Penny Parker’s On The Town: Denver’s the toast of Trader Joe’s in Colorado

October 12, 2012

Is Boulder crying in its beer? While the burg may have thought it would get the only Trader Joe’s in Colorado with a liquor license, Denver snagged that shot.

When both stores open next year, Denver customers will be able to buy liquor and check out in an attached area of the store. The grocery and liquor sections will share a common entrance, but liquor sales must be completed separately.

How did Denver grab the liquor biz from Boulder?

“We’re a better and bigger market so they can sell more (liquor) here,” said a source close to the deal. “Our process (to obtain a liquor license) is faster and cleaner, and Boulder blabbed about getting a liquor store. Denver kept its mouth shut.”

The initial hearing – the first step in the liquor license process – will be 9 a.m. Oct. 26. The store will have to jump through a few city-required hoops before getting the final sign-off.

Both Boulder and Denver Trader Joe’s stores are expected to open around the same time next year.

Tops and Temps

I Can’t Help Myself but I’m on Cloud Nine because The Four Tops and The Temptations will provide the entertainment for Saturday Night Alive, the signature fundraiser for The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, on March 2. Ticket are now on sale at

Jamie Angelich and Mimi Roberson will chair this year’s event, that includes one of chi-chi-est silent auctions, surprise box sale, dinner, desserts and dancing in the Seawell Ballroom.

Individual tickets start at $375 and corporate tables of 10 start at $6,000.

In the pink

During the month of October, breast cancer awareness and the color pink go hand-in-hand. At The Four Seasons Hotel Denver, the cause and the color are being celebrated – on the rocks.

Three drinks are available throughout this month at Edge Restaurant & Bar as part of The Four Seasons Drink Pink! promotion. A portion of sales from each speciality drink will benefit Sense of Security (, a Colorado organization that provides financial assistance for patients undergoing breast cancer treatment.

More at

First Lady lunches

The First Lady of Mozambique, Dr. Maria da Luz Dai Guebuza, will be in Denver today for Project CURE’s eighth annual First Ladies’ Luncheon fundraising event at the Hyatt Regency Colorado Convention Center.

Guebuza is the honored guest and keynote speaker for the event whose goal is to raise enough funding to deliver $2 million of medical supplies and equipment to clinics and hospitals throughout Mozambique. The country was selected because of its critical need for medical relief. Nearly 40 percent of the population lives on less than a dollar a day.

Combined, Project CURE’s First Ladies’ Luncheons have raised enough funding to deliver $12.6 million of medical relief to hospitals and clinics throughout El Salvador, Belize, Mexico, Ghana, Panama and Tanzania.

Bountiful harvest

Harvest Week, a series of pop-up dinner parties paying homage to Colorado’ produce and producers, features 36 of EatDenver’s independent restaurants, which will host the dinners at Grow Haus, 4751 York St., from Sunday through Oct. 19.

One brunch and five dinners – featuring different chefs and interactive themes – will be paired with hand-crafted cocktails, local brews and wines.

Guests will need to bring their own place setting (plate, cutlery and wine glass). Brunch begins at noon and dinners begin at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the events go to support EatDenver, a marketing group of independently owned restaurants, and Grow Haus, a nonprofit indoor farm, marketplace and educational center.

More information and menus:

Crave rave

Crave Real Burgers, with locations in Colorado Springs and Castle Rock, creeps closer to Denver with its latest location that will open in the Town Center in Highlands Ranch in the former Fat Burger and Epic Grill space.

Crave, which has garnered raves, is from the same group who owns the iconic Old Stone Church restaurant in Castle Rock. The menu features Mile High burgers, old-fashioned shakes and a full bar. Check it out (but not if you’re hungry) at

Get happy

Fogo de Chao, 1513 Wynkoop, is offering a happy hour menu for the first time with cocktails and lighter bites of the signature fire-roasted meats prepared by gaucho chefs from 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 3 to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Happy hour eats are your choice of Brazilian pork sausage, bacon-wrapped chicken breast or pork parmesan medallions served with crispy polenta and pao de queijo (warm cheese bread) for $8 apiece. Every dish is gluten free.

The happy hour menu also features 11 varieties of Brazil’s national drink, the caipirinha, made with a spirit derived from sugar cane. All happy hour drinks are $6.

For more information, go to

The recently opened Kachina Southwestern Grill inside the Westin Westminster has added happy hour and late-night dining options to the menu.

The happy hour menu is available from 2 to 6 p.m. daily; late-night menu is served every night from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Menu items include red chile popcorn ($3), green chile cheese fries ($5) and green chile cheeseburger ($12) made with brisket short-rib chuck, roasted green chiles and smoked cheddar on a brioche bun.

More at

Third time’s a charm

MICI, the family owned Italian restaurant with locations in downtown Denver and Cherry Creek, is opening a third spot Monday in Stapleton at 2373 Central Park Blvd.

Brothers Jeff and Michael Miceli and their sister Kim Miceli-Vela opened their first eatery in 2004 in downtown Denver.

In addition to the opening of the Stapleton restaurant, MICI will also be serving breakfast at its Cherry Creek North restaurant. MICI provides sit-down dining, counter service and delivery. More information:

Indulge in health

HealthOne’s event Free Healthy Indulgences – A Women’s Symposium, A Day for You will include physician-led seminars, free screenings for blood pressure, BMI, osteoporosis and more, from 9 a.m. to 3 pm. (spa lunch included) Saturday at the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek or on Oct. 20 at the Sheraton Denver Tech Center.

Award-winning national speaker and author Laura Stack will discuss “The Exhaustion Cure…Up Your Energy from Low to Go in 21 Days” during the luncheon.

More information:

Eavesdropping on a woman to a man: “I’ve been to Park Burger but I haven’t tried Larkburger.”

“As long as you haven’t tried Shark Burger.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email:

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