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The seasonal veggie hash from Just Be Kitchen, a paleo fast-casual eatery that opened in Highland in April. Photo by Amelia Alpaugh

The Highlight Reel: April’s Tastiest Food News

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

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Keeping up with Denver’s ever-changing, always-growing dining scene can be challenging. For this reason, we bring you “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, subscribe to our award-winning, weekly email newsletter, Table Talk.

Millers & Rossi
RiNo’s newest speakeasy, Millers & Rossi, is hidden behind an art gallery. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Recent Openings

Morning Collective, a breakfast joint run by ex-Snooze employees, started serving its sweet (dulce de leche pancakes!) and boozy (spiked horchata!) menus on April 3.

Canadian-inspired WoodGrain Bagels opened with a menu of Montreal-style bagels and Boxcar Coffee Roasters drinks in Boulder on April 3.

A kitchen fire temporarily shuttered the Cherry Cricket five months ago. On April 11, it finally reopened.

Art gallery and speakeasy Millers & Rossi debuted on April 14. The RiNo space features works by local artists with a tucked-away cocktail bar in the back.

The former P17 space on 17th Avenue has a new tenant as of April 14: Jack’s Uptown Grille. Everything from baby back ribs and burgers to Skittles-infused mimosas is on the menu.

Cattivella
Cattivella’s bright space is dominated by a massive chef’s counter. Photo by Callie Sumlin

Former Panzano chef Elise Wiggins’ highly anticipated Cattivella opened in Stapleton’s Eastbridge community center on April 19. You’ll find a massive chef’s counter, cooking classes, and rustic Italian fare at the new spot.

Fast-casual paleo restaurant Just Be Kitchen opened in the former Mona’s Restaurant space in the Highlands on April 25.

On April 25, Next Door Eatery opened in Stapleton’s Eastbridge center. Formerly known as the Kitchen Next Door, this is the fourth location of the rapidly expanding concept. The fifth, in Longmont, will open this summer, and Hedge Row in Cherry Creek should be open sometime in May.

Shortly after relaunching with a spiffy new menu, a kitchen fire forced Lowry’s Masterpiece Kitchen to shutter temporarily. Photo by Callie Sumlin

Closings

Vegan eatery Govinda’s Garden Café shuttered on Earth Day, April 22.

Silvi’s Kitchen, a concept from the U Baron group (also behind Udi’s Bread and Izzio’s Artisan Bakery), closed both its Olde Town Arvada and Glendale locations to focus on wholesale bakery endeavors.

After almost 20 years as a Boulder staple, Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub closed its doors.

Another long-running Boulder spot, Sushi Tora, shuttered in April.

Shortly after launching with a revamped menu, Lowry’s Masterpiece Kitchen closed temporarily due to a kitchen fire. The reopening date is yet to be determined.

Highland’s Colt & Gray shuttered temporarily in April after most of the kitchen staff walked out while the owner was on vacation. The eatery is training new staff and should reopen on May 2.

Fudmill
Füdmill’s artisan pastries can now be found at area locations of Whole Foods Market. Photo by Denise Mickelsen

News

In April, Damascus Grill owner Mahmoud Yasser Kassir lost 9 of his family members to chemical attacks in Syria. In a show of support, the Denver community turned up in droves to dine at his restaurants and have also been contributing to the Kassir Family Relief Fund.

Boulder chef Matthew Lackey passed away in April due to an unfortunate climbing accident. He had been planning on opening a new restaurant, CandR, in RiNo in June; no word yet on whether the restaurant will open without him at the helm.

On April 3, an area man choked to death during an eating challenge at Voodoo Doughnut on Colfax. All Voodoo locations have since suspended their eating challenges.

On April 11, Slow Food USA officially announced that its massive food-centric festival, Slow Food Nations, will take place in Denver on July 14 through 16. The first of its kind in the U.S., the event will feature big names in the industry as well as an outdoor marketplace, a delegate summit, block parties, workshops, food and farm tours, dinners, concerts, cooking competitions, and much, much more.

