NPR gives national nod to Denver’s restaurant scene

December 17, 2014

One of the nicest nods to Denver’s bustling restaurant scene came from Tuesday’s piece by National Public Radio. The reporter sought the answer to the popular question “What makes Denver so tasty?” when it comes to the dining business, which has doubled in sales over the past 10 years.

He interviewed Food Network star chef Keegan Gerhard, who rolled the proverbial dice on Denver when he opted to open D Bar, the tiny 17th Street eatery with the longest lines. Gerhard and his pastry chef wife, Lisa Bailey, quickly outgrew the original D Bar space and last month opened a spot three times larger in Uptown. The couple shunned the bright lights and big cities in favor of building a business where they wanted to live.

NPR interviewed other top chefs including Jennifer Jasinski, who with business partner Beth Gruitch, owns Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall, and most recently Stoic & Genuine in the redeveloped Union Station. Jasinski upped Denver’s restaurant cred by winning a James Beard Award and competing on “Top Chef Masters”.

Here’s what NPR said, “When you think of the restaurant scene, Denver probably doesn’t come to mind. But that’s just the latest change for a city whose population has ballooned in the last couple of years, thanks in part to a nearby oil and gas boom. Top chefs are beginning to take notice.”

John Imbergamo, perhaps the most trusted man in Denver’s restaurant business, was interviewed for the story on background. Here’s what NPR didn’t discuss, Imbergamo said. “The fast casual segment was ignored but Denver is a hotbed of innovation in that segment of the industry. Chipotle, Qdoba, Tokyo Joes, Noodles, Garbanzos, Pizzeria Locale. Smashburger, the list goes on.  Many of these with elevated quick food are consumer stepping stones to fine dining.”

To read or listen to the rest of the report, go to

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