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Kirk Montgomery sets off for a land far far away

And speaking of 9News staff shifts …

Entertainment expert and all-around nice guy Kirk Montgomery got a snappy send-off Monday night at Panzano where friends and fans gathered to bid Montgomery adieu as he prepares to move to Lansing, Mich., and take over an anchor of the 4 p.m. newscast.

Montgomery pal chef Elise Wiggins put out a big spread to honor her friend. Additional party organizers were Kelly Rush, Tommy Collier and Mark Callaghan.

The crowd represented many members of Denver’s theater world, and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and his actress-singer wife, Mary Louise Lee made a surprise appearance.

Panzano assistant pastry chef Isabel Burson crafted a cake worthy of Capt. Kirk (Montgomery) with authentic Klingon letters.

Spotted in the crowd were Jenny Schiavone and her husband, Travis; Melanie Mayner; MichelleMel” Gibson; Keri Christiansen; Denver Center Performing Arts scribe John Moore; PR princess Lynn Bronikowski; May D&F tower owner Holly Kylberg and stylist to the stars, Patti Shyne.

Kirk gave a speech thanking all his friends and saying Denver will always be home.

“There are no words. Overcome. Thank you,” Montgomery posted on his Facebook page. “Elise Wiggins, Kelly K. Rush, Mark Callaghan (and) Tommy Collier for putting together my goodbye party. So many special friends. So many surprises like Mary Louise Lee, Michael Hancock and Rich Ross — I love you Colorado — so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Kirk Montgomery with Panzano chef Elise Wiggins. Montgomery's send-off included a Star Trek themed cake. (Panzano photos)

Kirk Montgomery with Panzano chef Elise Wiggins. Montgomery’s send-off included a Star Trek themed cake (below). (Panzano photos) Kirk Montgomery cake


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Susie Wargin leaving 9News for real estate

April 23, 2014

Has 9News installed a revolving door at its entrance?

Kirk Montgomery is leaving; former Rocky Mountain News columnist Sam Adams and ex-Fox31 anchor and former 9News sports anchor Ron Zappolo are joining forces on a regular weekend gig at Channel 9 and David Krause left 9News to return to The Denver Post (return, who does that?). And now longtime weekday morning sports anchor Susie Wargin is leaving to join the real estate business, The Post reported.

Wargin told The Post she’s  had her real-estate license “since June (and) my mom’s been in the business for 38 years (with Re/Max). It’s a good family decision for me now. Mom wants to hand down the business and I’d be an idiot to refuse.”

The Pro Challenge cycling series, which ends Aug. 24, likely may be her last full-time assignment at 9News. She has been the morning sports anchor at 9News since 2004.

susie wargin04252014

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Kirk Montgomery leaving 9News

One of my favorite TV news characters, Kirk Montgomery, is leaving 9News.

According to a Denver Post story, the entertainment reporter-anchor at KUSA-Channel 9 since 2001, is out at 9News. He will move to at WILX, the NBC affiliate in Lansing, Mich., reportedly to become anchor of a new 4 p.m. newscast.

Montgomery announced his exit on his Facebook page Wednesday after joking on the 4:30 p.m. broadcast about growing up in Michigan (and spending time on a llama farm).

He earlier wrote about not being offered a full one-year contract at Channel 9. On Twitter he said, “Mixed emotion I say goodbye to CO and @9NEWS on 5/9/14.”

Good luck, Kirk!

Kirk Montgomery is leaving 9News for a job in Michigan.  (9News photo)

Kirk Montgomery is leaving 9News for a job in Michigan. (9News photo)


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Zappolo, Adams hired to beef up 9News newscast

April 16, 2014

Is Denver ratings war leader 9News afraid of losing its longtime No. 1 ranking?

Channel 9 has hired former Fox 31 news anchor Ron Zappolo and ex-Rocky Mountain News sports columnist Sam Adams for an “experiment” in a segment of its newscast, The Denver Post reported.

Zappolo retired a year ago after five years in the anchor chair at Fox 31 and stints as a sports anchor for KCNC-Channel 4 and then 9News.

According to The Post story,  Zappolo and Adams (now a comedian who has worked for several Denver TV stations) to talk sports within the weekend newscast.

Sam Adams, above, and Ron Zappolo.

Ron Zappolo, above, and Sam Adams.

sam adams1


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Denver Center CEO Daniel Ritchie bends his gender for a good cause

October 25, 2013

For a suit-and-tie CEO of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Daniel Ritchie makes a handsome woman.

And he proved just how fetching he can be in a blingy ball gown during “Theatre Threads,” a costume department fashion show featuring models from the DCPA’s financial and emotional support group.

