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Cherry Creek's Departure offers sophisticated Asian flavors and excellent cocktails. Pictured: the watermelon salad and Eightfold Path vodka martini. —Photo by Rachel Adams

The Highlight Reel: August’s Tastiest Food News

A monthly review of happenings in the Denver dining scene from 5280's food team.

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We know that keeping up with Denver’s ever-changing, always-growing dining scene can be challenging. For this reason, we launched “The Highlight Reel,” a monthly recap of everything you need to know about dining out in (and around) the Mile High City. We’ll talk about the month’s hottest openings and news, as well as closings and what we’re looking forward to in the month to come.

For more 5280 food and drink coverage, be sure to subscribe to our award-winning, weekly email newsletter, Table Talk.

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Recent Openings

On August 3, Thrive360 Eatery, the sister restaurant to Protein Bar, opened downtown.

Make, Believe Bakery began slinging vegan baked goods and coffee in CapHill (next to City, O’ City) on August 4.

Sol Cocina opened in Cherry Creek on August 8. The modern spot focuses on Baja Mexican cuisine.

Greenwood Village’s Torchy’s Tacos opened on August 8 with free tacos on opening day. Westminster’s location is next in line and should open soon.

Celebrity chef Gregory Gourdet opened the Denver spinoff of his beloved Portland restaurant concept, Departure, in Cherry Creek’s Halcyon Hotel on August 9. Go for coastal Asian cuisine and a chic locale.

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Cochino Tacos opened in Englewood on August 30.

After a long wait, new brewery Bierstadt Lagerhaus finally opened on the Bindery on Blake on August 13.

B&GC (Boys and Girls Club), a super-secret cocktail bar, opened inside the Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek in mid August.

Front Range residents got another place to satisfy a fried chicken craving. On August 22, White Fence Farm opened a Westminster carry-out location. The homegrown favorite has more outposts in the works.

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Alabama-import Zoë’s Kitchen opened its second Colorado location inside Union Station on August 24. The fast-casual spot serves Mediterranean fare.

The owners of Roaming Buffalo BBQ opened City & Country Deli & Sausage Co. next door on August 24. Go for the house-made deli meats, sausages, and mustards.

Johnny Ballen of the Squeaky Bean opened Cochino Tacos on August 30. The funky South Broadway taqueria boasts colorful decor and 16 varieties of tacos.

Anointed BBQ & Soul Food opened in the former Country Time Barbecue space in Englewood in early August.

If you’re craving Osaka Ramen’s creative small plates (like these green beans), you’ll have to head to RiNo—the Cherry Creek location shuttered this month.

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Closings

After 95 years in business, Patsy’s Inn—Denver’s oldest Italian restaurant—closed in August.

After more than a decade, Black Pearl has shuttered.

The Washington Park location of John Holly’s Asian Bistro closed in August.

Mona’s Restaurant on 15th Street has called it quits.

The Walnut Room’s South Broadway location is closed. The RiNo pizzeria, however, is still going strong.

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Jeff Osaka has shuttered the Cherry Creek outpost of Osaka Ramen. He also announced that he’ll be reviving his beloved restaurant, Twelve, in the form of [email protected]. It will open in the former Glaze location in September.

Flow Juice Bar closed and reopened earlier this year—and now it’s closed for good.

Jefferson Park’s French-focused Amass has called it quits after just two years.

Celeb chef Hugh Acheson has joined Punch Bowl Social. —Photo courtesy of Punch Bowl Social

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Celebrity chef Hugh Acheson has signed on as culinary partner with Robert Thompson’s Punch Bowl Social. Acheson’s new menu, which features a super food grain bowl and a fried chicken sandwich—debuted at the end of August.

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The United States Small Business Administration has recognized Blackbelly Market for its contributions to the Boulder community.

After two years, Kelly Whitaker has parted ways with Cart-Driver. He continues to fine-tune Basta, and he recently launched Ash, a mobile concept focusing on wood-fired dishes.

Zengo will close for the month of September as it undergoes an extensive remodel. The menu will also get a facelift, and will focus primarily on Asian flavors.

Broadway’s Adrift Tiki Bar has temporarily closed. The team behind Little Man Ice Cream purchased the bar, and is refreshing both the space and the menu.

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The Post’s fried bird is coming to Denver.

Change is afoot for Longmont’s Goodbird Kitchen. The shop is briefly closing in September and, to better pay homage to its Post Brewery hallmark, will be rebranded as the Post Chicken and Beer. Big Red F is also opening a Denver location in October.

Jesse Morreale (formerly of El Diablo and Sketch Wine Bar) is back. He’s teamed up with Larimer Associates for a yet-to-be-named restaurant inside the former Tag Burger Bar (and many years ago, the Subway Tavern). Morreale has tapped Solera’s Goose Sorensen as consulting chef.

French-trained Jon Robbins of Bistro Barbès will open Temper, a high-end chocolate shop, in RiNo’s forthcoming Central Market.

Craig Lieberman, the founder of 34 Degrees crisps, will bring Paired Wine Bar to RiNo this fall.

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Death & Co., the legendary NYC cocktail bar, will open a Denver outpost. Located inside the RiNo’s soon-to-come Ramble Hotel, the bar should open in the winter of 2017.

Denver Beer Company will open its third taproom—in Olde Town Arvada. The tasting room and brewery should open in early 2017.

Jennifer Jasinski, Beth Gruitch, and Jorel Pierce will open Ultreia inside Union Station in early 2017. The latest spot from the Crafted Concepts team will focus on the pinxtos of the Iberian Peninsula.

A rendering of the forthcoming Avelina.

What We’re Looking Forward to in September

River and Woods, Daniel Asher and Josh Dinar’s community-minded restaurant, is gearing up for a September 6 opening in the former John’s Restaurant space in Boulder.

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The long wait for Carbone’s Italian Sausage Market & Deli‘s return is almost over. In early September, the restaurant will reopen in Sunnyside’s new Monkey Barrel location.

The team behind Angelo’s Taverna will bring Carboy Winery to Littleton in September. The (sub)urban winery will also be home to a second location of Angelo’s Taverna.

Husband-and-wife team John Broening and Yasmin Lozada-Hissom are returning to the scene with a new project, Avelina. The downtown restaurant, which should open in early September, will feature rustic fare and Lozada-Hissom’s stunning desserts.

El Coquí De Aquí, a brick-and-mortar location of the popular Puerto Rican food truck, will open on Colorado Boulevard in September.

The Rolling Pin Bakeshop, the long-awaited bakery project next door to Rosenberg’s Bagels, is expected to open in early September. Meanwhile, Rosenberg’s is still closed due to fire damage. The bagel shop is now slated to reopen in October.

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Highland Tap & Burger will open its Sloan’s Lake location sometime in September.

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