Füdmill, an artisan commissary bakery from chefs Alex Seidel, Matt Vawter, Keegan Gerhard, and Lisa Bailey, debuted its high-quality, hand-made pastries in area Whole Foods Markets on April 18.

In mid-April, Stella’s on 16th unveiled its massive, 120-seat patio—the largest in Denver.

After almost 20 years on Lincoln, Dazzle jazz club is headed to the storied Baur’s Building on Curtis Street with a new chef in tow.

Oskar Blues Brewery
Oskar Blues is planning to open a taproom on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall this summer. Photo courtesy of Oskar Blues

Austin-import Lustre Pearl is planning a RiNo location for later this summer.

Stapleton favorite Four Friends Kitchen announced that it’s working on a second outpost in Denver’s University Park neighborhood. It should open in late summer.

Word dropped that this July, Portland’s QuickFish Poke Bar will replace Bamboo Sushi in LoHi’s Avanti Food & Beverage. Meanwhile, Bamboo Sushi is planning on opening a brick-and-mortar location in Denver sometime this summer.

Another big name is headed to RiNo: Odell Brewing Company announced that it’s planning on opening a massive brewery and taproom (next door to Denver’s first Shake Shack) sometime later this year.

Widely revered Finn’s Manor food truck, Owlbear Barbecue, is bringing its delicious smoked meats to a brick-and-mortar location on Larimer Street. In the meantime, the food truck has ceased operation.

Oskar Blues Brewery, one of Colorado’s biggest craft brewers, is bringing a taproom concept to Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall this summer.

El Five
Justin Cucci’s newest restaurant, El Five, offers stunning panoramic views of the city.

What We’re Looking Forward to in May

Justin Cucci’s fifth concept, El Five, opens on May 2. The chic Mediterranean-inspired restaurant features stunning panoramic views, Spanish-style gin and tonics, and a exciting tapas-driven menu.

On May 2, Asheville-import Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar will open up in the Union Station neighborhood.

ChoLon chef Lon Symensma and chef Luke Bergman will finally unveil Concourse Restaurant Moderne in Stapleton’s Eastbridge community center on May 3. The gorgeously appointed restaurant will offer a European-style menu that spans breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Carbonara Pizza
Alex Seidel’s carbonara pizza is only available at Pizzeria Locale for the month of May.

This month only, you can head to both Denver locations of Pizzeria Locale for the pizza carbonara, a collaboration between chefs Alex Seidel and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson. Even better? You can support Emily Griffith Technical College’s Culinary Quick Start Program by dining at the Broadway location of PL on May 3 and mentioning the fundraiser.

James Beard Award-winning Boston chef Barbara Lynch will be at Coohills on May 11 for a special dinner celebrating her new memoir, Out of Line: A Life Playing With Fire (Atria Books, 2017).

White Pie, the second Denver endeavor for the brothers behind Dos Santos Taqueria, is slated to open in the Uptown neighborhood come mid-May. As the name suggests, the restaurant will serve East Coast-style pizza and other Italian classics.

Señor Bear, the latest from Bar Dough chef Blake Edmunds, Juan Padro, and chef Max Mackissock, should open in the former Jezebel’s space sometime in May.

Concourse
Concourse Restaurant Moderne begins serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner—including this luxe lobster pasta—in early May. Photo by Denise Mickelsen

In more Stapleton news, Troy Guard will open his third Los Chingones outpost in the Eastbridge community center in late May. The empire-builder is also working on breakfast joint, Hashtag, in Stapleton in June, as well as casual neighborhood eatery FNG in Highland in July.

Beloved breakfast-and-lunch spot, Sassafras American Eatery, will open its third location in Golden in May.

The Long I Pie Shop will relocate from the Temple Bakery to Globeville’s Fort Greene Bar in may. There, owner Shauna Lott will roll out a menu of savory items and continue serving her signature sweet treats.

LoHi breakfast and lunch cafe ProsperOats will open its second location in Broomfield’s Arista development in May.

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