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When The Kitchen opened in Boulder in 2004, “sustainable” wasn’t part of the vernacular. Since then, the bistro has inspired many local establishments to do right by the environment, the customer, and the community. For the following restaurants, going green is simply part of doing business.
1515» When chef-owner Gene Tang went green at his own restaurant, he recruited several other businesses on the block to do the same. Aside from installing new energy-saving furnaces and motion-detector lighting in low-use areas of 1515, Tang negotiated a contract in which four neighboring restaurants share recycling, trash, and composting bins. 1515 Market St., 303-571-0011, 1515restaurant.com
The Avenue Grill» In addition to stocking the bar with Colorado beers, wines, and spirits and serving a seasonally inspired menu, the Avenue Grill takes sustainability seriously. In its first year as a member of Eat Greener Denver, an organization that helps restaurants reduce their impact on the environment, the Avenue Grill diverted 37 tons of waste from landfills. Plus, the restaurant provides bike storage for staff and an extra employee discount for those who take alternative transportation to work. 630 E. 17th St., 303-861-2820, avenuegrill.com
Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza and Watering Hole» This Golden spot is committed to protecting the environment, and it has the city’s 2010 Sustainable Business Award to prove it. Forty-eight solar panels on the roof keep 28,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, and the dishwashing system saves 9,000 gallons of water per month. Kids love the pizza buffet, but adults will appreciate the 12 Colorado-brewed draught beers and a salad bar jammed with local veggies. 1305 Washington St., Golden, 303-277-0443, woodysgolden.com
Stoney’s Bar & Grill» You don’t often think sports bar when you think sustainability, but “reuse” is the motto here. At Stoney’s, tables and seating are made from reclaimed wood and church pews. There’s energy-efficient lighting and compostable to-go ware. Bonus: Proceeds from recycled cans go to local charities—matched dollar for dollar by Coors. 1111 Lincoln St., 303-830-6839, stoneysbarandgrill.com