1 0 Tag Archives: Larimer Square

Rioja’s redesign is ready for its close-up

February 11, 2015

Rioja owners Beth Gruitch and Jennifer Jasinski threw a “coming out” party Monday night to show off the extensive remodel of the 10-year-old restaurant on Larimer Square.

Drinks flowed, bites were passed and local movers and shakers – including Larimer Square boss Jeff Hermanson – came to ogle the new digs.

“We’ve grown up,” Jasinski said about the sleeker, sparer and more sophisticated restaurant decor from Denver-based Boss Architecture.

James Beard award-winning chef Jasinski and business partner Gruitch reopened their flagship restaurant on Feb. 4 after a nearly-one month complete renovation.

“Our food, service and wine program have never been better,” Jasinski said. “Now, we’ve got a sexy new design to show off our skills. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

Jordy Construction was assigned the task of demolishing the existing Rioja down to the raw brick and stud walls and building a brand new space, all in less than a month.

“Boss designed our newest restaurant, Stoic & Genuine at Union Station, and we love what the team did with that space,” Gruitch said. “It was an easy decision to use the Boss and Jordy combo for the Rioja remodel and they did not disappoint.”

A fully re-envisioned seating concept complete with chairs and booths covered in a sage green crushed velvet, multiple booth and banquette seating options, and a more intimate lounge area are all part of the new look.

To celebrate the robust nature of the wine program at Rioja, the wine display is the centerpiece of the new design as it moved out from the edge of the space into the center of the room.

The lighting in the space is now located primarily at the guest level to create a soft intimate atmosphere. A rich color palette reflects the history of Rioja, both the restaurant and the region for which the restaurant is named, featuring warm woods, gold and brass accents including a gold leaf style wall covering, and deep rich accent colors used on the seating and screens throughout. The distinctive brick wall that separates the two dining areas has been white-washed.

Rioja is the flagship restaurant of Crafted Concepts and is located at 1431 Larimer St. More information at www.riojadenver.com or by calling 303-820-2282. Other Crafted Concepts restaurants include Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen in Larimer Square, and Stoic & Genuine in Denver’s historic Union Station.

IMG_20150209_203251245 IMG_20150209_203305461 IMG_20150209_203431635

Comments Off

Bump up bison with Ted’s Montana Grill campaigns

June 23, 2014

Ted’s Montana Grill is joining its fans to pay tribute to the ingredients, meals and hospitality that define the Great American West.  During June and July, the restaurants are celebrating a Great American Summer with an online photo contest, signature burgers and a campaign to elect bison as the national mammal at www.votebison.org.

“Bison are a true American icon that once thundered across our Great Plains,” said George W. McKerrow, who, along with media mogul Ted Turner co-founded Ted’s Montana Grill and pioneered the effort to preserve our country’s bison herds.  “This summer, we are celebrating authentic American dining by shining a spotlight on all the ways local mavericks enjoy our beef and bison burgers.”

Now through July 14, entries and nominations for the “Bite Your Bison” photo contest may be submitted on the Ted’s Montana Grill Facebook page, or via Instagram photos and tweets with the hashtag #BiteYourBison.  Photo entries  also will be accepted at bigskyspirit@tedsmontanagrill.com. Three fans with the most votes will enter the finals, where a restaurant voting panel will choose the grand prize winner of a Big Green Egg barbecue.

Beginning with the first Ted’s Montana Grill opening in 2002, Turner and McKerrow pioneered the effort to preserve the American bison by returning it to America’s table and creating a demand that would provide incentive for ranchers to actively grow their herds. Ted’s Montana Grill is not only the first national restaurant company to feature bison on its menu, but it offers more bison menu items at its 45 restaurants nationwide than any other restaurant in the world. 

There are three Ted’s Montana Grills in the metro area: Larimer Square, Westminster and Lakewood.

Comments Off

Dining Al Fresco on Larimer Square offers dinner under the lights

June 13, 2014

Larimer Square’s restaurants are turning up the heat and taking to the streets once again this summer with Dining Al Fresco, the block’s outdoor dining series starting Saturday.

This culinary experience takes throngs of diners out onto Larimer Street to enjoy inspired menus under the Square’s twinkling canopy of lights. Dining Al Fresco on Larimer Square kicks off with happy hour festivities and live music, which give way to special meals created by some of Colorado’s best chefs.

