We know that keeping up with Denver’s ever-changing, always-growing dining scene can be challenging. For this reason, we launched “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, be sure to subscribe to our award-winning, weekly email newsletter, Table Talk.

Recent Openings

On May 1, DaeGee Korean BBQ opened its Broadway location.

Mas Kaos, the long-awaited love child from Uno Mas Taqueria and Kaos Pizzeria, officially opened on May 5. The Tennyson Street location’s indoor-outdoor bar and patio are sure to make it a summer favorite.

On May 6, Sera’s Ramen Enclave opened in the former Bang! Space on West 32nd Avenue. You’ll find an array of ramen and noodle bowls and Asian-inspired beverages on the menu.

There Denver opened in the Lumina Apartment Building in LoHi on May 9. The spot serves cocktails (some from a “secret” black book), small bites, and shareable plates.

Stone’s on 32nd opened quietly in LoHi in early May with a menu of Colorado comfort food.

Illegal Pete’s opened its fifth Denver location (this one on Colfax Avenue and Race Street) on May 13.

Acme Delicatessen replaced Acme Burger & Brat Corporation on May 16. Chef Lon Symensma’s modern deli concept features high-quality meats, freshly baked bagels, in-house smoked salmon, and breakfast sandwiches all day.

Homegrown Tap & Dough’s second location opened in Arvada on May 16. Matt Selby, formerly of Central Bistro & Bar, has joined on as chef.

Bamboo Sushi
Shishito peppers with bacon, miso butter, and bonito flakes at Bamboo Sushi

After being closed for almost a year for repairs, the Littleton Taco House location reopened on May 16. The menu of Mexican favorites is pretty much the same.

Hudson Hill opened its doors on Capitol Hill on May 18. The stylish new spot serves inventive cocktails and a few light bites (cheese plates, terrines, etc.). Check out the cocktail of the day, which is paired with music (on vinyl, of course).

On May 19, Palenque Mezcaleria opened behind Adelitas Cocina y Cantina. Colorado’s first mezcal bar also serves a variety of intriguing Oaxacan-style dishes.

Troy Guard has reworked Bubu Lowry. After a short closing, the space reopened on May 20 as Lucky Cat with a fun, Chinese-inspired menu.

Bamboo Sushi, the world’s very first certified sustainable sushi restaurant, opened in Avanti Food & Beverage on May 23. The Portland-based sushi spot is camping out at Avanti until it opens a stand-alone restaurant in LoHi later this year.

The third location of Racca’s Pizzeria Napoletana (formerly Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizza) opened in Lakewood adjacent to the Colorado Mills mall on May 21.

R Taco (formerly Rusty Taco) landed in Arvada on May 26. The Texas-born chain’s second Colorado location serves breakfast tacos all day long.

Flow Juice Bar has reopened its Governor’s Park location on May 27 after being closed for the winter. Look for an expanded food selection with new items like hummus sandwiches and gazpacho.

Godfather’s Pizza, a Nebraska-based chain restaurant that’s been out of the Colorado market for 20 years, opened on Memorial Day.

Dram Apothecary
Dram Apothecary shuttered its Silver Plume bread bar. —Photo by Josie Sexton


On May 22, chef-owner Mary Nguyen closed her Uptown bistro P17 after 11 years. Nguyen has plans in the works to grow her Olive & Finch concept (look for the second location to open in Cherry Creek this fall). Meanwhile, the P17 space will become Jack’s Uptown Grill.

Dram Apothecary shuttered its Silver Plume bread bar. Find out what’s next for the bitters company here.

Restaurateur Robert Thompson’s uptown gastropub, Argyll Whiskey Beer, is no longer. Thompson will focus on the national and local expansion of his Punch Bowl Social concept.

Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs closed its Highlands Ranch location. The original Ballpark outpost, however, is still going strong.

After sixteen years in Highlands Square, Julia Blackbird’s folded. Spatola, an Italian restaurant, will replace it.

Viand and Reunion Gastropub and Wine Bar closed after less than a year in business. III Forks, a chain steakhouse, will replace them on June 7.

After filing for bankruptcy in January, Katie Mullen’s Irish Pub and Restaurant closed up shop in May.

Willy G’s Seafood & Steaks closed its 16th Street Mall location.

Protein Bar‘s Virginia Village location has gone dark.

Onefold breakfast tacos
Onefold is sticking to lunch and breakfast (like these tasty breakfast tacos). —Photo by Sarah Boyum


Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen has been temporarily closed since a fire in the apartments above on May 1. Yesterday, owner Josh Pollack announced on Facebook that the Five Points shop won’t reopen until August. In the meantime, get your fix at various Rosenberg’s pop-ups around town (look for Rosenberg’s at the Source and the Big Wonderful).

