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KBCO’s annual charity CD sure to sell out in one day, here’s where to get it

November 19, 2013

Twenty-five years of in-studio performances will be celebrated with 18 new songs from the KBCO Studio C vault, which will be released on its annual charity CD beginning at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 at all seven Paul’s TV locations inside Furniture Row and Denver Mattress in Boulder.

The CD features music recorded live on the radio from the Boulder/Denver radio station’s performance studio, KBCO Studio C.  97.3 KBCO has hosted thousands of intimate KBCO Studio C sessions with artists and bands from all over the world for 25 years.

The KBCO Studio C 25th Anniversary CD will feature performances as far back as 1994 with the Dave Matthews Band along with songs recorded over the last year from artists like Imagine Dragons, Phoenix, Capital Cities and Phillip Phillips. The CD will benefit the Boulder County AIDS Project and Food Bank of the Rockies.

Because of high demand, there will be a limit of two CDs per person and the collection will be sold for $12 each.  Traditionally the annual CD release sells out in less than a day, with avid KBCO Studio C fans lining up before sunrise to get their copies of the coveted charity disc.

A complete list of Paul’s TV locations and all additional details are available by visiting www.kbco.com.

kbco studio c 25th anniversary CD

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver re-earns AAA Five-Diamond ranking

October 23, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver has achieved what no other Denver hotel has earned, and it did it four years in a row.

Hotel general manager Steven Janicek announced Tuesday that the ritzy hotel has been awarded the coveted AAA Five-Diamond designation for 2013, the only Denver hotel in history to be awarded this rating.

The property located at 1881 Curtis St. downtown is among fewer than one-half percent of the 30,000 properties approved by AAA’s professional inspectors to be of Five-Diamond caliber. The Ritz-Carlton Denver boasts the largest guest rooms in the city starting at 540 square feet, Elway’s Downtown steak house, an urban oasis at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and the intimate Ritz-Carlton Club Level.

“I am extremely proud of our hotel’s achievement which could not happen without the genuine, personalized care our ladies and gentlemen provide to our guests every single day,” Janicek said. “By enlivening The Ritz-Carlton service philosophy at every interaction, maintaining this coveted rating was possible.”

The AAA Diamond rating process is considered to be North America’s premier hotel rating program. Only .3 percent of all hotels AAA inspects meet industry standards to achieve Five Diamonds. The association annually evaluates more than 54 million lodging establishments and restaurants, and rates them on a scale of one to five Diamonds.

“Five Diamonds for four years from AAA adds up to some very nice numbers for Denver and a great honor for the city’s hospitality industry,” said Visit Denver spokesmodel Rich Grant.

The Ritz first earned the distinguished distinction four years ago under the helm of then-GM Andrew Rogers, who transferred with the hotel chain to China.

(Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver photos)

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver offers great views of downtown and Elway’s Downtown (below) provides premier dining options at the hotel at 1881 Curtis St. THe hotel earned its fourth consecutive AAA Five-Diamond rating. (Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver photos)Ritz_Denver_Elways


Hot hotels

Colorado hotels nearly swept Conde Nast Traveler’s 26th annual Readers’ Choice Poll this year. With the exception of two picks in Utah, Colorado’s homes away from home took the rest of the top 10 spots.

Nearly 80,000 readers participated in the 26th annual Readers’ Choice survey, which ranks the world’s best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and resorts and is featured in the November issue of the magazine.

Here are the rankings:

  • 1. Beaumont Hotel & Spa, Ouray
  • 2. Oxford Hotel, Denver
  • 3. Hotel Teatro, Denver
  • 4. St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder
  • 5. Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City
  • 6. Four Seasons Hotel Denver
  • 7. Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Denver
  • 8. Ritz-Carlton, Denver
  • 9. Hotel Monaco Denver
  • 10. Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

See the whole story at http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/united-states/best-hotels-west.

Boulder’s Best Western wins best

The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn received the Champion Best Western Rewards Award and the Best Western Green Award at Best Western International’s Convention held recently in San Antonio, Texas.  The awards were presented in front of more than 4,000 industry peers.

The Champion Best Western Rewards Award is bestowed upon those member properties that demonstrate extraordinary support of Best Western Rewards, Best Western’s guest loyalty program. The Best Western Green Award is given to properties that demonstrate a commitment to sustaining resources and reducing their carbon footprint. Hotels must also meet design and customer care standards, as well as other membership requirements, to qualify.

