Things to Do In Denver, Where Festivals and Food Are on the Rise

On a recent Tuesday night, diners gathered around marble-topped bistro tables. Chez Maggie new Thompson Hotel, has been open since February in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood. The draw: An opportunity to taste chef Lefebvre’s classic French fare – garlicky escargot, curried mussel frites and duck breast with orange – on his first adventure outside of Los Angeles.

The restaurant and hotel are among the fresh crops of the buzzing venture in the city, which is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains in its pre-pandemic revitalization. And visitors are welcomed with open arms: By the end of the year, Denver International Airport (which industry group Airports Council International recently ranked as the third busiest facility in the world) will have 39 gates. added to increase capacity by 30%.

Attracting travelers is the revival of numerous new cultural services, hotels, restaurants and favorite events.Expected two-year renovation and revitalization of downtown 16th Street Mall Started this spring and when completed, wider sidewalks and new infrastructure should restore the charm of this 40-year-old pedestrian thoroughfare that has lost its luster.

Thanks to Denver’s abundance of sunshine, many festivals and events are held outdoors, and this year’s popular annual event is back, including one in June. pride fest and in July Underground music showcase. All year round First Friday Art Walk Attracting up to 20,000 gallery hoppers before the pandemic, Santa Fe’s art district is making a comeback, centered around the eclectic galleries and boutiques that line Santa Fe Drive between 5th and 11th Avenues.

After two years of primarily drive-in screenings, Denver Films launched its annual film on the rocks The series at the Red Rocks Amphitheater (until August 15) will be held adults-only after a two-year hiatus. summer scream The event (August 25th) took place at the classic Lakeside Amusement Park northwest of downtown. In addition to unlimited rides, actors spotlight the park’s nearly 125-year history. Outdoor movie buffs can experience Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga, an offshoot of Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga. goatflix and chill Fairmount, Denver’s second oldest cemetery. There are 280 acres of green space. (During the screening, a herd of goats snort at the viewer.)

From September 5th to 11th, art renoNew festival debuts in the RiNo (River North) Arts District, featuring six new outdoor murals (adding to the district’s 100+ collection), lighting installations, and all-day concerts outside popular music venue Mission Ballroom is done. Flaming Lips.

and the Great American Beer Festival (October 6-8) After a two-year hiatus, it returns to the Colorado Convention Center to mark its 40th anniversary as the nation’s largest gathering of all things craft beer, with competitions, public tastings, We will be doing two sessions that pair brewers and chefs. .

One of the biggest events in the art scene was the reopening last fall. Denver Art MuseumThe Martin Building after a $150 million renovation. Designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti in 1971, the glazed tower stands seven stories high and visually contrasts with the museum’s low, angular Daniel Libeskind he wing. The redesigned roof terrace implements a delayed aspect of Ponti’s original plans, with geometric cutouts in the facade framed views of Denver. Inside, one of her current exhibitions features Mexican fashion designer and social activist Carla Fernández. Carla Fernández works with indigenous artisans (until October 16th). Elsewhere in the museum, the first major exhibition dedicated to Georgia O’Keeffe’s photography runs through his November 6th.

Denver is full of immersive art experiences.The most popular these days are trippy and interactive meow wolfstarted in Santa Fe in 2016 and opened in the Sun Valley neighborhood last fall. Nearly 70 interconnected rooms and exhibits, called Convergence Station, transport viewers (timed admission required) into a world of psychedelic dreams created by the imagination of many artists.

After a two-year delay due to the pandemic, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’theater of the heartwill run from August 31st to December 18th. Created by musician David Byrne and investment banker and author Mala Gaonkar over his eight years, this 75-minute production takes the audience (16+) on a narrative and sensory journey. One person’s life in reverse chronology as a means of exploring memory, perception and identity. Aspen His Ideas In a presentation about the project at his festival, Byrne said: in June.