As an unadvertised final entry in the fashion show, Ritchie shuffled to the microphone where 9News entertainment editor Kirk Montgomery was lending emcee duties. Much to the delight of the lunching crowd, Ritchie sported a Texas-sized blonde wig, full makeup, false eyelashes, figure hugging bedazzled gown, feather stole, full-length black gloves and black patent open-toe heels.

In a twisted way, he looked hot!

Ritchie was promoting “The Legend of Georgia McBride,” which plays in the Ricketson Theatre from Jan. 10 to Feb. 23.

“We didn’t have costumes yet so we hired a professional drag queen, and he worked with Dan on the outfit,” said Alexandra Griesmer, public relations and promotions manager for the Denver Center Theatre Company. “(Ritchie) was such a great sport – didn’t take much convincing!”

Ritchie said his gender-bender experience lent him more empathy toward females.

“I learned that high heels are risky,” Ritchie said while Montgomery, dressed as one of the three musketeers, doubled over in laughter. “I was surprised to learn what you do every day. My respect is even higher (for women).”

The play is about a straight young man who unexpectedly takes a dip into the world of drag, Ritchie said. “I didn’t know much about being a woman, so I thought I should learn first hand.”

Denver Center Alliance’s Theatre Threads is a tribute to the talent and passion of the models and backstage stars, Denver Center Theatre Company’s costume department. Proceeds support the Arts in Education program, which allows more than 50,000 students the opportunity to experience live theater this academic year.

Other models were: BJ Dyer as a sinister character from “Dracula,” Judi Wolf and Carmel Koeltzow from “Pork Pie: A Mythic Jazz Fable,” Jeremy Anderson from “Dirty Story,” Fiona Baldwin from “Sense & Sensibility The Musical,” Murri Bishop from “A Christmas Carol,” Keri Christiansen from “Scapin or the Con Artist,” Roger Hutson from “A Winter’s Tale,” Sharon Cooper from “Picasso at Lapin Agile,” Terri Fisher from “Room Service,” Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons and Alice Foster from “The Three Musketeers,” Gayle Novak from “Richard III,” Stacy Ohlsson and Jackie Rotole from “Romeo & Juliet,” Loretta Robinson from “1001,” Jamie Angelich from “Twelfth Night” and Robyn Taylor from “The Voysey Inheritance.”

Wolf, the DCPA’s grand dame, choreographed the show and chose the musical accompaniments.

Denver Center  CEO Daniel Ritchie (with emcee Kirk Montgomery of 9News) dresses in drag as part of Theatre Threads. (Photos by Vicki Little)

Denver Center CEO Daniel Ritchie (with emcee Kirk Montgomery of 9News) dresses in drag as part of ‘Theatre Threads’ with the entire cast below. Below that photo is Loretta Robinson as a character from ‘1001.’ Bottom photo: Gayle Novak from ‘Richard III.’ (Photos by Vicki Little)




In other DCPA news …

Matthew Morrison, who plays choir teacher Will Schuester on Fox TV’s hit series “Glee,” is this year’s headliner at “Saturday Night Alive,” the annual big fancy fundraiser.

Although Morrison has received national attention for his role in “Glee,” his acting career blossomed on Broadway with performances in “Footloose,” “Hairspray” and “The Light in the Piazza.”

“Saturday Night Alive” begins at 6 p.m. March 1 in the Seawell Grand Ballroom. Tickets start at $400; proceeds benefit the Arts in Education program. More information: 303-446-4815 or at www.denvercenter.org.

Matthew Morrison will perform at 'SAturday Night Alive, a fund raiser for on MArch 1, 2014. (Photo courtesy of matthewmorrison.com)

Matthew Morrison will perform at Saturday Night Alive, a fundraiser for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts on March 1, 2014. (Photo courtesy of matthewmorrison.com)


Fish tales

If you order fish at a local restaurant or pick up some DIY fish filets or shellfish at a specialty grocer, it’s likely that the source is Seattle Fish Company, the 95-plus-year-old distributor based in Denver. Seattle Fish supplies the lion’s share of swimmers (roughly 80 percent) from a variety of species to the Colorado market.

On Monday, Seattle Fish held its inaugural tasting and seminar in its SFC Educational Series, a media focused program designed to provide a better understanding of the seafood industry. Monday’s topic was “The state of the seafood industry, and what does that mean for the future?”

Featured seafood was “discards, underutilized seafood and trash fish.” Chef/owner of Il Posto (2011 17th Ave.) Andrea Frizzi bravely went where most chefs dare not tread – into the world of fish that rarely earn a spot on local menus. Dishes sampled included blue fish crudo (Italian ceviche), mackerel crudo, spot fish and porgy.

Seattle Fish chief operating officer Derek Figueroa “schooled” us on aquaculture or farm raised fish vs. wild catch, which uses different hooks and targets specific species. Whereas 2011  fish “scale” statistics in terms of the farm-raised vs. wild fish supply showed roughly two-thirds farm-raised fish to one-third captured in the wild, by 2030, indicators are that the two methods of harvesting fish – farm-raised and wild – will be nearly equal.

