two women: “I normally shop at Vitamin Cottage because it’s near my house.”

“I’ve never been there but I know where one is because it’s across the street from Argonaut.”

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Public invited to sip and sample Governor’s Cup Wine winners

July 27, 2015

The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board, part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is inviting the public to attend an event on Colorado Day, Saturday at the History Colorado Center to get the rare opportunity to taste the 16 winners of this year’s 2015 Governor’s Cup Wine Competition.

The only statewide winemaking competition exclusively for Colorado wines, this year’s competition drew 241 entries from 37 local wineries, and was judged by a panel of sommeliers, winemakers, writers and wine experts from around the country.

The top 16 Governor’s Cup Colorado wines, plus small plate pairings will feature locally sourced ingredients from six noted Colorado chefs. Tickets are $60 for History Colorado Members, and $75 general admission. Festivities will begin at 7 p.m. for VIP entry; 7:30 p.m. for general public entry.

Tickets can be purchased at www.coloradowine.com/event/governors-cup/.

“I think the wines this year show great balance and wonderful winemaking skills,” said judge and winemaker Warren Winiarski of the Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon from the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting.

The quality of the wines was so superb the judges voted to award the 2015 Governor’s Cup “Best of Show” to two wines; both made from Syrah. When the sweepstakes tasting was complete, Canyon Wind Cellars’ 2013 Anemoi Lips Turquoise Mesa Winery’s 2013 Syrah were tied. Syrah is a red grape variety that originates from the Rhône region of France. The 2015 Governor’s Cup Case features the top 12 rated grape wines from the competition, but new this year is the special “Niche” four-pack of cider, mead, fruit and flavored wines. Both will be available at select retailers throughout the Front Range.

“Syrah often excels in Colorado as a varietal wine and also makes a wonderful component in blended wines,” said Doug Caskey, executive director of the CWIDB. “It is quite a statement that four Syrah-based wines are among the top 12 wines in the competition.”

“I’m excited to hear that our 2013 Anemoi Lips won Best of Show,” Jay Christianson said. “We’re quite humbled thWat one of our wines has been awarded Best of Show two years in a row!”

Last year, Canyon Wind Cellars’ 2012 Petit Verdot was the Best of Show winner in the 2014 Governor’s Cup Case. Canyon Wind Cellars, nestled along the Colorado River between the Book Cliffs and the towering Grand Mesa in Palisade, is a family-owned estate winery named for the mountain breezes and canyon winds that nurture the fruit on its high altitude vineyard. Norman and Ellen Christianson founded Canyon Wind in 1991 and crushed its first harvest in 1996. In 2010, the second generation arrived as the Christianson’s son, Jay, and his wife, Jennifer, took over the leadership of Canyon Wind Cellars and created a second brand, Anemoi Wines, in 2011.

Turquoise Mesa Winery, like Canyon Wind Cellars, placed two of its wines in the Governor’s Case Cup. “e have always been proud of the quality of our wines, which means that the grape industry is outstanding in Colorado,” Tom Bueb said, “and our continued success only emphasizes that!” Turquoise Mesa Winery is a family-owned winery in Broomfield. Owners Tom and Mary Joan Bueb began making wine commercially in 2003, but it had been an amateur passion long before that.

Turquoise Mesa Winery sources the finest Colorado grapes primarily from the Western Slope to produce limited quantities of handcrafted wines. Known for Rhône varietals and blends, Bueb added, “Turquoise Mesa Winery is honored and thrilled that our Syrah tied for Best of Show.

“Each year, the judges continue to note the rise in quality of Colorado wine, and this year was no exception,” Caskey said. “We couldn’t have been more pleased with the wines that were submitted this year as well as the excellent group of judges that put in so much effort and thought to choose the winners.”

Also new with this year’s Governor’s Cup, the competition included separate judging for cider, perry, mead, and all “other than standard” and agricultural wines, tasted by judges that are more experienced in evaluating those unique wines in order to give more thorough and professional consideration to a broader category of wines. This judging was held May 8 at the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s new facility in Broomfield.

The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board is part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture dedicated to promoting and furthering the development of Colorado’s grape growers and vintners. The CWIDB supports the efforts of more than 120 wineries throughout the state, producing an increasing array of premium-quality wines. For additional information, visit www.coloradowine.com.

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Lower48 Kitchen’s feast boils over with Summer Seafood Boil

July 27, 2015

Alex Figura and Mario Nocifera of Lower48 Kitchen, 2020 Lawrence St.,  have teamed up with Black Shirt Brewing Company to celebrate the season with a Summer Seafood Boil and patio party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Guests can dine al fresco with newspaper-covered tables, wooden mallets, piles of seafood & veggies and kegs of Black Shirt brews. Indulge in an all-you-can-eat seafood supper for $26 (includes one Black Shirt beer; tax and gratuity not included). Additional Black Shirt brews will be available for purchase throughout the night, and head brewer/co-owner Branden Miller will be on hand to pour beer and chat with guests.  Chef Figura’s regular menu will be available in the main dining room.

The Summer Seafood Boil will take place on Lower48’s patio in Denver’s ballpark neighborhood.  For reservations or more information, please visit www.lower48kitchen.com or call 303-942-0262.

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Seventh annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine will give sneak peek of fine fare from future eateries

July 27, 2015

The 7th Annual Cherry Creek North Food & Wine event will take place 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 8 on Fillmore Plaza (Fillmore Street between First and Second avenues) with exclusive early entry for VIP ticket holders beginning at 5 p.m. 

The 2015 Cherry Creek North Food & Wine celebration includes menu samples from more than 20 of the district’s dining establishments and wines from William Hill Estate, Columbia Winery and LaMarca.

“Cherry Creek North Food & Wine continues to be a highly anticipated event. This year is no different, with the participation of four much-talked-about, yet-to-open restaurants: Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Blue Island Oyster Bar, Del Frisco’s Grille and Osaka Ramen, ” said Jenny Starkey, director of marketing and community relations for Cherry Creek North. “Denver foodies and wine aficionados won’t want to miss the event, which is the perfect way to showcase Cherry Creek North’s diverse offerings under the beautiful summer canopy of Fillmore Plaza.”

General admission tickets are $60; VIP early-entry tickets are $80. Go to www.cherrycreeknorth.com to purchase tickets.

In addition, the public has the opportunity to visit Art Feast on Saturday to get a preview of Food & Wine, while enjoying the fine art at Cherry Creek North galleries. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., 11 galleries will open their doors and feature food from seven of the Food & Wine restaurants. Begin the gallery journey at Second Avenue and Fillmore Street for a map of the participating galleries and a chance to win prizes.

For a full list of participating Food & Wine restaurants and their websites, please visit www.cherrycreeknorth.com/events/info/dining-food-and-wine.

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