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Eat and Drink

What Local Food Halls Will Look Like This Summer

Expanded open-air seating and pop-up outdoor food vendors are among the ways social spaces are adapting to the state’s new health and safety guidelines.

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Housing shoulder-to-shoulder food vendors and designed to attract crowds, the Front Range’s booming food hall trend wasn’t exactly designed for the pandemic era. But most of these social spaces are reopening for dine-in service—with new health and safety measures in place, of course. Here’s how local food halls are welcoming people back in. (Spoiler alert: They’re primarily welcoming them back out.)

If there’s such a thing as an “It” food hall in Denver, Avanti Food & Beverage may be, well, it. To combat the typical summer bustle and adhere to reduced capacity requirements, Avanti’s concepts will be open at rotating, staggered times. To make sure there’s a table waiting for you—either inside or out as part of the newly expanded al fresco seating options (pending final approval from the City of Denver)—make reservations via OpenTable. The hall is currently open 11 a.m.–close daily (hours may vary).

Denver Central Market remains closed for on-site dining and drinking, but it will continue to operate as a grocery store where you can get goods to go. When it does reopen, the marketplace hopes to expand outwards with seating in parking lots and in the back alley. For now, you can still order lunch and dinner from the vendors for curbside pick up. The market is open daily from 8 a.m.–8 p.m.

Denver Milk Market is open for dine-in service daily from 11 a.m–8 p.m., but things look a little different for the Dairy Block hot spot. During the COVID-19 closures, it embraced the “market” part of its moniker and will continue to sell to-go meals and grocery-style items. Milk Market has also expanded its outdoor seating area, increased sanitization of everything inside and out, and gone cashless.

Boulder’s Rosetta Hall will switch to a full-service tableside model when it reopens on June 5. Like at a traditional restaurant, hosts will seat diners and servers will take orders and deliver food and drinks to your table. With over 10,000 square feet of inside seating space, plus a killer rooftop patio, Rosetta isn’t planning on expanding its outdoor seating right now. All stalls will be open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 12–8 p.m., and continue curbside carryout, too.

Forget the Source as you knew it: The RiNo food hall’s new “Out Source” experience sounds even better. On Saturdays and Sundays, Smōk will offer its barbecue menu on the newly expanded patio out front, where you can consume dishes from any of the Source restaurants. A host will take diners to patio tables, which are spaced at least six feet apart, or to handmade geodesic domes ideal for privately lounging away a summer afternoon. Out Source is expected to open in early June, once the city approves the expanded seating area into the front lot, but curbside pick up and dine-in service is currently available at select restaurants. Hours of operation vary by concept, so check the website before venturing out.

Most vendors inside Stanley Marketplace are up and running—notably, Annette is only open for on-site dining on its patio for the time being, but will continue takeout offerings—but all of Stanley’s restaurants are encouraging guests to enjoy their to-go food outside at the newly launched Backyard at Stanley. The outdoor space is filled with tents, socially distanced tables, and designated hangout areas. Stanley is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. (curbside pick-up is available outside of those hours), and all patrons are required to wear facial coverings.

There are all kinds of social distance-friendly options at Golden’s Tributary Food Hall and Drinkery. Outside, a portion of the parking lot and sidewalk have been opened for more seating, and new patio pop-ups are serving gelato, burgers, tacos, and barbecue. The team has been vigilant about cleaning tables after every use, and guests are encouraged to mark tables as dirty when they leave to flag them for cleaning and let other guests know not to sit there. There’s still some indoor seating, and Tributary is working on establishing a formal online market where guests can order pantry and specialty grocery items for pick up. Food and drink stalls are all-in with the curbside pick-up, too. Tributary is open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. (times may vary by vendor), and will extend its hours as summer progresses.

While you still can’t sit inside Zeppelin Station, you can order food and drinks from the vendors to enjoy on the patio. Hours are 12–8 p.m. daily, and masks and social distancing are required.

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