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Bang Up To The Elephant is a design lover's paradise. Photo by Ryan Dearth

The Highlight Reel: January’s Tastiest Food News

A monthly review of openings, closings, and 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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Oskar Blues
Oskar Blues Grill & Brew. Photo courtesy of Bobbie Turner Photography

Recent Openings

On January 5, Tap Fourteen, a Colorado Beer Garden featuring 70 taps and comfort food, opened in Uptown.

On January 12, Oskar Blues Grill & Brew and the Black Buzzard music venue opened on Market Street in downtown Denver.

As reported by Westword, Delhi Darbar moved into the Lincoln space formerly occupied by Gumba’s Italian Kitchen.

On January 15, Social Fare Denver Dining & Drinks opened inside the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek, replacing Second Home Bar & Kitchen.

Superfood Bar
A miso-brown rice wrap and chocolate-avocado smoothie at the new Superfood Ba.

New Orleans-import Superfood Bar opened it’s tiny Platte Street location this month. Expect smoothies and grab-and-go vegan wraps and salads.

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On January 27, Kevin Delk (of Beatrice & Woodsley and Two-Fisted Mario’s Pizza) unveiled Bang Up to the Elephant. The colorful, plant-bedecked space is home to island-inspired “Calypso cuisine” and a grab-and-go daytime cafe (although it’ll be a few weeks before the cafe is offering a full menu).

Caffe Figurati replace Boxcar Coffee Roasters in the Source in late January. The new roastery is the brainchild of Jason Farrar, also behind Commonwealth Coffee Roasters. Farrar is roasting a special blend for the Source’s caffeine-seekers.

Denver Distillery opened its doors on South Broadway in late January. The new distillery-pub hawks its own house-made spirits (try the spiced coffee liqueur), cocktails, local beer, and New Zealand-inspired snacks from Boulder’s Tip Top Savory Pies.

On January 31, Huckleberry Roasters opened its third location. This one is at LoDo’s new Dairy Block and will feature food such as buckwheat waffles.

The Chowder Room stopped serving in January. Photo by Rachel Adams

Closings

South Broadway seafood haunt, the Chowder Room, closed its doors on January 20 after just three years.

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Platform T, a casual tea bar, shuttered both of its Denver locations suddenly in January.

The Broker Restaurant, a Denver classic, served its last meal on New Year’s Eve after 45 years in business.

Charcoal closed after seven years in Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood. Charcoal Bistro, located in the Washington Park neighborhood, remains open.

Bremen’s Wine & Tap shuttered after less than a year in its LoHi location.

The Uptown outpost of Tony P’s shuttered in late January.

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Arugula, a farm-to-table spot in North Boulder, ceased operations in January.

The Hound, a Congress Park bar and restaurant that recently replaced the Irish Hound, closed in late January.

According to Westword, Colfax Avenue’s Moroccan food staple, Mataam Fez, shuttered in January. Apparently the owner is searching for a new location.

Westword reported that Quijotes, a reliably great taqueria on Broadway, shuttered in at the end of January.

After 43 years in business, the Wazee Supper Club will serve its last pizza and beer anytime now. The good news: It will be replaced by Morin, a French restaurant by Juan Padro, Katie O’Shea, and Max Mackissock—the same group behind Bar Dough, Señor Bear, and the Highland Tap and Burger locations.

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Deerhammer Distilling
Buena Vista’s Deerhammer Distilling Company won in the spirits category at the 2018 Good Food Awards for its American single malt whiskey.

News

The Good Food 100 Restaurants annual survey opened in January, allowing eateries nationwide to demonstrate how much of their purchasing went to sustainable food sources. Results of the survey will be available in September.

Five has announced its winning Denver tastemakers for 2018: lan Wenzel, alumni chef-owner of Element Knife Company; John Hinman, Hinman’s Bakery; Josh Niernberg, Bin 707 Foodbar, Tacoparty, and Dinner Party, Grand Junction; Chris Jakubiec, chef-owner of Hutch Supper Club; Spencer White, chef-co-owner Dio Mio; Steven Waters, Run For the Roses, cocktail; Kendra Anderson, Bar Helix, advanced sommelier. The Five crew will cook a meal at the James Beard House in New York City in October.

Colorado makers did well at the 2018 Good Food Awards, an annual celebration of American craft producers. Winners include Elevation Charcuterie & Artisan Meats, Big B’s Hard Ciders, Stem Ciders, Ozo Coffee Roasters, Deerhammer Distillery, and Dram Apothecary.

Call on Larimer Street in RiNo added dinner and cocktails to its lineup in late January.

South Pearl Street’s Yard Bird restaurant has changed its name to Bird. The menu of American comfort food remains unchanged.

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The Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group announced that it will open Mediterranean-inspired Mila in the Central Business District sometime this spring.

Haykin Family Cider
Haykin Family Cider is now serving its small-batch beverages in Aurora. Photo by Callie Sumlin

What We’re Looking Forward to in February

Julep will bring “Southern-sophisticated” fare to RiNo starting February 1. Kyle Foster (formerly of Rebel Restaurant and Colt & Gray) and Katie Foster (owner of Stir Cooking School) will serve upscale dishes such as barbecued snails and pork and oyster sausages at their new spot.

Aurora’s family-owned cidery, Haykin Family Cider, will open its doors on February 1. The sophisticated ciders are crafted with Colorado-grown heirloom apples and can be purchased by-the-glass or in 375- and 750-ml bottle for take-home.

Starting February 2, Riverfront’s Wayward will play host to a Winter Olympics-themed pop-up bar, the Podium Cocktail Bar, which will be open Tuesday-Saturday throughout the Games and possibly beyond. Expect Olympic-themed craft cocktails and bites.

Archetype Distillery, a new spirits producer and tasting room on Broadway, should enter its soft opening phase in early February.

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The Bindery, one of the new restaurants participating in 2018 Denver Restaurant Week, will be serving its wonderful boar pappardelle.

The 14th-annual Denver Restaurant Week runs from February 23 through March 4 this year. Browse more than 240 menus from participating restaurants here.

Sean Kenyon, along with Matchbox co-owners Justin Anthony and Lisa Vedovelli will open American Bonded in RiNo sometime in February. The new watering hole from the acclaimed Williams & Graham and Occidental barman will feature plenty of whiskey selections and affordably priced cocktails.

Zeppelin Station, a RiNo food hall, is slated to open sometime in February.

Asheville, North Carolina-import the Thirsty Monk Brewery & Pub will open its City Park West location sometime in February.

Spring Adventuring

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