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Travel + Leisure bestows best to two Denver eateries

May 27, 2015

When Travel + Leisure magazine, a national consumer publication, recently posted its picks for the nine best train station restaurants, two Denver eateries were included in that prestigious short list, which included entries from New York, Hong Kong, Paris, London and Tokyo.

T+L lavished the love on Stoic & Genuine and Mercantile Dining & Provision in Denver’s revamped Union Station.

Here’s what the magazine said about the local dining establishments: “When Denver’s Union Station reopened last year after extensive renovations, it brought with it a clutch of new — and worthy — restaurants. Stoic & Genuine, a seafood temple from Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski commanded attention even before it opened. Between its raw bar, ‘seafood tower of power,’ and ‘surf in turf’ dish of big-eye tuna wrapped in New York strip steak, Stoic & Genuine won strong reviews and was even named one of 5280 magazine’s top 10 new Denver restaurants.

“In a stroke of fortune, Denver Union Station’s remodel project actually yielded two highly regarded restaurant projects. Mercantile Dining & Provision, run by chef Alex Seidel, is one part casual restaurant and one part food market selling charcuterie, cheese, jam and more. The menu here offers a variety of pasta dishes such as squid ink bucatini, Spanish octopus a la plancha, a crispy half chicken, and family dinners like a bone-in 36-ounce rib-eye or roasted lamb shoulder, each served with a variety of sides. Mercantile, too, was named one of 5280 magazine’s best new restaurants in 2015.”

While the recognition of this level of culinary prowess causes pride in Denver diners, it makes local restaurant pundit John Imbergamo downright delighted.

“It seems that every time a national list of restaurants hits the web, Denver’s culinary community searches in vain for a representative, whether it’s Best Ice Cream, Best New Restaurant or Hot New Chef,” Imbergamo said. “In 25 years of working with Denver restaurants, this might be the first time that Denver scored two slots on an international top restaurant list. Are we finally winning a few converts to the Mile High culinary scene?”

For the rest of the story, go to www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/all-aboard-for-the-coolest-train-station-restaurants.


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Think pink on Elway’s patio tonight

May 27, 2015

Elway’s Cherry Creek wants to put you in the pink during its annual Pink Patio Party from 6 to 8 tonight.

Again, Adam Vance, Elway’s sommelier, needs your help choosing pink wines for the summer. Join Vance on the Elway’s CC patio to taste and evaluate more than 30 rose wines from around the world that the restaurant is considering for a summer rose flight on the wine list.

Additionally, Executive Chef Aniedra Nichols will prepare light hors d’oeuvres to go with wine. Cost is $35 per person including tax and tip. For reservations, call 303-399-5353.

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Who’s behind the ‘Curtin’?

May 27, 2015

My former Denver Post colleague Kevin Coleman had an accidental close encounter of the celebrity kind last week at Starbucks on Parker Road and Iliff in Aurora.

He said, “OK, I am sitting here drinking some tea while listening to the baseball game and these two ladies sit next to me. One of them looks like Jane Curtin. The other lady sees me and politely asks what I am listening to. I say the Rockies and the other woman asks how Tulo is playing? I couldn’t resist and tell her she looks like Jane Curtin. Her friend says, ‘That’s because she is Jane Curtin. She is my sister in law.’ I tell her I am a fan, we chat for a few minutes and then go back to what we were doing. Nice lady. And, for the record, she really is a big Tulo fan.”

jane curtin1

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RiNo’s Final Friday events begin Friday

May 27, 2015

The fourth annual Final Friday Music Walk and Urban Bazaar, a monthly celebration of community, art and live music in Denver’s River North Art District, begins its first of four dates on Friday. The kickoff event will begin at 4 p.m. with live music and open houses around the 3100 block of Blake and Walnut streets, and will extend throughout the RiNo neighborhood until 10 p.m. with select venues staying open until 2 a.m.

“We’re excited to be bringing Final Friday back to RiNo in 2015, and helping to showcase all of the talented local artists, musicians and businesses of Denver,” said Final Friday co-founder John McCaskill, owner of MegaFauna, the local artists cooperative retail store at 3102 Blake St. “The community has really come together to support this event, and 2015 is going to be our best year yet.”

For 2015, the number of participating businesses, venues and sponsors has expanded dramatically. Venues for the kickoff event on Friday include Black Shirt Brewing Co. (3719 Walnut St.), Beryl’s Beer Co. (3120 Blake St.), Fusion Factory (3563 Walnut St.), Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club (1330 27th St.), Stem Ciders (2811 Walnut St.), Infinite Monkey Theorem (3200 Larimer St.), Cold Crush (2700 Larimer St.), Park Burger RiNo (2615 Walnut St.), MANNA Pilates (2815 Larimer St.), the Matchbox (2625 Larimer St.) and the Walnut Room (3131 Walnut St.).

Each Final Friday will host 20-plus musical acts at participating venues as well as on three outdoor stages. For a complete listing of acts and locations, visit www.finalfridaydenver.com, or the Final Friday Facebook page (www.facebook.com/events/802812536463204/). Discount wristbands are available for five dollars at MegaFauna and online.


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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

May 27, 2015

Eavesdropping on Facebook: “So, I’m 6’2.” My daughter just came to me in the kitchen wearing her three-inch pumps, and was pretty darn close to being eye to eye with her old man. She said, ‘Dad, I like the weather up here.’ BTW, she’s 14.”

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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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