The pandemic has not delayed hotel openings.Some of last year’s new properties were baseball-inspired Larry Hotel Next to Coors Field, Hyatt Centric Downtown Denverin the RiNo district cat bird — A modern extended stay hotel with a rooftop bar — and a mid-century theme clayton Located in Cherry Creek. (In the latter, the Five Nines Craft Cocktail Lounge revs up the nightlife with its dimly velvety interiors and burlesque dance performances.) Meanwhile, an $80 million renovation brings Sheraton Denver Downtownlocated in the IM Pei Building along the 16th Street Mall.

This summer, visitors can discover even more.Former JW Marriott in Cherry Creek has been transformed into her 199-room Hotel Clio In March (rooms from $399). February, 216 rooms Thompson Denver (rooms starting at $309) opened as the luxury brand’s first Colorado outpost. The hotel has partnered with turntable maker Victrola to set up a listening room in the sixth-floor bar and lounge, and a pedicab service to take you around his LoDo neighborhood.

251 rooms Slate Hotel (rooms start at $249), opening in late May across from the Colorado Convention Center, recreates the building’s former life as the Emily Griffith Opportunity School, with classroom-themed artwork and a so-called Teacher’s Lounge Features a restaurant. Inside the Hilton Tapestry Collection grounds, the original brick-lined corridors have been restored, and former classrooms have been transformed into guest rooms with high ceilings and marble floors. July, Best Western boutique style Bib Denver Now open in RiNo (rooms starting at $250).

Newcomers are filling the seats as Denver restaurants regain their footing.Notable openings include A5 Steakhouse From a local restaurant group.Farm-to-table apple blossom At Hyatt Centric Downtown, from the same team as the once-lauded Beast and Bottle (which lost its lease last year).When Three Saints Revivalthe tapas restaurant at Hotel Indigo, opened by restaurateur and founder of Punchbowl Social, Robert Thompson.

Restaurateur Delores Tronco returns to Denver to open Greenwich at RiNo last fall after closing New York’s Bunty Rooster during the pandemic. In New York-inspired décor, enjoy seasonal Mediterranean cuisine such as crispy-crusted roast chicken ($36), bright salads ($15-$18), and sourdough pizzas ($21-).

Despite the recent closure of Broadway Market, the food halls and marketplaces are popular and continue to evolve.and Bellota In the Market Hall of the Source Hotel, Chef Manny Bellera, nominated for the 2022 James Beard Award, served Mexican dishes such as pork belly conmore and Oaxacan-spiced cricket tacos (a three-course meal). The meal is about $42 without alcohol).

new Stanley Marketplace In the former aviation factory of Aurora, Churreria de Madrid serves churros fried in dipping chocolate ($8), and the 24-seat Sky Bar serves classic cocktails in retro-style airport lounge décor . Stanley is also home to Annette, a favorite for modern, locally sourced comfort food. Chef Caroline Glover won the James Beard Award for Best Chef, Mountain Region in June.

Denver’s craft brewery and distillery openings are slowing, but deviation distillationOpened last summer in an 1800s firehouse along LoDo’s Dairy Block, ‘s cocktail lounge will soon join Colorado’s adjacent taproom. Westbound and Down Brewing Companyknown for its IPAs and aviation-themed FlyteCo Brewing opens a second location this month in the old Stapleton airport control tower, offering pub-style dining, mini-golf and exhibit rentals from the nearby Wings over the Rockies Air and Space Museum.

Local restaurateur and chef Dana Rodriguez is also a longtime nominee for the 2022 James Beard Awards. work and class,Open Cantina Roca, in the LoHi neighborhood last January. Shareable plates like cactus tempura fries ($8), spicy pollo his adobe ($19) and silky vanilla flan ($7) are served with Rodriguez’s own mezcal and tequila. Optimal.

Rodriguez has another business in the works. When she moved from Mexico in her 1998, she was turned down her job at Casa Her Bonita. Casa Bonita is known more for its kitschy decor and Cliff Her Diver than for its cuisine. When Casa Bonita reopens under her new owners, ‘South Park’ creator Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Ms. Rodriguez, will lead a new culinary team.

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