Feature

Wishful Thinking

Our 18 wishes—ranging from realistic to far-fetched—for making Denver an even dreamier place to live.

January 2014

Wish8To be known for something other than the Denver omelet

 

Geographic areas are often associated with certain foods—New York–style pizza, San Francisco sourdough, Texas toast. And though Denver’s food scene has made remarkable strides in the past decade, we’re still known nationwide for two atrocious dishes: the Denver omelet and Rocky Mountain oysters. We doubt we’ll ever rid ourselves of these blunders, but we think a rebranding campaign is in order. So we took it upon ourselves to develop a handful of dishes we think show off our culinary chops—and Colorado’s homegrown ingredients—more appropriately.

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Wish9Food and booze one-stop shopping

This seems like a no-brainer request, but it could be a “careful-what-you-wish-for” scenario. We break it down.

PRO » Forty-five states have already determined that selling beer and wine (and, in some cases, liquor) in grocery stores is no big whoop. Yet Colorado clings to antiquated liquor laws. Why? Some say the stores can’t sell full-strength booze safely. Others believe increased big-box availability will put mom-and-pop liquor shops out of business. I'm not buying it. Thanks to an obscure provision in state law—chain businesses with a pharmacy can sell full-strength beer, wine, and liquor at one Colorado location—there are a few test cases, and things seem to be going fine. The SuperTarget at Colorado and Alameda sells regular hooch. There’s a local City Wine across the street—and at least seven liquor stores within a mile—and they’re all still in business. Plus, extra competition could drive down prices. And what’s more convenient than picking up a sixer when you’re on a milk run?

CON » Convenience. That’s the reason most people give when arguing that grocery stores should carry booze. But there’s a lot more to explore. Like freedom of choice. Bringing spirits to grocery store shelves means letting the supermarkets (aka gigantic out-of-state corporations) determine which bottles are sold. The result: homogenization. Furthermore, in a growing market that is quickly becoming more educated about wine, “[This move] would squelch curiosity,” says Ashley Vaughters, sommelier and wine buyer for Denver’s Mistral Wine Co. Without interest, there’s little demand for more special labels. As for the customers who pledge to still seek them out? Alex Kayir with Infinite Monkey Theorem says, “In theory, those wanting something more high-end or boutique will go elsewhere. But in practice, when it’s about convenience, they’re not going to make a special trip.” —AMF

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