“Larimer Square is home to the best restaurants in Denver and one of the most noteworthy collections of regionally-exclusive, chef-owned restaurants in the U.S.,” said Jeff Hermanson, of Larimer Associates. “Diners expect more from the restaurants on our block and our outdoor dining series is a great example of the creativity Larimer Square chefs and restaurant owners display in their approach to local dining.”

Dining Al Fresco will be held on three Saturday evenings throughout the summer: tomorrow, July 19 and Aug. 16, all beginning at 5 p.m. Reservations are available through participating restaurants, which include Bistro Vendôme, the Capital Grille, Corridor 44, Cru – A Wine Bar, Green Russell, Ocean Prime, Osteria Marco, Rioja, Russell’s Smokehouse, TAG, TAG Raw Bar, Tamayo and Ted’s Montana Grill.

“Our guests really look forward to dining outside under the iconic Larimer Square canopy of lights,” said Jennifer Jasinski, executive chef at Rioja and Bistro Vendôme. “You really feel like you’re in a big city when you have dinner in the middle of Larimer Street with hundreds of fellow diners.”

Dining Al Fresco on Larimer Square rounds out the Summer on the Square event series, which also features Le Jardin Secret, a weekly, French-inspired chefs’ market. 

For more information, and links to participating Dining Al Fresco restaurant websites, visit www.larimersquare.com.

Comments Off

Larimer Square grows a chefs-driven farmer’s market

May 21, 2014

The idea is so brilliant that you would have thought the Larimer Square brain trust would have planted seeds for a farmer’s market years ago.

But the seeds have finally sprouted into a full-grown, fruit, vegetable, bread, cheese, spice and meat market in the courtyard adjacent to restaurant Bistro Vendome, owned by Larimer Square lassies Beth Gruitch and award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski.

To help establish the “chef-curated” open-air vendor space, Euclid Hall and Stoic & Genuine (opening July in the Union Station redevelopment) chef Jorel Pierce lent his culinary prowess to the project with the support of Larimer Square honchos Jeff Hermanson and Joe Vostrejs.

The result? Le Jardin Secret, which debuts with the Denver Chalk Art Festival at 9:30 a.m. May 31 and continuing on Saturdays through Aug. 23.

Le Jardin organizers hosted invited guests to a sneak peek of the bounty offered by local merchants including Grateful Bread Company, Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe, the Truffle Cheese Shop, Sugarmill and Blooming Fool.

At this chefs’ market with a French accent, foodies can shop for fine artisanal fare with a mimosa or Bloody Mary in hand.

“Larimer Square is Denver’s oldest and most historic block, and we take a lot of pride in it,” Vostrejs said. “This year we’re going to step up the game.”

Hermanson, whose family trust owns the Square, concurred with his colleague.

“Joe and I have been working on Larimer Square for two decades and the evolution has been pretty satisfying for us, and we think for the public,” Hermanson said.

Chef Pierce was tagged to choose participating vendors. “I think this space was made for a farmer’s market,” he said. “We wanted to invoke somewhat of a French farmer’s market motif. This is your chance to shop from the people that chefs shop from.”

For more information on Larimer Square’s summer events, go to www.larimersquare.com.

(Photos courtesy of John Imbergamo/Facebook)

(Photos courtesy of John Imbergamo/Facebook)le jardins2


Comments Off

Fashion and The Four Seasons join forces

May 12, 2014

The Four Seasons Hotel Denver and the clothing and jewelry boutiques on Larimer Square joined fashion forces Thursday for a spring fashion luncheon at the hotel’s Edge Restaurant & Bar.

Pretty people dining on prosciutto melon bites, pan-seared halibut and English peas in cantaloupe sauce and watermelon and mint granita munched and mingled with models showing off spring attire from Eve, Gusterman Silversmiths, Fluevog Shoes, Cry Baby Ranch, Frinje, Jewelry at the Square, Goorin Bros. hats, Blue Ruby, Victoriana Antique & Fine Jewelry, Scarpaletto shoes, Blush, Hailee Grace, Moda Man and Nest Children’s Boutique.