Frizzi said he’s not above serving “discard fish” on his menu, which changes almost daily. The chef is most concerned over what’s fresh.

“Andrea goes out on a ledge and plays with a variety of fish,” Figueroa said. “We’re going to make ‘discards’ sexy.” And Frizzi delivered. In addition to the two crudo dishes, we sampled (cooked) porgy with sweet potato soup and (cooked) spot fish with baby carrots, hearts of palm and cipollini onions.

“I’m a fly fisherman – catch and release,” Frizzi said. “I want to make my resources stay that way.” For more information on sustainable species, go to www.sustainablefish.org.

Que paso?

Restaurant mogul Richard Sandoval isn’t one to let cilantro grow under his feet. If a concept isn’t working, he’s willing to throw out el bebe con el agua de bano (the baby with the bath water).

Hence the upcoming reincarnation of the al Lado space at 1610 Little Raven, right around the corner from Sandoval’s successful Zengo restaurant.

Al Lado, a small plates and multiple wines by the glass concept, will close on Saturday for a remodel and re-concepting into La Biblioteca (the library), a tequila library and lounge modeled after Sandoval’s spot by the same name in New York City.

La Biblioteca will serve an extensive collection of Sandoval’s hand-chosen tequilas, some of which are aged up to 250 years. Patrons will “check out” bottles of tequila instead of books and store their selections in a personal locker to sip upon their return. The new casual concept will be a more affordable sibling to Zengo and the menu will feature Latin American and Asian inspired dishes ranging from sushi and wok creations to ceviche and tacos.

Interior changes will include the installation of tequila lockers along the walls, more comfortable furniture, marble-topped tables and more.  And in the spring the space will expand with a new patio.

Boffo burger

Zagat.com food folks included the buffalo burger at Denver’s CityGrille (321. E. Colfax Ave.) in its piece called “50 States, 50 Burgers” currently posted on www.zagat.com.

The best-burger story includes the kind of meat or meat substitute Americans like for the burgers, what kind of roll, favorite condiments and where the best burgers can be found, first posted by Culinary Colorado (http://culinary-colorado.com/2013/10/23/city-grille-tops-zagats-denver-burger-list/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+culinary-colorado+%28CulinaryColorado%29).

Here’s what Zagat said:

“In a state known for buffalo and burger lovers who crave bison over beef, it’s only fitting that the Buffalo Burger is a favorite of the Centennial State. Bison, or American buffalo, is often leaner, less fatty and some say sweeter — though many also claim the taste isn’t much different from a beef burger. Over at local favorite CityGrille in Denver, they serve up a hefty buffalo burger: a half-pound patty, charbroiled to perfection. Much praised, the healthy low-fat, low-cholesterol burger can be topped with a variety of cheeses, a fried egg or guacamole.”

For my money, the bun also deserves a nod for its toothsome texture which holds up to a dripping burger without disintegrating under the weight of the patty, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. CityGrille has been a favorite of the On the Town family for years. Check out the menu at www.citygrille.com.

The seen
Rocker Joe Cocker (who’s lived in Colorado for 20 years) dining at The Oceanaire Seafood Room on Wednesday. My spy tells me that Cocker, who recently returned from a summer-long 46-city European tour, enjoyed fish and chips English style.

Eavesdropping a man talking to a woman about “The Book of Mormon” at “Theatre Threads:” “The first time through, it’s crazy. It’s like signing up for Obamacare.”

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. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Want artisan shops and restaurants under one historic roof? Go to The Source

October 21, 2013

If you’re looking for a fine food shopping and dining experience under one roof, check out The Source, a recently opened “new generation artisan food market” in an 1880s iron foundry building at 3350 Brighton Blvd. in the RiNo neighborhood.

The Colorado Tourism Office held a media reception in the industrial building appointed with metal bars, corrugated store fronts and concrete floors last week. The spectacular site is quite the spectacle planted in this burgeoning neighborhood north of Coors Field.

CTO guests sipped on specialty cocktails concocted by bartenders at CapRock Farm Bar, the wall-less fixture in the center of the building, and snacked on delicioso bites from Comida, serving house-made Mexican street food, and Acorn, the fine dining restaurant from the folks who brought you Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, which burned to the ground and rose again like a Phoenix.

The complex also houses specialty shops including the soon-to-open Proper Pour liquor store and bartenders’ supply source; Mondo Food, a gourmet cheese and spice shop; Babette’s, a French bakery; Crooked Stave, a craft brewery and tap room; Boxcar Coffee Roasters coffee shop, a whole animal butchery with a meat counter; a produce vendor; florist; bank and design studio.

