Turnover has become a constant in Denver’s dining and nightlife scene. It feels like every week of 2017 brought an opening, a closing or both, and there’s no reason to believe that pace will slow down in 2018.
With the new year less than a month away, there are more than a dozen new bars, restaurants and breweries with openings slated for next year — that we know of.
Here’s a quick guide to the new and, we hope, tasty things to come.
The Constellation Ice Cream
The next move by Little Man Ice Cream owner Paul Tamburello — who earlier in 2017 opened Sweet Cooie’s in Congress Park — will be to bring his scratch-made ice cream and charitable spirit to Stapleton.
The Constellation, named for the game-changing Lockheed Constellation passenger plane, will open in Eastbridge Town Center. There’s no firm timeframe right now, but we can tell you that it will have an enormous replica wing and serve flambéed Baked Alaska ice cream cake pops.
Dairy Block’s Milk Market and Alley
Food-and-drink marketplaces are really having a moment in Denver. We’ve got The Source, Avanti Food & Beverage, Denver Central Market and the soon-to-come Zeppelin Station. We can count Stanley Marketplace, just on the edge of Stapleton in Aurora, too.
The Dairy Block development at 1800 Wazee St. is dedicating 15,000 square feet to a market — called Milk Market — run by Denver restaurateur Frank Bonanno. It’ll include Morning Jones pastry shop, Bao Chica Bao Asian street bao buns, Lou’s Hot & Naked hot fried chicken, Albina by the Sea (a fresh seafood eatery named for Bonanno’s grandmother), MoPoke poke bowl concept (speaking of trends), Green Huntsman salad bar, S&G Salumeri sandwich shop, Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria, Stranded Pilgrim tap room and Cellar wine bar.
Grab-and-go counters will connect it to the Dairy Block Alley, which will also be connected to an underground lounge called Mr. Pink.
But wait, there’s more. Bonanno will also open a by-the-slice pizza joint called Engine Pizza Room.
Dairy Block is already home to The Maven hotel, Kachina Southwestern Grill and Poka Lola Social Club. It will also host Huckleberry Roasters, The Perfect Petal, a Seven Grand whiskey bar and a retail space called Roost.
Things are expected to start opening early in 2018.
One of the newest additions to the budding area of Larimer-past-30th comes from husband-and-wife duo of chef Kyle Foster and Stir Cooking School owner Katy Foster.
Julep Restaurant will be serving up “sophisticated southern” food at 3245 Larimer St., right by the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Doors are expected to open in January.
The Kennedy Station
Chris Robinson and Joe Tatarka don’t want their bar to be trendy, but they don’t want it to be a rough dive, either. They want to run “a classic American sports bar,” and that’s what they’ll try to make happen in the strip mall at 10890 E. Dartmouth Ave.
The family-friendly, live music-ready Kennedy Station is scheduled to open in January.
Logan House Coffee Roasters
Earlier this year, after four years of roasting coffee beans in RiNo, Logan House Coffee Company opened its first brick-and-mortar café at Stanley Marketplace.
It wasn’t something co-owners Brooks Gagstetter and Andre Janusz ever wanted, but now here they are, about to be the owners of two coffee shops. We plan, God laughs.
Logan House will be the only coffee shop inside the huge Catalyst Health Tech Innovation campus at Brighton Boulevard and 35th Street. It’s supposed to open in the first quarter of 2018, along with the rest of the development’s first phase.
Los Chingones’ fourth location
Arguably Troy Guard’s most popular and successful restaurant, Los Chingones just keeps expanding.
Guard’s TAG Restaurant Group first added locations of the trendy Mexican spot in the Denver Tech Center and Stapleton’s Eastbridge Town Center, then expanded the original location at 25th and Larimer into his dessert-centric restaurant SugarMill, which he closed to make room for more tacos.
The new spot at Colorado Mills is something of a change of pace. The Lakewood mall has been closed for about six months while it repairs extensive damage from that big May hail storm. It’s now open again, but there’s still work to be done. Now that includes adding a 5,500-square-foot Los Chingones.
The opening is expected in the spring.
Wyoming’s Melvin Brewing wants to bring its award-winning beer to Denver, and it’s considering the Golden Triangle for its new home.
The brewing company secured space at 1235 Delaware St., but there’s some concern about the property’s ability to support the infrastructure needs of housing a brewery.
Right now, the project is “on hold,” spokesman Eric Henderson said, but the goal is to open something in Denver by the end of the year.
The sad news: Wazee Supper Club is closing after more than 40 years in downtown Denver.
The [value judgement not yet available] news: Contemporary French restaurant Morin will replace it at the corner of 15th and Wazee streets in the spring.
