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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Hashtag’s massive breakfast burrito.

Recent Openings

The Local’ish Market, a grab-and-go spot adjacent to Union Station’s train tracks, opened early this month.

Popular food truck Rolling Smoke BBQ pulled into Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace on July 7. Go for the Kansas City burnt ends, Memphis-style dry-rub ribs, and hearty sides.

On July 7, Hickory & Ash, the latest from the Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group, opened in Broomfield’s Arista development. The “meatery” boasts local Colorado steaks and gorgeous desserts. Meanwhile, KTRG’s Palette’s at the Denver Art Museum will close in September as that wing of the museum undergoes construction.

Watch out, Chipotle—there’s a new fast-casual Mexican joint in town. Renegade Burrito launched three metro area locations (Westminster, Aurora, and Thornton) on July 7.

Hedge Row, the Kitchen and Next Door Eatery’s newest sibling, arrived in Cherry Creek on July 10. Find wood-roasted seasonal fare with a focus on veggies.

French 75
French 75’s lobster bisque. Photo by Callie Sumlin

We were sad when Troy Guard shuttered Lucky Cat and Sugarmill. But he’s back with Hashtag, which opened on July 12 in Stapleton’s Eastbridge Town Center, right next door to his new outpost of Los Chingones. Hashtag features delicious takes on breakfast classics such as short rib eggs Benedict.

Billy Sims BBQ, a football-themed barbecue joint named after the star himself, opened in Edgewater on July 13.

On July 17, Frank Bonanno’s French 75 joined the downtown dining scene. The younger sibling of Mizuna, French 75 features casual bistro fare such as rotisserie chicken with pommes frites.

Long-running Uptown favorite Las Delicias returned to its original location on July 18 after an almost two-year facelift.

Fried-chicken-sandwich purveyor Birdcall opened in the former Five Points home of Tom’s Home Cookin’ on July 21. An innovative use of technology allows customers to order from a tablet and watch the status of the order from a screen. A second location, located in the Baker neighborhood, should follow later this year.

Kaya Kitchen’s banh mi is loaded up with roasted pork, pâté schmear, pickles, Sriracha mayo, and cilantro. Photo by Rachel Adams

James Beard Award nominee and former Top Chef contestant chef John Tesar brought Element Kitchen & Cocktail to Capitol Hill on July 25. Chef de cuisine Matt Wolf will deliver Tesar’s vision of healthy bar food using seasonal produce from local purveyors.

Kaya Kitchen, LoHi Avanti Food & Beverage’s newest occupant, replaced Souk Shawarma on July 26. Chef Lon Symensma’s (of ChoLon and Cho77) first fast-casual endeavor offers simplified Asian fare such as spring rolls and banh mi.

Sno Way Snow Cones kiosk set up on the 16th Street Mall and Curtis Street on July 27, serving all-natural flavors.

National fast-casual pizza chain Your Pie opened in Thornton on July 28.

Pizzeria Lui, a new wood-fired pizza spot, opened in Lakewood on July 21.

Sunnyside’s Thunderbird Imperial Lounge has already shuttered.


Thunderbird Imperial Lounge5280’s 2017 Top of the Town editor’s pick for best burgers—has unfortunately shuttered. Longtime Denver restaurateur Jesse Morreale shut down the Sunnyside spot on July 14.

Chef-owner Sean Kelly closed his Park Hill restaurant, Desmond Bar & Grill, on July 19.

Stapleton Tap House, a four-year-old craft beer tap house in (you guessed it) Stapleton, closed up shop in July.

Famous Pizza, a New York-style slice shop on Broadway, will close in October after more than four decades in business.

Gumbo’s Louisiana Style Cafe in Uptown closed on July 25.

Wild Eggs, a breakfast spot on Alameda, went dark on July 26.

After three decades in the University Hills shopping center, Colorado-style pizza purveyor Beau Jo’s closed up on July 30. Its other locations will remain open.

Debbie Kuehn, aka “The Cookie Lady,” passed away in July.
—Photo by Sarah Boyum


Debbie Kuehn, a.k.a. the Cookie Lady, known for her business Santa Fe Cookie Co., passed away in July. Her delicious, affordable treats will be missed by sweets-loving Denverites.

Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana, formerly known as Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza, has changed its name back to Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza.

Colorado cheesemakers took home nine awards at the American Cheese Society’s 2017 ‘Cheese with Altitude’ conference. Read more about them here.

The Post Brewing Company will open a Boulder outpost in the current home of Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place. Meanwhile, Shine is moving to east Boulder.

The Way Back has announced that it’s closing its current location on August 6 and relocating to Tennyson Street.

LoDo’s Dairy Block has announced its first retail tenants, including Huckleberry Roasters and Seven Grand whiskey bar.

Zeppelin Station will feature banh mi from Denver’s Vinh Xuong Bakery.

Zeppelin Station, a forthcoming RiNo food hall from the folks behind the Source, has announced its latest tenant: Vinh Xuong Bakery.

Olde Towne Arvada is getting a fun new eatery with the Cereal Box. This spot will evoke childhood nostalgia with cereal, milk, and cartoons.

High Point Creamery is expanding with a third location slated to open on Tennyson Street in Berkeley early next year.

Brewer Brad Landman, formerly of Prost Brewing, has taken on the role of head brewer at the Post Brewing Company.

Chuey Fu’s, a casual Latin-Asian fusion spot on Santa Fe, is opening a second brick and mortar location this fall in Englewood.

Courtesy of Greenlight Lab

What We’re Looking Forward to in August

Cub’s Q Barbecue, a Kansas City-style barbecue truck, is opening a brick-and-mortar location in Centennial’s Streets at Southglenn on August 2.

The Greenlight Lab, Liv Studio’s new bar/real-time design laboratory, is opening in the alley behind Denver Central Market early this month.

Austin-import Lustre Pearl is opening a location in RiNo this month. The spot offers a concise menu of sandwiches and burgers as well as a full bar.

Palizo Italiano, a new eatery from Patrick Mangold-White (the restaurateur between Uno Mas Taqueria, Kaos Pizzeria, and others), is coming to Pearl Street this month in the former home of restaurant Fourteen Seventy-Two.

Colfax favorite Bourbon Grill is upgrading from its popular take-out window to a full dining room (located a few blocks away on Colfax and Pearl) in mid August.

Emmerson, a grain-focused, “neo-bistro” from a cast of industry vets, is opening on Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall in August.

Whit’s Frozen Custard, a franchise started by a former McDonald’s owner, is coming to Tennyson Street in August.

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.