The project is the brainchild of real estate developer Zeppelin Development Inc., builders of the TAXI mixed-use site on 20 acres of former industrial land off Brighton Boulevard just southwest of The Source.

Zeppelin’s principals are longtime Denver developer Mickey Zeppelin and his son, Kyle.

“(The Source) is a new generation urban market,” Kyle told the gathering. “We made the mistake of walking into this place three years ago (and decided to develop it).”

But in addition to ogling RiNo’s newest digs, we were there to listen to tourism touter Al White, the former state senator turned CTO director. White takes every opportunity to preach the Colorado tourism gospel.

“Colorado tourism is vital to the state’s economy … duh!” White said, preaching to the choir.

(Photos by Adam Larkey)

(Photos by Adam Larkey)



The incredible shrinking anchor

Have you seen 9News entertainment anchor Kirk Montgomery lately? Rather, have you seen what’s left of him? His cheeks are no longer “cherubbed,” and his torso is oh so trim.

I caught his act last week, and couldn’t help asking Montgomery the secret to his slimmed-down success.

“I downloaded a free app (My Plate from www.livestrong.com) and I’ve been counting calories,” he told me. “I input the good the bad and the ugly – and just getting into the habit of doing that was an eye opener. I’ve tried to stay around 1,500 (calories consumed) a day. Some days are lower, some higher, but I’ve lost weight before – the goal this time is to keep it off.

“Lots of people have noticed, which is flattering, but again the pressure is keeping it off … honestly I really think the habit of inputting and keeping track of everything is what has made the biggest difference.”

Kirk, you’ve got it, now flaunt it! Congrats on the weight-loss accomplishment that many of us seek.

A slimmer Kirk Montgomery, thanks to healthy regimen. (9News photo)

Kirk Montgomery thanks a healthy regimen for his slimmer look. (9News photo)


Lakewood gets new nod

Livability.com named Lakewood as one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in its inaugural ranking released Friday, according to the City of Lakewood’s weekly e-newsletter.

“The list was created in partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute, the world’s leading think tank on the role of location, place and city-regions in global economic prosperity. The list was produced after studying U.S. cities and factors that make them the best places to live, work and play.”

“The list is based on what Americans value most in their communities,” the website said. Factors included in the Top 100 ranking included good schools, hospitals, amenities, affordability and the local economy. Read more at http://livability.com.

Possessed Palace

The “spooky” Brown Palace Hotel and Spa is hosting its first Haunted Happy Hour to honor all things that go bump in the night on Oct. 25. The eerie evening is being led by the property’s historian, Debra Faulkner.

“I’m looking forward to sharing all of the stories and sightings with guests,” Faulkner said. “There are many cases of unexplained phenomena that have taken place in these walls. I believe there are multiple spirits (or past guests) that enjoyed the hotel so much they weren’t willing to check out. The upcoming Halloween season is the perfect time to celebrate just that.”

The Spirited Weekend package includes:

*  A “haunted” reception with Halloween-inspired hors d’oeuvres and handcrafted cocktails.

* Exhibition of The Brown’s reported sightings and captured phenomena.

* Private guided tour through the hotel’s most popular spirited spot with The Brown Palace Historian.

* An evening stay at The Brown.

Pricing begins at $239 for single occupancy. For reservations, go to www.brownpalace.com or call 303-297-3111.

Boffo boutiques

A Line Boutique in Greenwood Village’s Landmark development, Perch in Vail and Max in Cherry Creek North were named “Lucky Magazine’s” favorite stores in Colorado in the current issue.

Lucky Magazine’s Ultimate Guide to Personal Style is on newsstands now. All three boutiques were chosen for exceptional customer service, fashion forward clothing and accessories and for creating an intimate shopping experience. The story isn’t online yet, but you can keep checking at www.luckymag.com.

College daze

Quick, where did you and your cohorts go to satisfy food cravings when you were in an altered state in college?

Everyone had the go-to spot during periods of questionable late-night judgment when alcohol was the boss of you. Thrillist (www.thrillist.com), the snarky website that tracks food and drink trends and reports them in young-adult speak, has compiled a list of The Best College Drunk Foods at the 25 Best Party Schools in a story posted Sunday.

And CU Boulder should be so proud to be included on that list. Here’s what Thrillist had to say about Cosmo’s Pizza, its top CU drunk food pick:

“Slices bigger than your head even if you’re some freak with a really huge head are the featured item at this joint in the little drunk/hungover-person Nirvana of a shopping center that also has Dot’s Diner. Really super-stoned people — not just drunks line up for slices that are basically just vehicles for the spicy ranch, which is also sold by the mason jar if you need to get your severe acid reflux on at home, too.

“Runners-Up: Tra Ling’s Oriental Cafe, Smelly Deli (University Hill Market & Deli).”

