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The stunning new Family Jones Spirit House. Photo by James Florio

The Highlight Reel: November’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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Recent Openings

On November 2, fried chicken luminary the Post Chicken & Beer unveiled 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 opened Red Sauce, a nostalgic Italian-American spot, in Park Hill on November 5.

On November 7, Liv Studio opened its long-awaited Greenlight Lab in the alley behind Denver Central Market. The gathering space is also a real-time design laboratory.

Tavernetta
Tavernetta’s buttery tagliolini with Maine lobster, semi-dried tomatoes, fresh cherry tomatoes, and herbs. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Tavernetta reopened on November 8 after a kitchen fire closed its doors for seven weeks.

The Family Jones Spirit House, the Mile High City’s first distillery-restaurant, opened on November 11 next door to Root Down.

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On Saturday, November 11, artisanal butcher shop and deli, the Juniper Pig, opened at Aurora’s Stanley Market. Go for local meats, sandwiches, and salads.

Beer enthusiasts rejoice: Growler USA opened its doors in Sloan’s Lake on November 13 with more than 100 taps of draft beer and a beer-themed menu.

Ginger and Baker
Find everything from fresh-baked pies to a sit-down restaurant—and cooking classes!—at Ginger and Baker, Fort Collins‘ newest addition, Ginger and Baker. Photo courtesy of PhoCo Photography

On November 14, Fort Collins’ Ginger and Baker opened its doors. The ambitious new venture features a bakery, a cafe, two restaurants, a teaching kitchen, three outdoor patios, and two event spaces.

Union Station’s massive new Whole Foods Market—including dine-in and take-out options from local Birdcall and Tel Aviv Street Food—officially opened on November 15.

The Cereal Box opened in Old Town Arvada in mid-November. The colorful, kid-friendly space serves cereal and milk—yes, really—as well as cereal sundaes and milk shakes.

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Hosea Rosenberg, founder of one of 5280’s 2017 25 Best RestaurantsBlackbelly, opened Santo in North Boulder on November 18. The New Mexican restaurant currently serves dinner (try the green chile cheeseburger), but lunch and brunch service are on the horizon.

RiNo Beer Garden
RiNo Beer Garden’s massive patio. Photo by Tyra Sutak

RiNo Beer Garden opened in November with more than 60 beer taps and the largest patio in Denver.

On November 19, Punch Bowl Social, a gastro-diner perfect for food and play, opened its second Colorado location in the former Stapleton airport air traffic control tower.

Westword reported that the Squeeze Inn, a beloved dive bar in the Regis neighborhood, reopened this month under new ownership after shuttering nearly a year ago.

Miracle on Little Raven, a Christmas-themed pop-up bar, opened at Wayward on November 22. Go snag a Chrismapolitan cocktail now through December 24.

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Sneakeazy, a shoe shop and bar, opened above Element Kitchen & Cocktail on Broadway in November. You can shop for high-end sneakers and chow down on pub fare curated by chef John Tesar.

Bamboo Sushi
Bamboo’s albacore tuna carpaccio with smoked cipollini onions, pickled shiitakes, ponzu, and chervil. Photo by Rachel Adams

On November 27, Bamboo Sushi, the Portland-born seafood spot (one of the first certified sustainable sushi restaurants in the U.S.) formerly located at Avanti Food & Beverage, opened its first Colorado stand-alone location in LoHi.

Cherry Creek has a new Shanghai style restaurant: Fortune Wok to Table. As Westword reported, Fortune has taken over the former Osaka Ramen space.

Wazee Supper Club
The original Wazee Supper Club sign. Photo by 5280

Closings

After 43 years in business, the Wazee Supper Club will close by the end of the year. The good news: It will be replaced by Morin, a French restaurant by Juan Padro, Katie O’Shea Padro, and Max Mackissock—the same group behind Bar Dough, Señor Bear, and Highland Tap and Burger.

Telegraph, the second eatery from the team behind Brazen, shuttered in November. Owners Chris and Carissa Sargent cited tough competition in Denver’s overcrowded restaurant market as their reason for closing.

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Colorado’s acclaimed Avalanche Cheese Company is ceasing production of its award-winning meats and cheeses after 10 years.