The hunka-hunka male model showed off the snappy side of spring-wear of manly men including a salmon linen jacket, purple polka-dot pocket square, off-white linen slacks and a multi-colored watercolor shirt from Moda Man.

Long-time Larimer Square denizen Cry Baby Ranch featured models in modern Western-wear including an updated square-dance skirt in metallic.

Hot pants took center stage in orange stripes from Blue Ruby and a blue embroidered pair from Hailee Grace.

Long dresses and skirts were another highlight many showing off Spring’s love affair with blue in a variety of prints.

FourSeasons_Larimer Square fashion1 FourSeasons_Larimer Square fashion2

Comments Off

Park and shop till you drop with special area programs

December 20, 2013

Cherry Creek North is giving away free parking during the Saturday Scavenger Hunt starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. Twenty-five $5 ParkSmart cards will be hidden throughout Cherry Creek North (between First and Third Avenues and University and Steele streets). Find a card, or multiple, and you also will receive a Cherry Creek North gift card for the equal dollar value. Cherry Creek North gift cards are accepted at more than 200 restaurants, spas, boutiques, art galleries and more. It’s even accepted at parking meters.

Park with a purchase at Larimer Square. Ask the store where you’re shopping about the free program that enables shoppers to park for free in the Larimer Square garage on 14th and Market streets.

LoDo is running a pilot pop-up taxi stand program between 11 p.m. and 3 p.m. Dec. 20 and 21. The stands will be located at 14th Street between Market and Larimer.

Comments Off

Holiday window wonderland starts Saturday on Larimer Square

December 6, 2013

The Yuletide Window Walk transforms Larimer Square storefront windows into creative works of art beginning Saturday with local artists crafting works of art throughout Larimer Square retailers. The exhibit will be up through the end of December.

With the input of each of the 17 participating retail store owners, each artist conceptualized a unique design.

“I love matching artists and their unique individual style to the stores, resulting in breathtaking work,” said curator Lizzie Mara, a professional mixed media artists and illustrator.

Jennifer Mosquera, a well-known local artist and owner of Artistry Events & Design said, “It is very exciting as a visual artist to be paired with a retailer, having the objective to meld creativity with a specific brand in the holiday spirit. I love the idea that we are creating a creative community for a day, and that people will be able to enjoy it through the holiday season.”

For a full list of holiday activities on Larimer Square, visit www.larimersquare.com.

(Larimer Square photo)

(Larimer Square photo)

Leave a Comment

Larimer Square decks the halls for the holidays

November 12, 2013

Larimer Square is lighting up the holiday season with its “nice list” of events including visits from Santa, carriage rides, carolers, a special window painting exhibit and pet photo contest.

“Larimer Square has always been a favorite place to be during the holidays, whether you are shopping, dining or simply enjoying the block’s ambience of historic charm, lights and music,” said Joe Vostrejs, chief operating officer of Larimer Associates, the company that owns and manages the Square. “Our activities this year simply add to the great traditions on Larimer Square.”

To kick off the holidays, Larimer Square retailers are hosting a winter fashion show lunch from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 21 at EDGE Restaurant and Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver. Reservations by calling EDGE at 303-389-3343.

Next on the list, locals and visitors alike are invited to shop local on Nov. 30 to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Check www.LarimerSquare.com for a list of promotions and discounts local Larimer Square retailers on this day.

New this year, Santa parks his sleigh at Starbucks near 14th and Larimer beginning on Small Business Saturday, and then every weekend in December. Santa is available for visits from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sundays as well as from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Visits are free and open to the public.

For the second year in a row, the Yuletide Window Walk will transform storefront windows into works of art. The magic begins Dec. 7 with nearly a dozen local artists creating works of art throughout Larimer Square. The exhibit will be on display through December.

On Dec. 15, the annual Paws and Claus contest will take place from noon to 5 p.m. on the Dog Savvy patio. Take a photo of your dog with Santa, and post it to the Larimer Square Facebook page or Instagram with hashtag #larimersquare and Santa will choose a winning photo in time for Christmas. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate to Dog Savvy, and will be notified via Facebook.

Complimentary carriage rides will also be available from noon to 4 p.m. on Dec. 15. The Original Dickens Carolers return from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 12 and 18, and from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 24.