The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn is one of only five hotels out of more than 2,400 properties in the U.S. and Canada to receive both of these awards.

“The Best Western Champion Awards recognize those Best Western hotels that demonstrate the highest levels of service, design and commitment to our loyalty program,” said Julie Montmaneix, Chairman of Best Western International’s board of directors. “The staff of the Best Western Plus Boulder Inn has a strong commitment to growing and strengthening our loyalty program, a critical guest engagement tool. And their dedication to environmentally-friendly practices is truly admirable. We’re proud of their success.”

Located directly across from the University of Colorado, the newly remodeled Best Western Plus Boulder Inn features 98 rooms, conference facilities, a large outdoor pool and complimentary bicycles. More information: http://www.hotels.com/ho176607/best-western-plus-boulder-inn-boulder-united-states/?gclid=COrR88ykq7oCFclDMgodLlMAYQ.

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn was named the top Best Western in the U.S. (Best Western photo)

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn won two awards during a recent convention of the hotel chain in San Antonio, Texas. (Best Western photo)


Clothing connection at ConneXions

The collection of ConneXions stores in the Southwest Plaza Mall at 8501 W. Bowles Ave. in Littleton, is holding a clothing swap party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Time to dig out those fall fashions from the back of your closet and swap them for some new pieces. ConneXions will accept clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry to swap with other thrifty fashionistas.

Each participant should bring five to 10 items to swap, and will receive a ticket for each item they add to the pile. Then, the stores will let you swap till you drop. All items (from any season) should be clean and in good condition.

Drop off your fashions all day on Thursday or between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday. All remaining clothing and accessories will be donated to Dress for Success Denver whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Flood relief funds 

AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Live Nation are bringing Colorado’s music community coming together for “Colorado Rising” a night of music to benefit flood relief through www.LiveUnitedColorado.org.  Presented by 97.3 KBCO and CBS4 Denver, the benefit concert takes place beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday at 1stBank Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, featuring Dave Matthews, The Fray, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, members of The Lumineers, DeVotchKa, Nathaniel Rateliff and more.

“Coloradans unite during crisis – so does the music community,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. “We are thrilled so many musicians are coming together for this flood relief benefit concert. This is a great way to highlight recovery efforts and raise money at the same time. We are grateful AEG Live, Live Nation and other community partners are stepping up to help Colorado communities impacted by the historic flooding.”

“The fans, musicians and members of Colorado’s music community are always willing to help those in need.  My staff and I are humbled to be a part of this event helping those affected by the floods” said Chuck Morris, President and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains.

All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the United Ways of Colorado Flood Recovery Fund, which  will distribute funds to the United Ways in communities across Colorado affected by the recent flooding. Each community will build collaborations to identify their needs and funds will be used to support their long-term recovery.

Tickets at www.TicketHorse.com, or order at 866-461-6556. TicketHorse also has kiosks located at all Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods Stores (credit cards only). Reserved tickets are $65-$125 plus applicable service charges.  All ages are welcome.

With the recent floods impacting communities across Colorado, the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck launched a firm-wide fundraiser to support the victims of the recent disaster with both financial contributions and in-kind goods.

The firm matched employee contributions with more than $15,000 going to the American Red Cross and the Foothills Flood Relief Fund. The in-kind items were donated to the Community Food Share, ensuring that people in Boulder and Broomfield counties have food, and House of Neighborly Service is providing assistance to individuals and families in need in southern Larimer County.

“As a member of this community, there was no question that we were going to help support flood relief efforts,” said Kristin Stork, director of community relations for Brownstein. “Financial and in-kind contributions came in from not only those attorneys and staff in the Denver office, but from our offices across the country.”

Brownstein also plans on organizing a Karma Project (the firm’s employee volunteer program) in 2014 to further assist in rebuilding efforts.

Eavesdropping on a woman to a man: “You drink tequila? What do you drink with your tequila?”


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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Penny Parker On The Town: Jennifer Jasinski jilted from ‘Top Chef Masters’ title, but gave it a good try

September 27, 2013

I have the deepest respect for Denver restaurant owner and super chef Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall) for her stellar performance in Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” which ended sadly not in her favor Wednesday night.

In losing, as part of the final three, she was nothing but gracious, of course. Here’s what James Oseland, editor-in-chief of “Saveur Magazine” had to say about the end results:

“I thought I had a handle on Jennifer’s excellence as a cook, and then during the finale meal, she served us her paella gnocchi. My God, it was the single best dish I ate all season — so perfectly balanced, so beautifully executed, so lovely to look at. Unfortunately, for her chances at winning the season, her other three courses — while very, very good — didn’t come anywhere near the glory of that dish. Still, if we’re handing out prizes for individual plates of food, this one is the season five gold-medal winner.”