See the whole list at http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/best-college-drunk-food?utm_content=feature&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Thrillist%20Weekender&utm_campaign=10.20.13%20WKNDR:%20The%20best%20college%20drunk%20foods%20at%20the%2025%20best%20party%20schools.

Cosmo's Pizza in Boulder.

Cosmo’s Pizza in Boulder.


Eavesdropping on a man talking about his recent Frontier Airlines flight: “I’m doing my best but OMG the passengers on Frontier are not the same you’ll find on a premier airline. People getting up when the seat belt sign is on, walking around, kids crying. And the flight attendants trying to hock the Frontier credit card and drink purchases … Thank God I could pee for free.”

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. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Successful video helps Lakewood High ‘Roar’ to Oct. 25 Katy Perry concert at the school

October 18, 2013

Congrats to Lakewood High School for winning the “Good Morning America” contest to have Katy Perry perform a song at their high school!

More than 2,000 Lakewood High students lip-synched to Perry’s hit song, “Roar,” as part of the school’s video entry.

Perry announced the winner on “Good Morning America” Friday morning.

“For me Lakewood really embodied a whole school spirit. You saw so many different people coming together to do one shot,” Perry said Friday. “It was so interesting and so well done.”

Amazingly, the video was shot in one take and has been viewed on Vimeo more than 564,000 times and earned 246,000 views on YouTube. 7News first reported the news.

Perry will perform at Lakewood High  — the home of the Tigers (how’s that for some cosmic karma!) — on Friday, Oct. 25 and will be broadcast on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Proceeds from the concert reportedly will go to the Colorado flood relief effort.

Check out the video at http://vimeo.com/75058173.

Katy Perry is coming to Lakewood High School for a concert at the school on Friday, Oct. 25. (Photo courtesy of katyperry.com)


Plante’s pregnant pause drama

Media madness or a pregnant pause, perhaps?

Was KOSI radio/9News’ personality Denise Plante pulling a prank on thousands of Facebook friends when she posted a picture of a pregnancy stick she allegedly peed on Wednesday?

She let the drama play out as she posted evolving pictures of the stick as it was turning positive or negative. She even snagged 9News medical expert Dr. John Torres to witness the gag.

“Am I pregnant?  We will soon find out,  Dr. John Torres from @9News is in the house!” Plante posted. The plot thickened with pictures of the stick as it revealed her pregnancy status.

And when the “results” were in?

“Turns out, I’m just a moody momma. Not pregos  … good news for (husband) Michael Plante.”

On the serious side, Plante, co-DJ of KOSI’s morning show and host of “Colorado & Company,” said she thought at one point that the pregnancy was possible.

“I called Dr. John Torres … to ask if it’s possible after tubes tied over 10 years ago, and he said, ‘Yes,’ so (I) decided to do the test. He comes in every Wednesday so he said he would bring the test. It turned out that hormones are wacky at 41.”

Denver radio and TV personality Denise Plante had a 'false alarm' when she took a pregnancy test that proved negative. (9News photo)

Denver radio and TV personality Denise Plante had a ‘false alarm’ when she took a pregnancy test that proved negative. (9News photo)


Tamburello honored for philanthropy

More than 100 community do-gooders (thank goodness for them) gathered at EXDO Event Center Tuesday to bestow Highland developer and philanthropist Paul Tamburello with the Georgia R. Imhoff Philanthropist Award, which recognizes an individual who has given back.

Imhoff was the co-founder, with Blacktie owner Kenton Kuhn, of blacktie-colorado.com, the online resource for local charities. Blacktie has been around for 12 years and has profiled more than 350 leaders in the Colorado philanthropic community in its “Have You Met?” column.

More than 100 of those philanthropy superstars gathered to mingle, munch and pay tribute to Tamburello, the force behind Little Man Ice Cream, Linger, Root Down and Lo-Hi.

“Every two years, we throw a party to honor all the people that we’ve interviewed for our Have You Met column,” Kuhn said. “It’s always a great party and a fun event that celebrates the philanthropic community.”

Strings restrung

I’ve been back to Strings once since owner Noel Cunningham died. Since his wife, Tammy, opted to close the place (running a restaurant is not her thing) the building on 17th Avenue and Humboldt had stood like a monument to a time when the restaurant was frequented by celebrities from stage and screen, along with loyal locals.

When it was announced that there would be new life stirring in that space with the occupation of Humboldt Farm. Fish. Wine, a Rock Bottom founder Frank Day project, I, for one, was happy to hear of the rebirth.

Humboldt opened about a week ago under the leadership of Concept Restaurants.

“From the instant our guests walk in and have that ‘wow moment’ to the time they leave, we want to make sure their experience here is spectacular and memorable,” said Concepts designer Dianna Lynn. “Whether you are on top of the Denver foodie scene or visiting Humboldt for the first time and looking for an amazing dining experience, we are a welcoming place for everyone.”

