Keeping up with Denver’s ever-changing, always-growing dining scene can be challenging. For this reason, we bring you “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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Candela Latin Kitchen
Candela Latin Kitchen’s El Gran Combo guacamole is made with guajillo pistachio mojo and oranges and served with plantain chips.

August Openings

On the first day of the month, Bar Louie opened its sixth Colorado bar and kitchen at Belmar in Lakewood.

On August 3, Patrick Mangold-White, owner of Kaos Pizzeria, Yardbird, and Uno Mas Taqueria y Cantina, opened Palizo Italiano on South Pearl Street. He’s serving northern Italian staples and house-made pastas at the new spot.

Candela Latin Kitchen, a reboot of Central Bistro and Bar from the same owners, opened in LoHi on August 4. Go for the Latin fare, such as mofongo and ceviche, and the excellent Puerto Rican-style tacos.

Lot 14 Bistro opened in the former Paxia space in the Sunnyside neighborhood on August 7.

On August 8, Liza’s Café opened inside Bonnie Brae’s the Saucy Noodle Ristorante. You’ll find counter service coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch items, and even a bit of booze.  

In early August, Healthful Juices, a spinoff of Island Peppapot, opened a Five Points location. Go for smoothies, juices, and Jamaican fare like jerk chicken.

Woods Boss Brewing opened in Five Points on August 11.

Urban Farmer
Urban Farmer’s peach-topped maple granola waffle. Photo courtesy of Sage Restaurant Group

Sage Restaurant Group opened Urban Farmer in LoDo on August 13. The modern steakhouse focuses on sustainability.

On August 15, Citizen Rail opened in Kimpton’s new Hotel Born behind Union Station. San Diego chef Christian Graves’ meaty menu features in-house dry-aged proteins and other wood-grilled eats.

On August 15, the Bourbon Grill re-opened on Colfax Avenue in a different location, this one with indoor seating. The beloved bourbon chicken is just as good in the new digs.

5280 Burger Bar opened a new location in Westminster on August 17.

On August 22, Riverfront Park got a charming new neighborhood spot from the team behind the Way Back: Wayward. Go for the bottomless happy hour—the only one in Denver.

Emmerson’s Queen of the South cocktail is served in vintage glassware and garnished with wormwood blossoms.

Emmerson, an all-day “neo-bistro” powered by an all-star cast of industry veterans, opened on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall on August 24 with dinner service and an incredible beverage program.

The recently renovated Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown got a new restaurant in August: the Lockwood Kitchen & Bar.

San Diego food truck Chicken Rebel had planned to stop in Denver temporarily, but owner Lydie Lovett decided in August to make a permanent home in the Mile High City at Finn’s Manor.

Maria Empanada opened its Stanley Marketplace location in late August.

Detroit-style favorite Blue Pan Pizza opened its second location in Congress Park in late August.

Georgia Boys BBQ, the popular Longmont-born smoked meats emporium, opened its new flagship eatery at 250 Third Avenue, across the street from its original location, the Longmont Times-Call reported.

August Closings

On August 1, breakfast-focused Wild Eggs in Washington Park West went dark.

On August 3, Stella’s on 16th closed its doors. The short-lived LoDo restaurant and market opened last January.

Latigo, a Mexican restaurant in Ballpark from one of the brothers behind Los Carboncitos, closed up shop in August.

Popular Axios Estiatorio closed its doors last month.

Greek favorite Axios Estiatorio shuttered its Tennyson Street location in early August.

Nine-month-old Clyde, a wine bar and design store located in the former Le Central space, went dark in August.

Downtown’s Crave Dessert Bar called it quits in August.

Chow Urban Grill on East Colfax closed up shop in mid-August.

The third outpost of DJ’s Cafe, located on Colfax, shuttered in August.

Uptown’s Blueprint Bar closed when owner Ryan DiFranco, of DiFranco’s, sold it to undisclosed buyers.

According to 9News, both locations of A-Town Pizza were seized by the city of Aurora and shuttered, due to thousands of dollars in owed taxes, penalties, interest, and fees.

Permitting issues for the flagship bike parade led to the cancellation of this year’s Denver Tour De Fat. Courtesy of Tour De Fat


New Belgium cancelled the 2017 Denver Tour de Fat; the Boulder and Colorado Springs events took place as scheduled, and the Fort Collins event will go forth on September 2.

On August 9, chef Timothy Hollingsworth cooked at Frasca Food and Wine.

Chef Aniedra Nichols, formerly of Fish N Beer, has taken over at Silva’s Fish Market inside Denver Central Market. She’ll be revamping the concept in October with a fresh name and menu.

In June, Babette’s halted production on its marvelous breads due to an incapacitated oven. As of August 11, co-owner Steve Scott resumed production, using a different oven and cast-iron combo cookers.

Aurora’s Annette and RiNo’s the Denver Central Market were on Bon Appetit’s 2017 list of the 50 best new restaurants in America.

Jill’s Restaurant, inside the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, has revamped their formerly French-centric menu to focus on local, seasonal fare.

Reserve, a new restaurant reservation system, hit Denver in August. Read about why it has already lured some big names away from OpenTable.

Cafe Brazil
Cafe Brazil’s feijoada bowls come topped with colorful salsas and garnishes. Photo courtesy of Cafe Brazil

After 27 years in business, Cafe Brazil debuted a feijoada bowl lunch concept in August.