Almost more important than Jen actually winning the Top chef title, was that not only did she make a major comeback after being disqualified, but then having a rebirth like a Phoenix by returning to the main show after winning with Euclid Hall chef, Jorel Pierce, who played the role of Jen’s sous chef, a second-chance chance.

Not to be overlooked was her remarkable snaring the most money for her charity: $35,000 for Work Options for Women, a Denver nonprofit that teaches food service skills to women in poverty.

“I have no regrets at all about this experience,” Jasinski said after being defeated by chef Douglas Keane. “Top Chef Masters” win or lose aside, Wednesday was still a good day for the Denver chef. Two of her restaurants, Rioja and Euclid Hall were named among the Top 25 Best Restaurants in the October edition of “5280 Magazine.”

On its fourth year, the “5280” list included Rioja in its first two years, however none of Jasinski’s eateries made the cut last year. Jen, it was a privilege and pleasure to ride along with your journey on the show, and you’re still a Top Chef in Denver!

'Top Chef Masters' winner Douglas Keane, left, with finalists Bryan Voltaggio and Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski. Below, Jasinski's 'borrowed' dish, Chinese  (Bravo TV photos)

‘Top Chef Masters’ winner Douglas Keane, left, with finalists Bryan Voltaggio and Denver chef Jennifer Jasinski. Below, Jasinski’s ‘borrowed’ dish, an ode to her former mentor, Wolfgang Puck. The dish was Chinese duck with shiitake broth, eggplant daikon, grilled bok choy and duck wonton. (Bravo TV photos)

Jasinski dish_borrowed


And speaking of “5280”…

Love it or hate it, the aforementioned best 25 restaurants edition is out. And for the second year in a row (big drum roll) Frasca Food and Wine, the much lauded Boulder eatery co-owned by chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and master sommelier/co-owner Bobby Stuckey scored the No. 1 position on the list.

Other eateries worth noting were Cholon Modern Asian Bistro at Nov. 2 (love!); perennial Japanese favorite Sushi Den at No. 3, Mizuna (chef/owner Frank Bonanno has the golden touch) at No. 4 and relative newbie Bittersweet at No. 5.

Also worth  your dining dollars and were included in the top 25, were Fruition restaurant (to die for) at No. 7, Luca D’Italia (another Bonnano concept at No. 8) and my latest fave rave Old Major where chef/owner Justin Bronson gets jiggy with his knives to create “nose to tail” cuisine.

Another Boulder best 

The University of Colorado-Boulder is back in the top 10. No, not its football program, but on Playboy magazine’s top 10 party schools.

CU ranked third in Playboy’s 2013 list released in the October issue. West Virginia University topped the list, followed by the University of Wisconsin.

CU topped the list in 2011 and has been a regular in Playboy’s poll, which began as the top 40 party colleges in 1987. CU did not make the list a year ago.

This year’s list was determined by “Playboy’s” editors who used data from resources including the National Center for Education Statistics, the NCAA, and the US Economic Census, as well as feedback from Playboy’s more than 12 million social media fans.

The 2012 top party school, University of Virginia, failed to make the 2013 list.

Here’s the complete list:

1. West Virginia University
2. University of Wisconsin
3. University of Colorado
4. University of Southern California
5. Florida State University
6. University of Texas
7. Louisiana State University
8. University of Georgia
9. Arizona State University
10. University of Maryland

The October 2013 Playboy magazine cover.

The October 2013 Playboy magazine cover.


Anchor woman

Kim Posey, who has been filling in as a morning co-anchor on KWGN-Channel 2’s “Daybreak,” has been named to the position permanently.

Posey has been a reporter and weekend news anchor at KDVR-Channel 31 since 2000, when the Fox station launched its news programming.

Posey replaces Natalie Tysdal, who left in May. Posey will join longtime “Daybreak” anchor Tom Green on the Channel 2 morning show that airs from 5-9 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Posey will continue some news reporting duties for KDVR and KWGN, which shares news staff.

Kim Posey was named the permanent "Daybreak" morning co-anchor on KWGN-Channel 2.

Kim Posey was named the permanent “Daybreak” morning co-anchor on KWGN-Channel 2.