The remodeled restaurant features an oyster bar and open kitchen. The kitchen team of executive chef DJ Nagel and chef D cuisine Kollin Gately collaborated on a menu featuring reinterpreted classics as well as seasonal and modern cuisine.

Humboldt is open daily from 11:30 a.m. Weekend brunch starts at the end of October. For more information, go to www.humboldtrestaurant.com or call 303-813-1700.

People’s court

The world-famous Harlem Globetrotters will take fan interaction up a notch when the 2014 Fans Rule World Tour comes to the Pepsi Center at 2 p.m. March 30.

Through online voting at www.harlemglobetrotters.com/rule, fans can choose which new game-changing rules they want to see when the creative b-ballers come to our court.

The 2014 online ballot includes three never-before-seen rules:

* Hot Hand Jersey – both teams will have a “Hot Hand Jersey” they can pass among each other. The player wearing this jersey will receive double points on make baskets.

* Make or Miss – The quarter begins with only two players on the court from each team. When a team scores, a teammate may enter the game. When they miss, the player missing the shot must leave the court.

* Trick Shot Challenge – Using three challenge flags per team, each coach can challenge the other team to make a trick shot. If the team makes the shot, they earn five points. If they miss, the other team receives five points.

Tickets start at $19, and are available at www.harlemglobetrotters.com, www.tickethorse.com, the Pepsi Center box office or by phone at 866-461-6556.

Big Easy and the Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Pepsi Center with some new 'rules.' In this photo, Big Easy clowns with 'Modern Family' actor Rico Rodriguez. Big Easy and his fellow Globetrotter, Flight Time Lang, competed on the CBS reality series, 'The Amazing Race.' (Harlem Globetrotters photo)

Big Easy and the Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Pepsi Center in March with some new ‘rules.’ In this photo, Big Easy clowns with ‘Modern Family’ actor Rico Rodriguez. Big Easy and his fellow Globetrotter, Flight Time Lang, competed on the CBS reality series, ‘The Amazing Race.’ (Harlem Globetrotters photo)


Lottery line

Although the second Denver run of “The Book of Mormon” is not sold out, a limited number of tickets for each performance (Oct. 22-Nov. 24) will be sold through the luck of the lottery.

Entries will be accepted at the box office beginning 2 1/2 hours before each performance. Each person will print his or her name and number of tickets (one or two) they wish to purchase. Two hours before curtain, names will be drawn at random for a limited number of tickets priced at $25 each.

Winners must be present at the time of the drawing and show valid ID. Limit one entry per person and two tickets per winner.

Additional tickets for the hit musical start a $40 by calling Denver Center ticket services at 303-893-4100, at the Denver Center ticket office or at www.denvercenter.org.

“The Book of Mormon” features story, music and lyrics by Colorado natives Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame, along with Robert Lopez.

Oy vey, Ho Mei

A Denver restaurant again is being “honored,” but for its bad food.

Yahoo.com’s The Daily Meal announces its 101 Best Restaurants in America. Monday, the Daily Meal revealed its five worst eateries and one Denver restaurant – Ho Mei Chinese – made the list.

Ho Mei has two Denver locations – 3740 Peoria St. and 3260 Colorado Blvd. – so maybe it should be a “double dishonor” on the list?

Here’s what Yahoo wrote about Ho Mei, which ranked third worst:

“Ho Mei must translate to the Yiddish ‘Oy Vey’ or more poignantly, ‘Viscous Mush,’ wrote one Yelp reviewer of this questionable Denver Chinese restaurant. ‘FLEE!,’ chimed in another reviewer; ‘AVOID,’ another. ‘The sesame chicken was hard as a rock and tasted like nothing I could identify,’ another wrote. ‘The place is dirty. I shudder to imagine what the kitchen looks like. Save your money. Go lick a bus seat to get the same gastrointestinal experience for free.’ And in 2012, they racked up $7,000 in health code violation fines. Yikes.”

Here’s the entire Yahoo “bottom” five: http://shine.yahoo.com/shine-food/worst-restaurants-america-153400509.html

Eavesdropping on a woman: “There’s no divorce in this family, only death.”

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. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: NFL catches flak from Broncos fans over Joe Flacco banners

August 28, 2013

The giant Joe Flacco photo hanging outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High (next to Peyton Manning‘s same-size photo) is creating a load of flak in Broncos Country.

What’s worse is that the Baltimore Ravens quarterback’s mug decorates much of downtown on banners that seem to be reproducing like rabbits. Make it stop, say fans on various websites and Facebook pages.

Flacco’s name and image are still sensitive subjects since the 2012 Super Bowl winners booted the Broncos out of the running when the Ravens beat the Broncos in double overtime during the playoffs last season. Flacco’s “Mile High Miracle” pass in the waning seconds of regulation sent the game into overtime. It still hurts.