The Kizaki brothers, who are behind Sushi Den, Izakaya Den, and Ototo, have purchased more space in Platt Park for expansion.

Popular Highland ramen joint Uncle is working on a second location in Wash Park.

Corey Baker of Sushi Ronin is bringing Izakaya Ronin to RiNo’s Industry building (in the space formerly occupied by Tengu Ramen).

Denver-based fast-casual chain Mici Handcrafted Italian is priming for national expansion with the addition of partner and CEO Elliot Schiffer, a former senior vice president at Smashburger.

Breakfast mega-hound Snooze plans ninth location in DTC, opening in spring 2018. Its new digs will feature a whole lotta glass, ample parking, and a patio.

Daniel Asher (River and Woods) and Tom Coohill (Coohills) cooked at the 10th annual Sabor Barranquilla gastronomic festival in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Boulder-based Rush Bowls has signed six new franchise agreements for a projected total of 19 Rush Bowls locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Missouri, Oregon, and Tennessee in the next several years.

Broomfield’s Hickory & Ash has added brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Francis Mallmann Little Nell Aspen
Chef Francis Mallmann, known for cooking over live fire, visited the Little Nell in Aspen. Photo by Amanda Rae

Acclaimed chef Francis Mallmann cooked with the team from the Little Nell in Aspen on August 17 as part of a celebration around the Nell winning Wine Spectator’s esteemed Grand Award for the 20th consecutive year.

Chef Matt Selby, a veteran Denver chef, has left his executive chef position at Bremen’s Wine & Tap. Former sous chef Isabel Ranney has taken over the role.

Vail-based fast-casual fried chicken slinger Yellowbelly Chicken has announced it will expand with another location in Arvada, which should open by the end of 2017.

Haykin Family Cider will open a production facility and tasting room in Aurora this fall.

RiNo nightclub Cold Crush is moving to Colfax in early November. The move follows a highly publicized murder last October.

On August 24, Jax Fish House LoDo donated a portion of the day’s proceeds to the family of line cook Marlon Casanova, who was killed walking home from work in July.

The owners of Zanzibar Billiards Club are bringing Hangar 101 Bar & Grill, a vintage-inspired tiki lounge, to Lakewood this fall.

Fort Collins-based horticulturist Tyler Mason was awarded a James Beard Foundation Scholarship.

Andra Zeppelin, Eater Denver’s editor, left the online media outlet to pursue freelance opportunities. Former 5280 food editor Amanda M. Faison wrote a glowing tribute to the legacy Zeppelin leaves behind.

Royal Rooster is no longer just a lunch pop-up. A full lunch menu is now available at Old Major, featuring RR’s tasty fried chicken sandwiches and more.

Many local restaurants and breweries are pitching in to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey, and they need your help.

Blackbelly Market’s chef-owner Hosea Rosenberg collaborated with Boulder designer Alan Ortiz on the look of his second restaurant concept, an ode to the cuisine and culture of his home state of New Mexico. Rendering courtesy of Alan Ortiz

What We’re Looking Forward to in September

Lustre Pearl is set to open with Carson McHone as its first live musical act on September 1.

The highly anticipated (and much-delayed) Tavernetta by Frasca Food and Wine should finally open in the Union Station area in mid-September.

Blackbelly’s Hosea Rosenberg announced that he’ll open his second Boulder restaurant, Santo, in late September. He’ll focus on New Mexican-style comfort food.

Bang Up to the Elephant!, a new project from the team behind Beatrice & Woodsley, should be hitting Capitol Hill in September.

Kendra Anderson (aka Swirl Girl Denver) is bringing her chic wine- and cocktail-focused Bar Helix to RiNo in September.

LoHi is getting a new Italian spot in September with Marcella’s Ristorante, Pizzeria, and Wine Bar.

Tatarian, a modern bar from the owners of the Arvada Lodge, Kline’s Beer Hall, and Union Lodge No. 1, is coming to Berkeley in September.

Rhein Haus is getting a sister restaurant with Wally’s Wisconsin Tavern, which will open next door to the LoDo spot in early September. It will feature Midwestern brews and food such as bratwurst and schnitzel.

Joe Maxx Coffee Co., a family-owned coffee shop and vegetarian eatery, will open in the Art District on Santa Fe.

Le Méridian Hotel’s Corrine restaurant and 54Thirty cocktail bar will open downtown in September. Expect sweeping views from the rooftop and elevated comfort food.

The Inventing Room Dessert Shop should open by the end of September, with twice the square footage, a patio, and exciting design elements “we hope will blow our guest’s minds as soon as they step foot in the door,” says owner Stacey Kleiman.

Westword reported that Jack-N-Grill on Federal will close when the building sells.

Jennifer Jasinski’s eagerly anticipated Ultreia will host a pop-up at Bistro Vendôme on September 14 and 15. Make your reservations now!

Two of Denver’s top Jewish bakeries, The Bagel Store and Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen, will merge to become Rosenberg’s Kosher on September 15. It will be the largest kosher purveyor in the state, offering a vast selection of house-made baked goods (bagels, among other things), smoked fish, salads, and spreads.

Rebel Restaurant will launch Obey Sandwichery in September, serving lunchtime-only sandwiches and salads from Rebel’s kitchen window. Items such as kimchi cheesesteaks will be for takeout only, no substitutions.

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.