Love story

Bride to be Lori Paladino Jones posted this thank-you note on the Hyatt Regency Denver at Convention Center’s Facebook timeline:

“Our wedding was saved on Saturday September 14 by Hyatt Regency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center and several strangers,  who willingly dropped everything to help us out. It all started last Thursday when our caterer, on one of the only communications we could get from Estes Park said, ‘I don’t think we can do your event Friday, as I don’t think we can get product to Estes to cook. We’ll do what we can, but it really doesn’t look good. With over 150 wedding guests who had flown in from all over the country we started to panic. Friday morning came, and with it, the teary reality that Estes Park was not to be. Kelly and I simply weren’t going to let a little hundred year type rain stand in our way. Friday morning, 9:30 a.m. phone call from my aunt who was staying at the Hyatt Regency Denver at the Convention Center telling us to get over there ASAP.

“By noon that Friday with the help of a lot of very special people, who were strangers to us, we had a plan B. Very Special Thanks goes out to the people at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Denver! Thank you so much Kris Randall, Lauren Kirkpatrick, Laura Johnson, Eric Leclair and the countless other staff member who worked tirelessly to make our wedding happen.”

Mediabistro.com first reported the announcement.

Eavesdropping on a woman watching “Top Chef Masters”: “Chef Jen got robbed!”

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: Mizel’s daughter promoting new film, ‘Jewtopia,’ coming to a theater near you Friday

September 20, 2013

Denver bigwig and deep-pocket giver Larry Mizel is proud to announce that “Jewtopia,” a movie written by daughter Courtney Mizel, is coming to theaters today.

If you are thinking about a date-night with your significant other, this is the one to see, so I’m told.

Here’s the email Courtney sent about her project:

“Dear friends,

“As many of you know, I have spent the past couple of years working on ‘Jewtopia.’ First the play at the Greenway Court Theater, and then, the movie!  I am very excited to announce that the movie will be out (today) in theaters around the country as well as on VOD on most cable carriers as well as on iTunes, XBox and a number of other online platforms.

“Needless to say I am very excited about this release and I would greatly appreciate your support!  If you would …

“1) See the movie either in your local theater or online

“2) Spread the word: Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, short wave radio, smoke signals … Whatever works for you.

“I can’t promise that everyone will love the movie (not everyone loved the play yet it was the longest running off-Broadway comedy), but I do promise you will laugh (either because the movie is funny or at me for spending two years of my life on the project!!)”

The film’s cast includes Ivan Sergei, Joel David Moore, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jamie Lynn Sigler, Rita Wilson and Jon Lovitz.

To see the trailer go to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a0zZSVeW-k

“Jewtopia” opens locally today at the AMC Cherry Creek 8 in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

Jon Lovitz, left, and Rita Wilson star in 'Jewtopia,' which will be released Friday. (Le Petit Canyon Productions)

Jon Lovitz, left, and Rita Wilson star in ‘Jewtopia,’ which will be released Friday. (Le Petit Canyon Productions)


A blast from the past

Colorado Neurological Institute’s 25th anniversary will celebrate the 1940s at Wings Over the Rockies featuring music, dancing, vintage dress and decor and dining from 6-10 p.m. on Oct. 12. 

The Colorado Neurological Institute’s 25th anniversary party will carry a 19940s theme. (CNI photo)

The Colorado Neurological Institute’s 25th anniversary party will carry a 1940s theme. (CNI photo)


The event’s emcee is 9News meteorologist and traffic tracker Amelia Earhart.

CNI’s “flight crew” will include local medical neurological professionals, inspirational patients and dedicated staff members. This enthusiastic group will welcome the organization’s supporters to a night of Frank Sinatra and big band music, dancing, silent and live auctions, a first class dinner and several surprises.

“We are so excited that CNI has made it 25 years in the community! Our mission has truly been fueled by neurological patients across the region and their inspirational commitment to living well, their generosity and their innovative ideas,” said Tami Lack, executive director of Colorado Neurological Institute.

Tickets are $250 each. “Early career” tickets are $175. To purchase your tickets, go to www.blacktie-colorado.com/rsvp and enter event code: CNI1012 (All one word, not case sensitive). Sponsorship and donation opportunities are also available. For details, contact Nancy Miller at 303-806-7415, 303-806-7415 or e-mail nmiller@thecni.org.

