5280’s biggest dining issue ever also takes a look at the war between the chains and independents, a guide to what chefs would order off their own menus (page 89), and a profile of Denver’s omnipresent Pete (page 81).
Never before has Denver faced so many new options for dining out. The city is one of the nation’s fastest-growing restaurant markets – without a doubt, this recent boom has been marked by an influx of chain-operated restaurants, from high-end steak houses to modern Cajun cooking. As the restaurant community has become bolstered by the same chains found in nearly every major metropolitan area, some worry that Denver has lost important elements of its local flavor. But the dollars are talking and the chains are finding incredible success in the Mile-High City .
Today, Denver handily supports a thriving restaurant community: Chains and independents alike are enjoying flush times thanks to Denver’s prosperity.
But be certain: Denver’s boom-bust cycle will again rear its ugly head. And when it comes to the chains, where will they stand when the good times stop rolling? Owned by out-of-state corporations or even traded on the stock market, what’s the impact of these newcomers on Denver’s restaurant scene now…what will it be come the next crash?
And what does this mean for you, the people with their names scribbled in reservation books all across town?