Ink Coffee in Five Points has been the subject of controversy.

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The Larimer Street location of Ink Coffee drew ire and protests in November after unveiling a controversial pro-gentrification sign. The shop apologized and has since reopened for business.

Troubled fast-casual darling Chipotle Mexican Grill announced that it will replace its CEO and founder, Steve Ells.

On November 13, Departure Denver Restaurant and Lounge hosted its inaugural ramen showdown, which featured five of Denver’s top chefs. The winner? Sushi Ronin and Izakaya Ronin’s Corey Baker.

Biju Thomas, the force behind Biju’s Little Curry Shop, is entering the retail world with his new line of spices.

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In November, one of the world’s most highly acclaimed restaurants, El Cellar De Can Roca, visited Denver. Two local culinary students will now have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to train at the restaurant in Spain.

Namkeen
Namkeen will serve an array of Indian street food at Zeppelin Station, including curry-filled kati rolls (top left).

More tenants have been announced for Zeppelin Station: Injoi Korean Kitchen (a project from Bill Espiricueta of Acorn), Namkeen (a South Indian street-food spot from the duo behind Spuntino), and two bars, Kiss & Ride and Big Trouble.

A dish from Basta chef Kelly Whitaker has landed on the menu at San Francisco’s Michelin-starred In Situ.

Post Oak Hall, Ellen Daehnick’s (of Helliemae’s Caramels) Saturday-only restaurant, has updated its hours. It is now open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, which means more Houston-style po’ boy sandwiches and salted caramel banana pudding for us—plus coffee!

A former Whole Foods executive has invested in FoodMaven, a Colorado Springs-based company that tackles food waste.

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Pastry chef Joy Williams joined Tag Restaurant Group, where she’ll create sweet treats for Troy Guard’s ever-growing line of eateries (including FNG which opens today in West Highland).

In November, Riverfront Park eatery Wayward announced it had hired Talia Diele as its new executive chef. Diele replaced opening chef Patrick Kelly.

In-N-Out
It’s official: In-N-Out Burger is coming to Colorado. Photo courtesy of Phil Whitehouse / Flickr via Creative Commons

Burger lovers rejoice: In-N-Out Burger is finally coming to Colorado. The only catch? It’s first location will open in Colorado Springs, not Denver—and it won’t actually open for years.

Lee Driscoll, co-owner of the Cherry Cricket, announced a second location of the beloved burger joint in Ballpark, scheduled to open in early 2018.

Rye Society, a Jewish Deli featuring pastrami flown in from Carnegie Deli, will open in RiNo in early 2018.

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Alicia Luther Clardie, former pastry chef at the now-closed Black Eye Coffee Cap Hill, is currently raising funds to open up her own spot, Spruce & Lark, in Congress Park.

FNG’s in-house charcuterie program is off to a delicious start.

What We’re Looking Forward to in December

On December 1, Troy Guard’s West Highland comfort food emporium, FNG, will open. Check out the menu highlights here.

On December 2, Sushi Ronin chef Corey Baker opens Izakaya Ronin in RiNo. The split-level spot features pristine sushi on the main-floor dining room and a low-lit bar experience—replete with late-night ramen and more—downstairs.

On December 7, season 15 of Top Chef, which was shot in Colorado, premieres on Bravo at 8 p.m. MT. Read our Q&A with the two local cheftestants here.

Ultreia, Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch’s highly-anticipated Spanish-inspired restaurant, is shooting for a December 7 or 8 opening in Union Station.

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Archetype Distillery
A large, metal A, Archetype Distillery’s logo, decorates Archetype Distillery’s upstairs space. Photo by Sarah Boyum

Archetype Distillery, a new spirits producer and tasting room on Broadway, should officially open in December.

Lazy Dog Westminster will open on December 20—and it’ll serve meals for your dog, including chicken breast with brown rice.

Beckon Call is planning a December opening on Larimer Street. The double-building concept offers a daytime cafe on one side and a high-end chef’s table experience on the other.

The Block Distilling Co., a new artisan distillery on Larimer Street, is slated to open on December 16, according to the Denverite.

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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