But the agreement to plaster Flacco’s face all over the Mile High City was sealed between the NFL and the Broncos when the pro football honchos offered our city the coveted NFL season opener.

“The NFL equally promotes both teams as part of its annual Kickoff Game, and we are working closely with the league regarding our compliance to NFL guidelines for exterior signage and other promotional efforts for the game,” said Patrick Smyth, the Broncos executive director of media relations. “This is why fans may notice some promotional art outside Sports Authority Field at Mile High and around town that features both teams.”

That explanation is of little comfort to fans outraged by what they deem a “desecration” of our football field and downtown.

They took out their frustrations Tuesday all over websites, social media and on sports radio shows. One frustrated fan went so far as to craft a petition to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The petition was posted on Sports Illustrated Audibles:  http://nfl.si.com/2013/08/27/joe-flacco-banner-mile-high-denver-broncos/. It reads:

To: Roger Goodell, @nflcommish, National Football League

Take the Joe Flacco signage off my Mile High Stadium! Broncos Nation will not endure this detestable and audacious act. Who in their right mind thought that we would just let this fly?! We stand united against your unbearable Joe Flacco signage.

Sincerely, [Your name]

CBS4 sports anchor Vic Lombardi, a Denver-area native, went berserk, and crossed the line between objective reporting and acting on his passion for his hometown team. Lombardi was recorded on www.tout.com (ever heard of it?) vandalizing Flacco banners along the 16th Street Mall (http://www.tout.com/m/v3kkob?ref=tw3dl5di).

He used a Sharpie to draw mustaches on Flacco’s face, and then resorted to masking tape plastered across the offending banners.

“If you’re a Denver native, this is a crock of crap,” Lombardi told former Bronco Alfred “Big Al” Williams and Darren “D-Mac” McKee on The Drive radio show Tuesday afternoon on 104.3 The Fan. “The NFL is pushing us around. The mayor (Michael Hancock) is a big Broncos fan. He can’t be happy about this … come on!”

Lombardi’s boss, CBS4 news director Tim Wieland, said he was well aware of the sports anchor’s antics through posts on Twitter.

“If you know Vic, you know that he likes to get involved in the reporting,” Wieland said. “In this case, Vic’s intent was to have a little fun with a subject that’s clearly irritating to many Broncos fans.” But condoning vandalism? Really?

Even “Big Al” Williams couldn’t get on board with Lombardi’s actions.

“This is a bunch of nothing,” Williams said. “That stadium will be filled with 85 percent Broncos fans.” NBC is televising the season opener at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 5 on 9News.

The Joe Flacco banner at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is drawing the ire of Broncos fans. (Sports Authority Field photo)

The Joe Flacco banner at Sports Authority Field at Mile High is drawing the ire of Broncos fans. (Sports Authority Field photo)


Fossil Trace GC gets top 10 nod in Forbes

Fossil Trace Golf Course in Golden is listed among the “10 most unusual U.S. golf courses,” according to “Forbes” magazine contributor Larry Olmsted.

The writer raves about course designer Jim Engh, calling him “one of my favorite golf architects and way underrated by the general public, though the industry holds him in high acclaim.”

Olmstead also notes Fossil Creek’s preservation of rustic mining equipment and the history lesson the course provides with prehistoric dinosaur tracks through holes 11 to 15 left some 64 million years ago. “Triceratops footprints have been well-marked next to the 12th green so golfers can take a look, and more fossils, plaster footprint casts, and ancient history are in the clubhouse,” Olmstead notes.

He forgets the great views the course offers from every direction, especially from holes No. 1 and 10, and the commune next to the 16th tee box.

Read about all 10 courses and Fossil Trace here.

The approach to No. 12 at Fossil Trace Golf Course with an old mining crane in the background. (Fossil Trace photo)

The approach to No. 12 at Fossil Trace Golf Course with an old mining crane in the background. (Fossil Trace photo)


PGA Tour is on the (golf) ball

The PGA Tour is not run by a slew of stooges.

Witness the television commercial already out touting the 2014 BMW Championships, part of the FedEx Cup playoff tournament series that will be played at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village.

The advertisement features four of Denver’s best-known sports figures, from the Broncos: John Elway, Peyton Manning and John Lynch and ex-Denver Nuggets star Chauncey Billups (now with the Detroit Pistons but a Denver resident and native).

So Todd Helton and Joe Sakic are chopped liver?

The BMW Championship is the next to the last tournament of the FedEx Cup series that narrows the field to the final 30 that play at The TOUR Championship the following week. Next year’s BMW Championship will be played Sept. 4-7 at Cherry Hills. Tickets are already available online for the 2014 BMW Championship.

Check out the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEeVNzcrYZU.

Steuben’s has something to crow about

Steuben’s, the feel-good restaurant at 523 E. 17th Ave., was recently selected as one of America’s best chicken and waffles spot by Travel + Leisure magazine.