For more information on holiday events, visit www.LarimerSquare.com or follow the Square on Facebook at www,facebook.com/larimersquare.

Leave a Comment

Penny Parker’s On The Town: Milk man and woman host udderly awesome party

July 2, 2012

Community contributors and Robinson Dairy founders Eddie and Susan Robinson celebrated a special year with 300 of their closest friends during the heartiest of parties Saturday at Cherry Hills Country Club.

Most of Denver’s who’s who attended, except for a few notable locals who must have been out of town or they would never had missed such an opulent occasion.

The party was to acknowledge three milestones in the Robinsons’ life together: Eddie’s 80th birthday, Susan’s 66th and the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary. As Susan said, that added up to 171 years, Air Jordan Femme which was symbolized by 171 candles on the mock pink and orange birthday cake.

“It’s nice being able to work without a budget,” said niece Ellen Robinson who put together the amazing party.

Susan, who gave a brief speech during the sit-down dinner, acknowledged Ellen’s abilities.

“I was blessed to marry into a family with a party planner,” Susan said. “If you’re having a party use her or you’re really dumb! Thank you all for being here, and I wish all of you the same kind of life that Eddie and I have been blessed with.”

Susan introduced Eddie by saying, “I want to have Mr. 80-year-old stand up, please.”

Eddie addressed the gathering: “My grandfather used to say, ‘I hope to see you next year.'”

The awesome event started with open bars, seafood and sushi stations and passed appetizers served by the skilled and charming Cherry Hills staff.

Dinner was followed by dessert bars and dancing with music from one of Jerry Barnett’s Moment’s Notice (www.momentsnotice.com) stable of bands that played everything from Earth Wind & Fire classics to Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” Guests moved and grooved on the dance floor.

Suffice it to say that a good time was had by all.

[scrollGallery id=15 start=0 autoScroll=false thumbsdown=true]

Party photos by Penny Parker.

Lime leaving Larimer

Lime, the Mexican food restaurant and bar in a basement space below Larimer Square, is moving to the Denver Pavilions after an 11-year run.

The lease is up for renewal and Pam Savage, who owns the eatery with husband Curt Sims, said plumbing issues that cause busy-time flooding in the restaurant meant it’s time to move on.

“We decided to rip off the Band-Aid and move,” said Savage, who added that the plumbing repair costs became prohibitive. “We’re going to the Pavilions. With Earl’s and Yard House, there’s a lot of energy up there. I feel like it’s a good move.”

Lime on Larimer will close July 14 and will reopen in the fall on the first floor of the Pavilions next to Jazz at Jack’s. Savage said the new spot will have garage doors, a patio and a quick serve section for rushed lunch customers who want to grab and go.

She said her husband has had mixed feelings about leaving Larimer where he’s owned businesses for 30 years starting with the nightclub Basin’s Up.

Savage, who’s a chanteuse as well as a chef, also is revitalizing her singing career with two sets at 7 and 9 p.m. Aug. 11 at Dazzle, the jazz club at 930 Lincoln.

Stay tuned for deets on a blow-out Lime on Larimer closing party.

 Fundraiser for firefighters

To support Colorado’s teams of firefighters currently battling blazes throughout the state, The Infinite Monkey Theorem will hold a special First Fridays open house from 5 to 11 p.m. July 6, and will collect funds  for the Waldo Canyon Firefighters Fund, which supports the public and volunteer fire department’s battling of the wildfires across El Paso and Teller counties.

Guests will sip a selection of Infinite Monkey Theorem wines, including cans of Rosé, Back Alley Red and White Sparkling; Rosé and Semillon on tap; and Blind Watchmaker in bottles. air jordan 1 Wood-fired pizza will be provided by Boulder-based Basta.

Guests can also dance to the sounds of Hotbox & Gazeebo playing an array of classic disco, funk, soul, nu disco and house for the family friendly event. Donations for the Waldo Firefighters Fund will be collected throughout the evening at the outdoor courtyard and Quonset hut at 931 W. Fifth Ave. More information: 303-736-8376 or at www.facebook.com/theinfinitemonkeytheorem

Eavesdropping on a woman talking about going on a date: “I don’t think this guy is worth a shower.”

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.

Comments Off