A monthly review of happenings in the Denver dining scene from 5280's food team.
We know that keeping up with Denver's ever-changing, always-growing dining scene can be challenging. For this reason, we launched "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.
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Pop’s Place , a quirky cafe from Stephen Kleinman (father of The Inventing Room ’s Ian Kleinman) and Jim Pittenger (founder of Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs ) opened in the former Lower48 Kitchen space on April 1. The cafe serves eclectic American-style eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Preservery , a fast-casual RiNo eatery, bakery, and community gathering space, launched on April 1. This airy cafe specializes in sandwiches on freshly baked bread, light breakfast fare, and ambitious dinner plates such as braised rabbit and halibut in saffron broth.
The Berkeley location of Biju’s Little Curry Shop  opened on April 1. A Boulder outpost (located inside the Pearl Street Whole Foods) followed shortly after on April 19.
The Cherry Creek outpost of Matsuhisa , a high-end Japanese eatery from the world-renowned Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, opened in early April.
Frozen Matter , a cow-to-cone ice cream shop, opened in Uptown in early April. It’s one of the few ice cream parlors in the country licensed to operate as a dairy plant. Psst: We hear there’s a cocktail speakeasy slated to open in the back of the creamery in the near future.
Pair your ice cream with booze at Frozen Matter.
Breakfast eatery Syrup  opened its third location in City Park's former Le Peep’s space in early April.
Superfruit Republic , a health-oriented cafe focusing on smoothies and açaí and pitaya bowls, opened in Stapleton on April 14.
The Kolache Factory  opened on April 14 in a new West Colfax location (the previous Denver-area location of the Texas-based chain closed in 2013). Now, lovers of the sweet and savory stuffed pastries can once again get their fix.
RiNo’s sleek noodle bar and watering hole Tengu  closed in mid April.
Sunnyside's Big Country Bar B Que is no longer.
After closing temporarily in January, there's now a "Space for Lease" sign on the outside of Dada Art Bar . It seems that the bar will be shuttering permanently.
Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Paterson have announced the name of their forthcoming Denver restaurant. —Photo by Adam Larkey
Leña shuttered briefly at the end of March due to a kitchen fire. The Latin American eatery reopened in mid-April and has launched its new spring and summer menu with additions like beef tartare with yuca chips and salsa verde.
There’s a new grab-and-go kiosk in Union Station ’s main hall hawking coffee and pre-plated snacks (like meat and cheese plates) curated by chef Lon Symensma. Look for another shake-up at Union Station soon, too: In early May, Acme Burger & Brat Corporation  is closing to make way for another Lon Symensma concept. Expect the food lineup at Terminal Bar  to change, too.
The Colorado Restaurant Association  has announced the Industry Spotlight Award 2016 winners. Among the many winners, 5280’s own Amanda M. Faison has been chosen as Outstanding Media Professional.
Huckleberry Roasters ' Larimer Street location is slowly transforming into Port Side . The ownership remains the same (and you’ll still be able to get coffee), but the cafe will also start serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and booze. Stop by this Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to noon to taste chef Chris Bell's (formerly of Potager) new offerings, or next week on Friday or Saturday. The full launch is coming in a month or so.
Nearly nine months after announcing their Union Station project, Bobby Stuckey and Lachlann Mackinnon-Patterson have revealed the name: Tavernetta by Frasca .
Richardo’s Decaf Coffee Liqueur  took home the silver medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Woody Creek Distillers ' Straight Rye Whiskey was awarded the double gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
The Palm has re-opened for business after it closed for two months for a facelift.
Mission Yogurt Inc.  has announced it will open Que Bueno Suerte!, a Mexican restaurant in the former Session Kitchen  space neighborhood this summer. Work & Class  chef Dana Rodriguez will consult on the menu, and Vincente “Vinny” Sosa will be executive chef.
A rendering of River and Woods' interior
Daniel Asher and Josh Dinar have partnered on River and Woods  in Boulder. The duo are turning the dormant John's Restaurant space into the ultimate community gathering space, slated to open this summer. Contribute to the Indiegogo campaign here , and be sure to submit your favorite family recipes —Dinar and Asher will sift through submissions and feature many of the crowd-sourced dishes at the restaurant.
The folks behind RedCamper  jams have launched a Kickstarter campaign  to fund Happy Camper BBQ , their new, mobile “Colorado barbecue” project. Assuming that the funding process goes as planned, the truck should be rolling out green chile-topped barbecue by early June.
Chef-restaurateur Frank Bonanno  announced he’ll open French 75 near downtown sometime this winter. Expect to find straight-ahead, casual French fare at Bonanno's 12th restaurant concept.
Boulder's Paleo-focused eatery Blooming Beets Kitchen  announced that it will open a Denver location in the Baker neighborhood this winter.
Tennyson Street is getting a new Mexican restaurant with Tres Chiles Grill. An opening date for the eatery is still pending.
Long running chain Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana  will open its seventh location in Gunbarrel this summer.
Arcana 's opening chef, Matt Lackey, is no longer with the restaurant.
Stanley Marketplace  has announced another tenant: Starling Wine & Whiskey Bar. Plus, the Big Wonderful  makes its Stanley debut on May 21. Before May 21, the Big Wonderful will be taking place at its old RiNo location (starting May 6).
—Image courtesy of Racca's
What We’re Looking Forward to in May
Illegal Pete ’s is opening its fifth Denver location (this one's on Colfax Avenue and Race Street) on May 13.
The third location of Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana (formerly Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza) opens in Lakewood adjacent to the Colorado Mills mall on May 21.
Mas Kaos , the long-awaited love child from Uno Mas Taqueria and Kaos Pizzeria, should open in mid-May.
Nixon’s Coffee House will open its Platt Park location at the end of May. The coffee shop already has locations in both Englewood and Littleton.
Bang! 's empty space on West 32nd Avenue will get a new tenant in the form of Sera’s Ramen Enclave.