Novel Strand Brewing Co.
If you remember the First Avenue Grocery Store, either as an open business or an empty storefront, you might have some feelings about the changes happening at 305 W. 1st Ave.
The old building has been totally remodeled the building, and Novel Strand Brewing Co. owners Tamir Danon, Chantel Columna and Ayana Coker hope to be selling beer and coffee out of the space sometime in 2018.
What happened to Bloomin’ Beets, you ask? The deal fell through with the Boulder-based, Paleo-friendly, gluten-free restaurant because of how long the renovation was taking.
Ocean Prime’s second location
Ocean Prime, a seafood chain with 14 restaurants nationwide, has had plenty of success at its — ahem — prime location at 15th and Larimer. Now they’ll try to replicate it in the Denver Tech Center.
The new 12,301-square-foot space is expected to open in the summer.
Odell Brewing Co.’s new location
Fort Collins-based Odell Brewing Co. planned on opening a Denver taproom before the end of 2017, but as these things often go, that didn’t work out.
Construction delays in the 100-year-old warehouse set them back a bit, and the 10-barrel pilot brewhouse at 2945 Larimer St. will now open within the first few months of 2018, Odell spokesman Alex Kayne said.
Middleman and Q House
If you’ve passed by 3401 and 3421 E. Colfax Ave. recently, you’ve probably noticed some changes. They’re completely redeveloping the property, and when it’s done, it’ll be occupied by two restaurants we only have early details about.
One will be a Mediterranean bar and restaurant called Middleman that owner Jareb Parker hopes to open early in 2018.
The other will be Q House — a modern take on traditional Chinese dining. Owner Jen Mattioni said the target opening date will be in early- to mid-January.
Jerrod Rosen has a fancy slate of restaurants on his resumé — Per Se, Tabla, Colt & Gray — but that’s not the pedigree that will interest Denverites.
Rosen is a fourth-generation Coloradan, raised in Boulder, whose family has deep roots in Denver. His maternal grandfather owned Oasis Drive-In at Colfax Avenue and Williams Street. His father’s parents ran Rosen’s Grocery and his great-grandmother owned Rosen’s Kosher Café. Now, he’ll open Rye Society Jewish deli in Five Points.
Rye Society’s rye bread, condiments, butter, cream cheese and soups will all be made in-house daily and the pastrami will be flown in from Carnegie Deli in New York City.
It’s expected to open at 31st and Larimer in the first quarter of 2018.
New York transplants (and others with a taste for quality burgers and milkshakes) are getting impatient for this one.
Denver’s first Shake Shack location was meant to open at 30th and Larimer by the end of 2017 but — no surprises here — there have been delays. Founder and owner Danny Meyer told 5280 that they’re now looking to open in May 2018 at the latest.
Stoney’s Bar & Grill’s second location
After the owners of 2-year-old Argyll closed to focus on bigger things, namely the growth of Punch Bowl Social, the space at 17th and Downing sat empty for what felt like a long time for such a nice little spot.
But someone finally stepped in: Stoney Joseph.
He’ll fill the sports bar-shaped hole in the neighborhood by opening a second Stoney’s Bar & Grill in the winter of 2018.
Super Mega Bien and Death & Co.
When The Ramble Hotel opens at 25th and Larimer this coming spring, it’ll be home to a new restaurant from a local chef and a highly touted New York City important.
The former, an upscale Latin restaurant called Super Mega Bien, comes from the team behind Work & Class: partner Tony Maciag, general manager Tabatha Knop and executive chef and partner Dana Rodriguez.
The latter will be the second location of the self-proclaimed Manhattan “cocktail institution” Death & Co.
The Way Back’s new location
The Way Back barely spent more than a year slinging craft cocktails and sustainable fare at its original location, 4132 W. 38th Ave., before closing up shop in August to move to Tennyson Street.
The team scored a great new space at 3963 Tennyson St., formerly the home of Patrick Carroll’s Irish Pub, and they expect to open early this year.
Zeppelin Station’s food-and-drink hall
Here’s the list of what we know will fill the dining and drinking needs of light rail travelers and the people who will eventually work at Zeppelin Station:
- Kiss + Ride, a casual bar
- Big Trouble, a fancier, moodier bar
- Aloha Poke Co.
- Mister Oso, Latin American street food
- Dandy Lion Coffee
- Vinh Xuong Bakery
- Au Feu, Montreal smoked meats
- Fior Gelato
- Injoi, “a culinary mix of Asian cuisine and regional favorites from the American South”
- Namkeen, Indian street food
It’s all expected to open along with the rest of the massive development at the 38th & Blake light rail station early in 2018.
There’s a lot to keep tabs on — what did we miss? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.