The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
More than 220 restaurants have been permitted to convert street parking spaces, sidewalks, and private parking lots into dining areas through the city of Denver’s Temporary Outdoor Expansions for Restaurants and Bars permit. But perhaps none have been as creative as the Source Hotel & Market Hall in Five Points.
Out Source is the venue’s new outdoor dining space. Spread across the front parking lot are nine geodesic dining domes designed by Mathieu Mudie, retail director at Zeppelin Development.
The minimalist, cedar-and-metal structures stand about 10 feet tall and 18 feet in diameter and are intended to foster a feeling of community in the midst of forced separation. Portions of the upper and side sections are filled with American-made hard canvas. “We thought it was an easy way to create a space that felt intimate,” Mudie says. “We put some canvas in those triangles but not all the way down, so you can still feel part of everything and have airflow, but it provides shade.”
Inside, Mudie designed warm, comfortable spaces that vary from dome to dome but can seat six to eight people. Tables, chairs, and lounge seating are complemented by rugs and plants from Source tenant Beet & Yarrow (placed in Winter Session canvas planters, another Source purveyor).
“It was a design exercise to create this broader community market-hall space, but in an outdoor environment, and to use the same finish palette that’s used throughout the Source currently,” says Justin Croft, vice president of development for Zeppelin Development.
The domes were cut at the new community workshop at Zeppelin’s Taxi campus, then built on site. It took about 12 hours to complete each dome and nearly three weeks to set up the whole space.
Tenants and the public will be able to access Taxi’s maker space (with COVID-19-related restrictions in place) when it opens in August. Mudie hopes to eventually host workshops and classes in addition to allowing people to pop in to use machines like the laser engraver and screen printer as needed.
Each dome in Out Source, which also features umbrella-topped tables, is overseen by a host. Diners can bring takeout from the Source’s six eateries or sit down and order electronically (touch-free QR codes on the tables allow visitors to pull up the menus directly on their smartphones). Boozy beverages all come from Smōk’s menu.
Diners will also spot similar domes at nearby Zeppelin Station, where the outdoor space is known as Lost Summer.
Croft expects both pop-up dining areas to remain open through at least September.
If You Go: Out Source is open Friday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Lost Summer is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.