Amelia Earhart, 9News traffic reporter and meteorologist, will emcee the

Amelia Earhart, 9News traffic reporter and meteorologist, will emcee the Colorado Neurological Institute’s 25th anniversary event on Oct. 12 at Wings Over the Rockies. (CNI photo)


The Sink sticks out

Boulder’s The Sink restaurant (1164 13th St.), perhaps best known for a visit from President Barack Obama during one of his Colorado whistle stops, has been named No. 3 on The 25 Best College Campus Bars list, according to Complex City Guide. Here’s the blurb:

“Come for the best burger in Boulder and stay for the Beatnik wall art. True to the green culture of Colorado, the Sink is run by 100 percent wind power and only serves Angus and grass-fed beef. If you aren’t down with the Sink Burger, they offer a full and varied menu that includes brisket, the Cowboy Reuben, and tilapia. If you’re tall, watch out for the low ceilings, but otherwise, there is absolutely nothing to complain about at The Sink.”

Read more at www.complex.com/city-guide/2013/04/the-25-best-college-campus-bars/the-sink.

Patxi’s Pizza fundraiser for flooding victims

Patxi’s Pizza, Denver’s newest addition to the pizza scene, takes its new role as member of the Colorado community seriously. With two locations in Denver and a third slated to open in Uptown this fall, Patxi’s wants to help lend support to those affected by the recent floods throughout the state.

In response, Patxi’s (pronounced PAH-cheese,‘t’ before ‘x’) will be hosting a city-wide fundraiser, with both locations (Cherry Hills and Cherry Creek) participating. Ten percent of all proceeds from sales at both stores on Sept. 23 (for lunch, dinner, dine-in, carryout and delivery) will benefit flood victims through Intermountain Salvation Army Disaster Relief program.

Locations: 3455 South University Boulevard, Unit B, Englewood, 80113 and at 185 Steele St., Denver, 80206.

And another flood fundraiser

The Southern Hospitality Restaurant has organized an auction where 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Red Cross for the recent flooding in Colorado.  Online bidding continues through 2 p.m. at Blacktie and bidding will continue Friday evening at the restaurant.  Find the auction at www.blacktie-colorado.com/auctions.

To see some of the items, click here:


The lovely and talented

Allyson Fredeen, who’s been the go-to gal and brains behind the success of The Ritz-Carlton Denver Hotel since pre-opening, has been promoted (and deservedly so) to communications manager, it was announced this week.

Ally is a Colorado State University alum who got her customer service feet wet working at Bloomingdale’s. Way to go, girl!

Allyson Fredeen

Allyson Fredeen earned a well-deserved promotion to communications manager at the Ritz-Carlton Denver Hotel.


The seen

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who was the second person to walk on the moon, was spotted having dinner on Monday and lunch on Tuesday at Panzano, the charming Italian eatery inside The Hotel Monaco.

According to my spy, however, Aldrin wasn’t wearing a space suit. And he was not quoted as saying, “One small meatball for man, one big bowl of pasta for mankind.”

Also spotted around town:

Fox-31 meteorologist Nick Carter eating lunch with a friend at south Denver restaurant Piccolo’s, a former frequent and favorite haunt of the On The Town family when we stayed at Marriott’s TownePlace Suites for four months five years ago while waiting for our Capitol Hill condo to be completed.

Eavesdropping on two tourists walking through Cherry Creek North:

Tourist 1: “It’s really horrible to see all those people suffering from the floods in Colorado. I wonder what we can do to help those folks?”

Tourist 2: “I bet if everyone gave some money to the Red Cross that would be a good start. Go to www.redcross.org to help.”

OK, we made this one up, but folks, please give the Colorado flood victims a helping hand and give to the Red Cross.

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: A Taste of Colorado celebrates its 30th anniversary

August 12, 2013

“A Taste of Colorado” is just around the corner and the popular downtown food, music and entertainment festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

The Labor Day weekend festival sponsored by the Downtown Denver Partnership is scheduled Aug. 30-Sept. 2, in Denver’s Civic Center Park. The free festival includes entertainment for all ages with music, carnival rides, games, educational exhibits and selection of food.

The state’s largest free-admission outdoor event, A Taste of Colorado draws more than 500,000 visitors annually and is produced by and benefits Downtown Denver’s Events, Inc., the Partnership’s community events non-profit organization.

Six entertainment stages include national, local and ethnic music in a variety of genres, children’s performers, chef demonstrations and more. Kids can combine learning with fun as they enter the KidZone, a family-friendly area with play equipment and many free activities for children of all ages. The Comfort Denver KidzStage presented by radio station MIX 100 will entertain kids with music, magic, clowns and puppets, and other shows.

