The pool isn’t too full yet, so Milk Market is diving in and hoping to make a big splash.
On June 1, it’ll be the latest food hall to open in Denver. Its big distinction: It’s right downtown.
Milk Market occupies a corner of the Dairy Block development at 18th and Wazee streets, spilling out into its much-touted activated alleyway. It sits among a host of other restaurants, bars and shops in the neighborhood and the Dairy Block, and it’s just two blocks from Coors Field.
Inside, you’ll find 16 local concepts from acclaimed Denver chef and restaurateur Frank Bonanno. Each has its own flavor, literally speaking and design-wise. The space was designed by his wife, Jacqueline Bonanno, and Cynthia Steinbrecher of Davis Partnership Architects.
“This is our vision. This is Jacqueline and mine’s dream,” Bonanno told press during a preview attended by Gov. John Hickenlooper. “It’s an idea we’ve pitched over and over again, and finally we found the right takers to take us up on our crazy idea.”
Each concept, Bonanno said in a press release, is inspired by his family, restaurants and travels.
Let’s take a visual tour, complete with colorful provided descriptions.
“A Denver favorite has been resurrected! Fans of Lou’s can expect the same juicy and spicy Nashville Hot Chicken that made the former Sunnyside neighborhood joint, Lou’s Food Bar, famous.”
“Delicious coffee and flaky pastries are always on-hand at Morning Jones, ideal for a morning coffee run or an afternoon pick-me-up. Nitrogenized oat milk and almond milk lattes; hot chocolate on tap; and coffee cake up the a.m. ante. For convenient grab-and-go, Morning Jones features a walk-up window in the Dairy Block alleyway.”
Bao Chica Bao
“Bao Chica Bao celebrates the cloud-like and perfectly steamed bao buns that have been a neighborhood favorite at Capitol Hill restaurant Bones. The venue is one of only two U.S. restaurants to serve jelly beer, a popular drink in Thailand that’s likened to a beer slushie. A walk-up window in Dairy Block’s activated alley allows for quick grab-and-go.”
“Adorned with a one-of-a-kind chandelier that speaks to the space’s former life as a dairy, MOO Bar is the striking centerpiece of Denver Milk Market that serves up craft cocktails, beer and wine. Many of Bonanno’s greatest boozy hits appear on the menu, made using house-made bitters and syrups.”
“A local beer lover’s dream, Stranded Pilgrim offers guests an all-Colorado list of brews previously only available at brewers’ taprooms. “Frank’s Honey Blonde” – brewed exclusively for Denver Milk Market by Great Divide Brewing Company – is a nod to Frank’s wife and partner, Jacqueline, and is only available at Stranded Pilgrim.”
Albina by the Sea
“A tribute to Frank’s grandmother, whose cooking inspired him as a child, Albina by the Sea offers seafood favorites — such as crab cakes and lobster rolls — along with fresh fish, house-made cocktail sauce and other necessities to create a seafood feast at home.”
“A one-stop-shop for the best meats, Ruth’s Butchery is a tribute to Jacqueline’s grandmother, who famously made the best hamburger around. Guests can try it – and a selection of other hot sandwiches – onsite.”
The Green Huntsman
“For lighter fare, guests will find freshly chopped and perfectly dressed salads at The Green Huntsman, in addition to house-made drinking vinegars and nitrogenized green tea.”
“After 15 years of perfecting cured meats, S&G Salumeria offers Frank’s expertly house-cured meats, as well as house-made and imported artisan cheeses. Guests can observe as fresh mozzarella and burrata are crafted behind the counter, while enjoying a sandwich made popular at Denver Highlands’ neighborhood restaurant, Salt & Grinder.”
“Mano, meaning ‘hand’ in Italian, features quintessential hand-rolled pastas to enjoy at Denver Milk Market or at home. Pastas and sauces are available for purchase by the pound, as well as antipasti and pizza dough from neighboring Bonanno Brothers Pizza.”
Bonanno Brothers Pizza
“Named after Frank’s two sons, Luca and Marco, Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria celebrates decades – and generations – of Bonannos crafting delicious, freshly-spun pizza.”
“MoPoke offers the ultimate Hawaiian experience, with fresh fish over rice, and the perfect accoutrements to transport taste buds to the islands.”
“Cellar allows guests the unique opportunity to purchase a bottle of wine from a carefully curated selection and bring the opened bottle right back to their table. Wine is also available by the glass.”
“With just three ingredients (flour, eggs and milk), Fem turns out super simple, yet seriously tasty crepes.”
“Cornicello transports guests to the streets of Rome with deliciously indulgent gelato, boozy milkshakes, soft serve and other delicious dairy treats. The creamery also features a walk-up window in Dairy Block’s alleyway, ideal for warm summer evenings.”
“Open late and the perfect way to end a night out, Engine Room serves up delicious New York-style slices and Sicilian pies from the walk-up window located directly on Dairy Block’s activated alley, on 19th Street.”