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Bar Helix’s house Negroni is perfection. Photo by Denise Mickelsen

The Highlight Reel: October’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.

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QuickFishpokebar-firebowl_Rachel-Adams
QuickFish’s Fire Bowl features raw Alaskan sockeye salmon, red onion, daikon sprouts, cucumber, candied Thai chile, and creamy habanero masago sauce. Photo by Rachel Adams

Recent Openings

On October 2, Alexis McLean re-opened the beloved Santa Fe Cookie Company. The downtown bakery closed earlier this summer when its founder, Debbie Kuehn, passed away from cancer. McLean, Kuehn’s niece, spent a decade, one and off, working for Santa Fe Cookie Company.

Kendra Anderson (aka “Swirl Girl Denver”) opened gritty-chic wine- and cocktail-focused Bar Helix in RiNo on October 3. Three words: Negroni doughnut holes.

On October 4, Rivers and Roads Coffee opened in the Clayton neighborhood. The coffee shop sells scratch-made sandwiches, pastries, and more.

Lustre Pearl Denver kicked off its official RiNo opening on October 6 with barbecue and music.

On October 10, QuickFish Poke Bar opened in the space that formerly housed Bamboo Sushi in Avanti Food & Beverage.

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Choice Market
Choice Market redefines the convenience store. Photo by Amelia Schwartz

Choice Market, a 24-hour eatery that frames itself as a modern iteration of the convenience store, opened in Uptown on October 13.

Copper Door Coffee celebrated the grand opening of its second location, this one in the Baker neighborhood, on October 13.

On October 13, the McDevitt Taco Supply truck upgraded into a brick-and-mortar location in Boulder.

In mid-October, Aurora favorite the Soul Kitchen opened its second location in Lakewood.

El Tepehuan, an Englewood staple since the late 1970s, reopened in its new location (just down Broadway from the original) on October 16.

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Grill Concepts Inc.’s seafood-centric Wewatta Point opened in LoDo on October 16.

On October 17, the casual community pub Next Door Eatery expanded with a new location in Longmont.

Ohana Grille, a brick-and-mortar offshoot of the food truck of the same name, celebrated its grand opening in Sloan’s Lake on October 20.

Under the Umbrella Cafe and Bakery opened its second location—this one in the Baker neighborhood—on October 20.

Daniel Landes, the owner of City O’ City and Make, Believe Bakery, unveiled his reboot of long-running Bonnie Brae watering hole, the Campus Lounge, on October 21.

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On October 24, California Wrap Runner opened its first brick-and-mortar location (it has two food trucks) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Denver gained two new poke spots in October: The Poke House (October 27) and Denver Poke Company (October 26). Both are located in the Highland neighborhood.

The Bindery
At the Bindery, chef-owner Linda Hampsten Fox’s deconstructed coq au vin comes with mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and salt pork.

The Bindery, an eatery, market, and bakery from chef Linda Hampsten Fox, opened on Central Street on October 27.

Beloved sandwich chain Snarf’s opened a location on South Broadway on October 27.

The Inventing Room Dessert Shop opened its fabulous new West Highland location on October 29.

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Broken Rice
After less than nine months, Broken Rice is no longer serving. Courtesy of Broken Rice

Closings

Broken Rice, an Asian-inspired fast-casual outfit, closed its Colorado Blvd. location after just over eight months in business.

After closing its evening alter ego, White Lies, last month, Black Eye Coffee Cap Hill announced it was ceasing operations completely in October. The LoHi location is unaffected.

Rayme Rossello announced the closure of Comida’s Longmont location in October. The remaining two outposts—at the Source and Stanley Marketplace—are still up and running.

Middle Eastern favorite Damascus shuttered its Colorado Boulevard location. Fatoush restaurant has taken its place.

Bradford Heap’s Niwot restaurant Colterra Food & Wine is temporarily closed due to a kitchen fire. A re-opening date hasn’t yet been announced.

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Frozen Matter
Pair your ice cream with booze at Frozen Matter. Photo by Rachel Adams

News

This October 14, Denver celebrated its first-ever official breakfast burrito day. Check out our favorites here.

Boulder “neo-bistro” Emmerson debuted its breakfast and lunch service in October, with a must-try egg sandwich and top-notch pastries.

Frozen Matter, the uptown craft ice cream shop, is plotting its second location in Wash Park, which will open this Winter.

The Way Back has revealed the address of its new Tennyson Street location, which will open early next year.

Andrea Frizzi is bringing Vero Italian to Boulder. He’ll open his wood-fired pizza joint in the former home of Pizzeria Da Lupo in January.