One of my favorite musicians from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Aaron Neville, will perform at the Main Stage on Saturday, Aug. 31 at 7:30 p.m. The Neville Brothers, featuring Aaron Neville, have been a traditional closing act for the New Orleans Jazz Fest for decades.

Festival attendees also can journey back to the roots of Colorado and learn about the state’s pioneer past, nature and environment. Artisans will demonstrate Navajo weaving and culture, spinning, rug braiding, lace crocheting and more in the Festival of Mountain and Plain area.

The Raptor Education Foundation will have a booth where families can learn about the natural world while being surrounded by non-releasable eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.

More than 50 of Colorado’s restaurants and food establishments will prepare small portions to full meals. Kid-friendly vendors near the KidZone will sell hot dogs, pretzels, popcorn and more.

A Taste of Colorado needs volunteers who are willing to take a three- to four-hour shift during the four-day festival. If you’re interested in volunteering, email volunteers@downtowndenver.com. If you cannot volunteer this year but want to work other events, email that address to be added to the volunteer mailing list. For more information, contact Lauren Laramee at 303-534-6161.

Festival hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, and from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 2. For more information, visit www.atasteofcolorado.com or call 303-295-6330.

Aaron Neville will perform at the Main Stage on Aug. 31 during A Tast of Colorado at Civic Center park in downtown Denver. (Photo courtesy of A Taste of Colorado)

Aaron Neville will perform at the Main Stage on Aug. 31 during A Taste of Colorado at Civic Center park in downtown Denver. (Photo courtesy of A Taste of Colorado)


CU-Boulder best college town according to online poll

The website Livability has chosen America’s best college towns to live and visit. The University of Colorado in Boulder snagged the No. 1 pick of top 10 college towns in 2013.

Here what Livability wrote about CU and Boulder:

“You have to wonder how college students in Boulder, CO, find the motivation to get themselves to class. With so many other things to do, from rock climbing, skiing and hiking to sampling microbrews and checking out the latest museum exhibits, it has to be hard to hit the books.

“But Boulder is a city of innovative thinkers, environmentalists and researchers who work as hard as they play. Home to the University of Colorado and a collection of national laboratories, residents place a high value on the city’s diverse perspectives. Breathtaking natural beauty, a sense of cultural freedom and a highly educated population combine to deliver a wildly creative atmosphere where both students and residents flourish.

“Through CU-Boulder’s Volunteer Resource Center, approximately 1,200 students help the city and neighboring communities each year. The VRC collaborates with more than 250 community organizations in the Denver/Boulder area. Outreach efforts extend into course work for many students. A group of environmental design students recently collaborated with the city of Boulder to design and build an outdoor classroom and arboretum in a local park. Leeds School of Business students help low-income families prepare tax filings and teach a semester-long course in finance to middle-school students.”

My husband, Mr. On The Town, had to take issue with the poll. His school, the University of Missouri in Columbia, ranked fourth in the poll. For people who care about these things, and my hubby sure does, five of the 10 schools in the poll are from the Southeastern Conference (including good ol’ Mizzou).

Here’s the link to the story: www.livability.com/top-10/top-10-college-towns-2013/boulder/co.

Tony’s goes from bistro to burgers

Tony’s Bistro Capitol Hill location at 950 Broadway is now Tony’s Burgers serving all natural patties.

A new chef was hired, its menu and name have been changed. The menu’s most popular items — burgers, pizzas and salads — are the focus of the renamed eatery inside Tony’s Market.

The burgers are ground fresh in-house from all-natural local meats. You have the choice of 100 percent grass-fed beef, Kobe-style Wagyu beef, Colorado free-range bison or boneless natural chicken breasts. You also can choose from premium all natural cheeses, plus fresh baked brioche rolls and all toppings are made fresh in house.

The pizzas: The dough is handmade and aged for flavor. Baked at 650 degrees in a stone oven, the dough is crisp and chewy. There’s a selection of classic pizzas and each serves one to two people.

The salads: New entree salads are tossed fresh and include a homemade garlic knot roll. There are an array salad choices, including  chicken Caesar, steakhouse, Italian, Napa or quinoa and kale. Small side salads also are available.

Tony’s still has a selection of beers on tap and in bottles, as well as four wines by the glass.  Plus, you can enjoy an adult beverage while grocery shopping. You also can pour your own fountain drink or choose your drinks in the market.

Hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  Private parties, room rental and banquet events by appointment. More information at www.tonysmarket.com.