Mizuna‘s sommelier and general manager, Kelly Wooldridge, has departed the restaurant. Meanwhile, Mizuna is ringing in its 15 birthday with celebration dinners this weekend.

Uptown’s Onefold announced that it would no longer offer dinner service as of early May. According to a Facebook post, the popular eatery is instead focusing efforts on developing a second location.

Civic Center Eats is back! And yes, it’s better than ever: The food truck extravaganza is now happening weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Various restaurants and eateries were vandalized and burglarized in May, including Western Daughters Butcher Shop and To the Wind Bistro. In April, Onefold, Il Porcellino, and a Snarf’s location were all robbed as well.

Left Hand Brewing Company took home two awards at the 2016 World Beer Cup—an international competition featuring more than 6,000 beers from 55 countries.

Boulder’s Vapor Distillery won two medals from the Fifty Best, an online guide to “fine living,” which recently hosted its 2016 gin tasting and awards program. Vapor won a gold medal for Rhok Gin and a Double Gold for its Ginskey barrel-aged gin.

Bob Blair, the chef behind the late Fuel Cafe, has landed at Coperta. Paul Reilly’s Italian spot should open sometime this summer.

Post Oak Hall

Ellen Daehnick of Helliemae’s caramels will open Post Oak Hall this summer. The Wheat Ridge spot will focus on Houston-style po’ boys and icebox desserts, including Daehnick’s insanely good banana pudding with salted caramel sauce.

Since Lower48 Kitchen closed, chef Alex Figura has been manning the burners at Black Eye Cap Hill. Figura recently exited Black Eye, however, and announced that he’ll open a pasta eatery with partner Spencer White. Locations and dates have yet to be announced. Meanwhile, Black Eye hired chef Will Tuggle to oversee the kitchen.

After departing from the Kitchen, chef Kyle Mendenhall has announced his next move: He’ll cooking with Meadow Lark Farm Dinners for the summer season.

Chef Elise Wiggins is leaving Panzano—her home for more than a decade—for a solo endeavor. Details have yet to be announced.

Chef Scott Parker (formerly of Table 6 and the late Session Kitchen) has joined on at Stapleton breakfast eatery Four Friends Kitchen. Four Friends plans to start doing dinner pop-ups sometime soon.

Lola Mexican Fish House’s former executive chef, Kevin Grossi, will open the Regional inside Avanti Food & Beverage this July. Before then, he’s embarking on a road-trip across America for culinary inspiration.

Chef Kevin Taylor will open Hickory & Ash with his son, Ryan. The casual-yet-chef-driven concept should launch at Broomfield’s Arista Development in March of 2017.

Portland-import Departure Restaurant & Lounge is set to open in Cherry Creek in late July or early August. Chef Gregory Gourdet‘s health-conscious, Asian-inspired cuisine should do just fine in Denver.

Stella’s on 16th is coming to Denver’s Triangle Building this fall. The new eatery will feature “cafe-style” service for sandwiches, soups, and salads, as well as a marketplace.

Detroit-style specialist Blue Pan Pizza announced it will open a second (larger) location in Congress Park.

The original Chubby’s Restaurant is moving—but not very far. The Mexican spot is building a new restaurant (with space for seating) behind the original.

Urban Winery the Infinite Monkey Theorem will join the Stanley Marketplace when it opens later this year. This will be the winery’s third location, as it recently opened an Austin, Texas outpost.

Sweet Action Ice Cream
Help 5280 and Sweet Action Ice Cream come up with a new Rocky Mountain Road flavor. —Photo by Sarah Boyum

What We’re Looking Forward to in June

Formerly known as Pino’s Neighborhood Restaurant & Pizzeria, this Cherry Hills spot has been remodeled and will relaunch as Pino’s Place on June 13. Expect a new menu focused on Tuscan cooking and stellar house-made pastas.

CoraFaye’s Cafe is moving from Colorado Boulevard to Colfax Avenue this June.

The Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill opens its Cherry Creek location on June 14.

White Fence Farm is continuing its expansion with plans to launch two new grab-and-go chicken kiosks in Denver this June.

La Loma has postponed the move to its new downtown location yet again. The long-running Jefferson Park staple will now open in its new Central Business District digs (the former Trinity Grille space) at the end of June.

5280 Magazine and Sweet Action Ice Cream are teaming up to create a new flavor: Rocky Mountain Road—and we need your help. We’re taking reader flavor submissions via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram over the next few weeks, and the winning combo will roll out at Sweet Action to coincide with 5280‘s roundup of the best ice cream flavors 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.