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The Señor Bear Team is bringing Mister Oso to Zeppelin Station. The walk-up restaurant inside RiNo’s forthcoming market hall will offer Latin American street food. Zeppelin Station also announced Dandy Lion Coffee (from Vinh Xuong Bakery owner, Duc Hunyh) and Injoi, a Korean-inspired project from Bill Espiricueta of Acorn. Bonus: You can get a taste of the menu on November 16,17, and 18 when Injoi will pop up at RiNo Yacht Club inside the Source.

Boulder seafood startup, LoveTheWild, will join six other companies in Chobani Food Incubator’s mentorship and networking program and receive $25,000 to grow its brand.

Best Food Writing 2017
Courtesy of Best Food Writing 2017

5280 restaurant critic, Scott Mowbray, earned a spot in the Best Food Writing 2017 culinary compilation with his lyrical story about Louisville’s Moxie Bread Company and its divine breads and pastries.

Justin Brunson of Old Major, Masterpiece Delicatessen, and Culture Meat & Cheese, landed a pilot on the Food Network. The meat-centric show, SEARious Meats, premiered October 18 on the Cooking Channel and October 20 on the Food Network.

The Junior League of Denver (JLD) is assembling its sixth cookbook. Centennial Celebrations is seeking beloved recipes from the community for possible inclusion. Submissions are due by November 20.

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Frank Bonnano, the tour de force behind 10 Denver restaurants (including Mizuna, Bones, Salt & Grinder, and the new French 75), and his company, Bonanno Concepts, will be opening Denver Milk Market. The 15,000-square foot food hall, which will feature 14 original restaurant and bar concepts, is expected to open next summer.

Troy Guard has tapped chef Tyler Wiard to run the show at his modern steak house, Guard and Grace. Wiard has years of experience in Colorado restaurants, including a stint as executive chef and culinary director of Elway’s.

Asheville, North Carolina’s Belgian-inspired beer bar and brewery Thirsty Monk is headed to Denver by the end of the year.

Westword reported that Grow & Gather, a concept fusing agriculture, a market, and a food and beverage element, will open in Englewood next year.

The Post Chicken & Beer
The Post Chicken & Beer is coming to Boulder. Photo by Mona Esposito/courtesy of the Post Chicken & Beer

What We’re Looking Forward to in November

On September 21, a kitchen fire closed Tavernetta. It’s slated to reopen in early November.

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On November 2, fried chicken luminary the Post Chicken & Beer will unveil its new downtown Boulder location. Bonus: Read all about Big Red F Restaurant Group founder Dave Query here.

Jon Robbins (of Bistro Barbès and Temper Chocolates) and his business partner Megan Silvertooth will open Red Sauce, a nostalgic Italian-American spot, in Park Hill on November 5.

On November 7, Liv Studio will open its long-awaited Greenlight Lab in RiNo. The project is part gathering space, part real-time design laboratory.

First Bite, Boulder County Restaurant Week, is taking place November 10 through 18. Check out the list of participating restaurants and make your reservations now.

The Family Jones Spirit House, a craft distillery tasting room in collaboration with Edible Beats, will open on November 11.

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Departure Ramen
Departure‘s first-ever ramen showdown features five of Denver’s best chefs. Photo by Adam Larkey courtesy of Departure Denver

On November 13, Departure Denver Restaurant and Lounge is hosting its inaugural ramen showdown, which features five of Denver’s top chefs. Best of all? You get to be the judge. Bonus: If you missed out on tickets for Departure’s event, don’t fret. There’s another ramen throw down taking place at Dio Mio, in conjunction with Uncle, on November 7. Get your tickets here.

Union Station’s shiny new Whole Foods Market—including Birdcall and Tel Aviv Street Food—officially opens on November 15.

Bamboo Sushi will open its stand-alone location in Highland on November 20.

Oskar Blues Grill & Brew will open its LoDo restaurant, bar, and live music venue in late November.

Sushi Ronin’s Corey Baker is set to open his RiNo offshoot, Izakaya Ronin, sometime in November. The new spot will feature ramen and a late-night menu.

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Troy Guard is set to expand his empire in November with the opening of Highland elevated comfort food emporium FNG.

RiNo will get a new watering hole and tapas bar sometime in November: Barcelona Wine Bar.

Callie Sumlin, Associate Food Editor

Callie Sumlin creates stories for 5280's Eat & Drink section, manages the dining guide, and oversees 5280.com's digital food-related coverage and weekly e-newsletter, Table Talk.

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