Eavesdropping on a woman talking to a man after the woman found out that her stepmom has terminal cancer:  The man said: “Why can’t cancer get cancer and just die?”

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: Couple comes to (vise) grips with wedding vows at McGuckin Hardware

July 29, 2013

Lovebirds Randy Richmond and Theresa Blanding started feathering their nest in Boulder landmark McGuckin Hardware 12 years ago.

The couple spent so much time in the Boulder store, that they joked if they ever married, the nuptials would be cemented in the tools department.

On July 21, accompanied by a small band of well-dressed family members and close friends, Richmond and Blanding walked hand-in-hand down aisle 16 — in the Tools department — to hammer out their future together.

The betrothed, being snapped by Blanding’s son, Lucian, strode in sync along the waxed floor lined with circular saws, which should not be misconstrued as a metaphor for their married life.

“McGuckin’s has been here forever and it’s so useful and practical,” Richmond said. “Marriage should be practical as well as romantic. We were in here every day for something anyway… rope or clips (TMI!).”

The couple have bought an array of items from the hardware store throughout the years, including Richmond’s favorite pair of overalls.

The groom is no densa, he’s a Mensa member who has excavated ancient Egyptian sites. “You’re not talking to a chimp here,” the University of Arizona Egyptologist and psychologist told McGuckin employee Steve Wilke. Richmond met Blanding 14 years ago in a class in Sedona, Ariz., and says that his future bride “hated him off the bat.”

She complained about him to her friend and obsessed over his antics for months. “I wore her down like water on a rock,” Richmond said. “Love and hate are tied very close together.”

Blanding, a mother of three, is a consultant and award-winning jewelry maker whose work is featured in an Arizona showroom, but her goal is to have a gallery of her own in Boulder.

“For me personally, I lived up at 8,500 feet in an old miner’s house as a single mom,” she said. “I was always coming to McGuckin’s to figure things out, and they were so helpful.”

Aaron Tye, a McGuckin automotive employee, made the celebratory announcement over the intercom system. Customers greeted the news with  resounding cheers and robust applause from all four corners of the store.

Not surprisingly, the couple requested McGuckin gift cards for wedding presents. The couple is planning a honeymoon in Paris.

“People need consistency in their lives,” Richmond said. “All roads lead to McGuckin.”


Theresa Blanding and Randy Richmond walk down the aisle — aisle 16 at McGuckin Hardware, in fact — during their July 21 wedding ceremony at the Boulder landmark.3_Deed_is_Done  (Photos courtesy of McGuckin Hardware)

Little Italy

Westword, Denver’s favorite snarky, alternative newspaper, has had a couple of stories recently worthy of repeating. Because I am a Capitol Hill dweller, any new restaurant news grabs my attention.

Westword restaurant critic Gretchen Kurtz recently reviewed the tiny restaurant DiFranco’s, a “tiny spot creating big buzz” in the long-suffering Beauvallon building at 955 Lincoln St. That space has represented revolving doors for retailers and restaurants alike ever since it was built.

But Kurtz says the little Italian spot that could is well worth a visit. On a recent Tuesday night, the place actually ran out of food, according to Kurtz’s review, even though there was a hungry mob waiting in a long line.

Hours are 11 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Phone: 720-253-1244 (just to make sure they haven’t run out of food).

Check out Kurtz’s review at www.westword.com/2013-07-25/restaurants/difrancos-restaurant-review/.

Also at Westword …

Music editor Dave Herrera discovered an obscure cable station MTVOther (who knew about MTVOther?), which features short pieces about lesser-known cool music enclaves including a short called “This is the place: Denver.”

Host Dave Hill introduces viewers to bands that I have never heard of (but then I’m old). No matter which way you 5280, it’s still good pub for our fair town. Check it out at http://mtvother.com/.

16th Street Mall garden block

Celebrate the grand opening of the Downtown Denver Garden Block during an afternoon event from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7 featuring live music, giveaways, light snacks and drink specials from restaurants on the block. Come mingle in the lush garden and learn more about the importance of this project and its events planned this year.

The Downtown Denver Garden Block is an oasis on the 16th Street Mall bringing a unique environment to the block between Champa and Curtis streets. Installations of various small gardens, representative of those featured at Denver Botanic Gardens, create a pocket park on the 16th Street Mall by giving downtown visitors, residents and workers a beautiful place to meet, linger and enjoy the urban landscape.Sponsored by the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, in partnership with Denver Botanic Gardens, Bellco Credit Union and the Colorado Garden & Home Show, the Downtown Denver Garden Block will continue to showcase additional features throughout the summer, including more seating, a place to read and play games, weekly lunchtime performances and events, and downtown’s newest Wi-Fi hotspot provided by local internet company www.Forethought.net.