“Despite being mile-high, there’s a down-home essence at Steuben’s, from the old diner décor to the super-friendly staff,” the article says. “And chicken and waffles don’t get more classic than chef Brandon Biederman’s version. The meat is brined in buttermilk and seasoning for a day, then dredged in seasoned flour and fried to order. The waffles are traditional Belgian, served with a red-eye gravy made from Jim Beam bourbon, coffee and bacon. Afterward, waddle next door to sister restaurant Ace, with plenty of Ping-Pong tables.”

Check out the story at http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-chicken-and-waffles/7.

Now for the rest of the story: Steuben’s only serves the chicken and waffles for brunch on Saturday and Sunday and as the Sunday dinner special. You can order Steuben’s popular fried chicken (with mashed potatoes gravy and a biscuit) any day of the week.

Another 9th Door

The Beauvallon building on Ninth and Lincoln has been a revolving door for restaurants since it opened. But that doesn’t seem to bother Bill Kennedy, owner of The 9th Door, 1808 Blake St., who will open another outpost in the eatery-challenged building.

The Spanish tapas restaurant is slated to open in October, according to a story on Westword.com. Check out the details:


Eavesdropping on a woman discussing the Flacco banners: “What if the Yankees put up a 40- foot picture of Big Papi (Red Sox slugger David Ortiz)? That would never happen.”

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. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: Cat scratch fever heats up charity gala and auction

June 29, 2012

Cat lovers can grab a kitty by the tail during Tails of the Painted Cats 2012, an auction and purr-fect dinner and gala July 28 at Lakewood Country Club to benefit the Cat Care Society.

The pretty kitties, created by juried artists, are on display at various galleries and businesses in the Tennyson Street Cultural District during July.

Event emcee is Ed Greene, CBS4 weather whiz. Auctioneers are Warren and Terri Smith of Two for the Show Auctions. Individual tickets for the gala are $75. air jordan 3 New this year is a $100 patron ticket to a private VIP meet and greet prior to the dinner where Greene will sign the 2013 “weather cat” painted cat.

The silent auction at the gala will include a Tower of Wine with 36 bottles (including pricey French labels and Marilyn Merlots) that attendees can bid on in addition to the Painted Cats.

Check out the Painted Cats online at: http://www.catcaresociety.org/paintedcats.html, and bid in advance at http://bidonacat.blogspot.com.

Tickets for the July 28 gala dinner and auction are available at:https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e5rymoroc74ec81a&oseq or call 303-239-9680, ext. 19.

Relief for fire victims

The Salvation Army will collect cash, check, credit card and gift card donations for Colorado fire relief efforts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Peet’s Tea & Coffee inside the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 16th Street and Court Place.

Denver’s the Curtis – a Doubletree by Hilton will hold a lemonade stand from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday to raise money for the Mile High Red Cross to help support the victims of the wildfires currently raging throughout Colorado.

Hotel guests and the general public are invited to stop by the Curtis, at 1405 Curtis St., and cool off with a large lemonade (with or without vodka) in exchange for a donation to the Mile High Red Cross.

“These fires impact all  of us because we all love living in Colorado and understand what an amazing place it is,” said the Curtis general manager JoAnn Elston. “We hope that the community comes out to help us raise money for our fellow Coloradans, many of whom have lost so much.”

Not camera shy

9News reporter and anchor Kirk Montgomery may be better known for his dishy celebrity gossip than for being a shutterbug, but the camera kid is July’s featured artist at Sketch Food & Wine, 11 West First Ave., Denver.

The exhibit’s opening night party is at 7 p.m. July 10 with a suggested $10 donation at the door to benefit the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Foundation. Each donor will receive a complimentary glass of Sketch’s own Patria Rosso red wine.

Montgomery’s photography exhibit, Urban Life: Not just a place – an attitude,  will be on display and available for purchase till the end of July. The downtown Denver dweller describes his work as “Denver…like you’ve never seen it. Gritty. Urban. Abstract. Home.”

Follow the beat to Coohill’s Beats on the Creek

Coohills, one of Denver’s hottest new restaurants, air jordan 4 is hosting Coohills’ Beats on the Creek Tuesday Summer Concert Series starting July 10 with ’80s cover band The Asteroids.

Doors open at 5; music from 6 to 8:15 p.m. The concert is free; food, wine and cocktails will be available for purchase on the bridge. More information: coohills.com, www.facebook.com/coohillsbeatsonthecreek or e-mail events@coohills.com or call 303-623-5700. Proceeds benefit The Greenway Foundation.

Coohills is at 1400 Wewatta.

Eavesdropping on two women at Elway’s concert on the patio series: “I just saw your friend who drives me crazy.”

“Is there only one?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” debuting 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: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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