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.

For more 5280 food and drink coverage, subscribe to our award-winning, weekly email newsletter, Table Talk.

Señor Bear
Señor Bear’s arrachera: braised and grilled short rib, corn humita, patatas bravas, chimichurri sauce. Photo by Lucy Beaugard

Recent Openings

Lone Star State-import Chuy’s Tex-Mex opened its first Colorado location in Westminster on June 6.

Sassafras American Eatery opened its third location in Golden on June 7.

On June 7, the owners of Bombay Clay Oven launched Saucy Bombay on Colfax Avenue. The fast-casual spot focuses on Indian food served Chipotle-style and fresh breads.

Señor Bear, the newest project from the team behind Bar Dough and Tap & Burger, opened in Highland on June 9. The menu offers creative takes on Latin fare.

Viewhouse opened its third location in downtown Littleton on June 15.

As of mid-June, there’s a new grab-and-go spot in the Union Station area: The Local’ish Market. Go for Corvus Coffee, Babette’s Artisan Bread’s pastries, beer, sandwiches, and an assortment of snacks.

Bigsby's Folly
Bigsby’s Folly, a new Roaring Twenties-themed winery in RiNo, is housed in an historic warehouse Credit: ©Teri Fotheringham Photography

Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery opened its elegant RiNo tasting room on July 16. The spot is hawking its own vino (made from California grapes) and menu of small plates and flatbreads.

Bremen’s Wine & Tap opened on June 21 in the space that was formerly home to Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe. The new restaurant serves brunch every day, with items such as prime rib with eggs, fries, and red wine butter.

La Chiva, a food truck that specializes in Colombian fare such as empanadas and arepas, opened a brick and mortar in the Overland neighborhood on June 23.

More restaurants made their debuts in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace in June. Sazza Pizza opened on June 26 and Rolling Smoke BBQ on June 23.

Landlocked Ales opened on June 24 in Lakewood. The brewery specializes in flavorful low-ABV brews.

Troy Guard opened the third location of his festive taqueria, Los Chingones, in Stapleton on June 26. The new outpost features a spacious patio and rooftop deck with abundant mountain views.

The Squeaky Bean may be closing, but Acres at Warren Tech lives on. Photo courtesy of Daniel Luke Holton


The Squeaky Bean, Johnny Ballen and Josh Olsen’s New American restaurant that started in Highland and migrated to LoDo, closed its doors for good on June 28. The Bean had collected scores of accolades over the years, including a nod from Bon Appetit as one of America’s best new restaurants. The restaurant’s farm and educational center, Acres at Warren Tech, will continue operation.

In June, Southern Concepts Restaurant Group closed both Denver locations of Southern Hospitality, as well as its fast-casual concept, Carve Barbecue.

Justin Brunson closed the Uptown location of Masterpiece Deli, otherwise known as Masterpiece Luncheonette.

After five years, Americatus is closing its RiNo location. Chef/owner Iain Chisholm’s next endeavor? A meat production company with Mark DeNittis of Il Mondo Vecchio, Denver’s original charcuterie pioneer.

LoHi Steak Bar is temporarily shuttered for renovations. The concept is staying the same.

McLoughlin’s, a casual pub in the Union Station neighborhood, went dark in June.

Stapleton’s culinary scene has been seriously heating up, but the Bistro in Stapleton closed in June.

The owners of Highland’s Central Bistro and Bar are changing course. They’ve shuttered the modern American concept and plan to rebrand as Candela Latin Kitchen, which should open this summer.

Woodgrain Bagels
Boulder’s Woodgrain Bagels serves wood-fired, Montreal-style rounds. Photo courtesy of Daliah Singer


Bad news for bread lovers: Babette’s Artisan Bakery has stopped baking bread. The Source’s bakery is currently doing pastry only, but owner Steve Scott says that there is another project in the works.

After 34 years in Denver, Racine’s finally launched a happy hour in June. Go on weekdays from 3 to 6 p.m. for killer deals on drinks and $3 green chile cheese fries.

The 2017 Good Food 100 Restaurants list is here. Check it out to find which local restaurants are walking the sustainable walk.

Canadian restaurateur David Bowen will bring his popular WoodGrain Bagels concept to Lowry sometime in the near future. The shop has won an immediate following in Boulder for its Montreal-style bagels.

Renderings of the soon-to-come Bar Helix courtesy of OZ Architecture

Kendra Anderson, aka Swirl Girl Denver, is bringing a sleek wine bar—Bar Helix—that combines her love of vino, spirits, and food to RiNo this summer.

Denver is getting another Italian restaurant with Giovannina, which chef-restaurateur Jake Linzinmeir (who is also behind the Nickel) will launch in the former Aoba Sushi space in LoDo.

River North Brewery will return to the River North neighborhood as soon as late 2017. The brewery, which began in RiNo, decamped to a north Denver location in October 2015 after its building was sold and has been brewing there ever since.

Troy Guard will open Los Lounge in the space adjacent to RiNo’s Los Chingones (which was formerly home to Sugarmill) sometime this fall.

House-made smoked trout toast from Hashtag. Photo by Callie Sumlin

What We’re Looking Forward To in July

Troy Guard opens his breakfast-centric Hashtag in Stapleton’s Eastbridge Town Center sometime on July 12. Go for brunch classics such as eggs Benedict on house-made English muffins, or branch out with kimchi fried rice and breakfast enchiladas.

On July 7, Kevin Taylor is opening Hickory & Ash, a “modern American meatery” in Broomfield’s Arista Development. The new restaurant ditches white tablecloths for a more casual feel, and Taylor’s son, Ryan, is executive chef.

ChoLon, Cho77, and Concourse Restaurant Moderne chef Lon Symensma is bringing Kaya Kitchen to Avanti Food & Beverage in late July.

Birdcall, a fried chicken joint from the folks behind Park Burger, is slated to open up in the former home of Tom’s Home Cookin’ in Five Points sometime in July. It’s already got a second location in the works—this one in the former Twisters on Evans Avenue and Franklin Street.

Hickory & Ash
Hickory & Ash’s modern “meatery” menu includes this upscale pastrami plate, which is served with Brussels sprouts, mustard, and pumpernickel croutons.

Frank Bonanno’s casual French Bistro, French 75, will open downtown in July.

Elevated sports bar, Element Kitchen & Cocktail, is slated to open in the Golden Triangle sometime in July. Chef John Tesar, a four-time James Beard Award nominee and former Top Chef contestant, is the culinary consultant.

La Chupaflor, a Michoacán–style ice cream shop from Brian Rossi, owner of Adelita’s Cocina Y Cantina and Palenque Mezcaleria, should open in mid-July.

Emmerson, a grain-focused “neo bistro” with an all-star cast of culinary talent behind it, is slated to open in July.

East Coast-import French Quarter Brasserie & Oyster Bar is bringing New Orleans–style food to Boulder in July.

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.