Giveaways include two tickets to a Park-to-Table dinner at Skyline Market on Friday, Aug. 9; two tickets to a Denver Botanic Gardens concert and four family-pack tickets to Denver Botanic Gardens.

Part of Denver’s Garden Block on the 16th Street Mall. (Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Garden Block)


Eavesdropping on a woman at Zocalo: “We invest so much time in finding a new man only to end up hating him later.”

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: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker’s On The Town: A night of bites in LoDo

August 8, 2012

Take a bite out of LoDo during the annual LoDo District Inc.’s LoDo Bites tasting event from 5 to 9 p.m. Aug. 21.

An anticipated 1,500 participants will sample snacks and sip drinks from a host of different restaurants in Lower Downtown.

Holly Barrett, executive director of LoDo District Inc., said, “This event is terrific because it gives people from all over Denver and beyond the chance to try up to 26 different restaurants in one night. They’ll get a snapshot of the restaurants’ atmosphere and cuisine, and it’s a great opportunity for LoDo restaurants to really shine to a crowd that might not normally stop by.”

The participating restaurants are: 1515 Restaurant, Ambria Food & Wine, Backcountry Provisions, Bistro Vendome, The Celtic Tavern, Charlie Palmer’s District Tavern, Chloe, Common Grounds, Coohills, Euclid Hall, Fado Irish Pub, Fogo de Chao, H Burger Lounge, Howl at the Moon, Keg Steakhouse & Bar, The Kitchen, MCA Cafe, My Favorite Muffin, Red Star Deli (Studio F), Tavern Downtown, Toppings, Vesting Dipping Grill, Wazee Supper Club, The Wine Loft, Wynkoop Brewing Company and Zydeco’s.

Tickets are $40 per person or $45 the day of the event, free run 5.0 +3 femmes if available, at www.lodo.org/lodo-bites and at Wines Off Wynkoop (1610 16th St.). I can tell you from personal experience that this is a great event for the price. Some restaurants (the smart ones) really put out a great spread.

Girl power

Girl Scouts of Colorado is announcing the 2012 inductees into the esteemed Women of Distinction program in the Denver metro-area during a private reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at the home of 1997 Woman of Distinction Barb Grogan.

This year’s seven honorees were selected by their peers and chosen based on their contributions to the community. The women of Distinction commit to supporting Girl Scouts of Colorado and serving Girl Scouts today.

The 2012 Women of Distinction are: Dr. Jandel Allen-Davis, vice president of government and external relations, Kaiser Permanente Colorado; Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor for athletics and recreation and Ritchie Center operations, University of Denver; Juanita Chacon, realtor, Re/Max; Tricia Downing, disabled athlete and spokeswoman for Challenged Athletes Foundation; Melba Johnston, community volunteer and lifetime service to Girl Scouts; Denise O’Leary, corporate director, US Airways; Maren Stewart, president and CEO LiveWell Colorado.

The women will be publicly honored at the Women of Distinction Thin Mint Dinner on Oct. 23 at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. More information: Amy Myers at amy.myers@gscolorado.org. Tickets at www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/women-of-distinction-denver.

Blue Bonnet sonnet

Gary Mobell, owner of the iconic Blue Bonnet Cafe at 457 S. Broadway, threw a tasting party for press recently to try out some new additions to the menu.

Coming soon or on the menu now: gazpacho, ceviche with gluten-free chips, strawberry basil Margaritas and cucumber fire roasted jalapeno Margaritas, root vegetable latkes with salsa bar Autumn salad, rosemary and lemon Margaritas, sun-dried tomato rajas house tamales, signature winter tacos, family style rice and beans, ginger lime Margaritas, pumpkin flan, Mexican popsicles and sopapillas.

Build a burger

Greenwood Village-based Red Robin opened its third Red Robin’s Burger Works location in Colorado on Monday at 2700 Arapahoe Ave., on 28th Street and Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder.

Burger Works features some classic Red Robin burgers, free run 5.0 femmes but also gives guests a build-your-own-burger option with a variety of toppings including sautéed portabella mushrooms, beer mustard onions or Thai chili ketchup.

Eavesdropping on a woman to her husband after running into a friend: “Friends don’t let friends wear gaucho pants.”
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: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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