By Jonathan Shikes
By Alex Brown
By Cafe Society
By Samantha Alviani
By Lori Midson
By Mark Antonation
By Loren Lorenzo
By Nate Hemmert
What Planet are they on?: While 16th Street Mall restaurants try to get their act together in anticipation of Denver Pavilions, that other big downtown project, Stadium Walk in LoDo, is still supposed to contain a Planet Hollywood. A minor PR flack for the company says it's a go, despite the plunging stock and the breakup of principals Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. "We're very much looking forward to coming into Denver," said this guy, who told me he wasn't speaking officially, but since he couldn't get the official people on the phone right now, he'd try to help me as best he could. "I really can't tell you anything more than that," he said. "But it's going to be fabulous."
Better publicity for the place came from a recent Entertainment Weekly article, in which Planet Hollywood's new president, Brian Woods, confessed to the magazine's reporter, Josh Young, as they were leaving the Manhattan Planet, that "there's only so long one can spend in a Planet Hollywood, and two hours is about it."
I can't wait.
Back to the mall: In exchange for forcing the skateboarders and other irritating youth out of Skyline Park with its outdoor patio, Palomino Euro Bistro at 1515 Arapahoe Street has begun the concert series it promised to Denver Parks and Recreation ("Hanging Out to Dry," October 16, 1997). Held on Thursday nights through the rest of August and possibly into September, the concerts are free and, according to the press release, the eatery "hopes to reduce apprehension about visiting the urban park area" through these concerts.
Another, less sought-after part of town, Five Points, recently lost Kal'line's Cafe, at 2736 Welton Street. Despite the troubles of the owners, brothers Willy, John and Mac Watts, the restaurant had served some fine food ("Case in Points," September 4). The Watts brothers had lost a DIA concessionaire contract last fall because of mismanagement ("Bill of Fare," September 25) and were under scrutiny for having been awarded a loan from the Mayor's Office of Economic Development for Kal'line's even though they'd filed for bankruptcy in the past. But as MOED deputy director Bill Lysaught says, "We can't punish people for past mistakes." Lysaught says that since the closing of Kal'line's, John Watts has had to put his house up for sale to pay back the $45,000 loan to the city. "John moved back down South," Lysaught says. "But Willie is currently looking for a job in the food industry here in Denver."
Meanwhile, the space on Welton is up for grabs. "It's a turn-key operation," Lysaught says. "People would just need some working capital to get in there and get it running. So let people know it's available."
Another one bites the dust: What's Fresh and Wild at 290 South Downing Street is now "What's Closed" as another Best of Denver award-winner shuts down. Owner Desiree Ainsworth will continue her catering business (call 722-6137) while she scouts out locations and investors for a sit-down eatery.
Free advertising: Cigar and martini tasting August 20 at Jackson's Backroom, 1520 20th Street. Tewksbury stogeys, high-end liquor, appetizers and the croonings of big-band vocalist Frank Lechuga can be yours for a $15 fee. Call 298-7625 today for reservations. Happy anniversary to Tosh's Hacienda, the original of which (3090 Downing Street) is celebrating 52 years of business from August 17 to 21 by offering the infamous #17 (beef taco, bean burrito, cheese enchilada and bean tostada) for $3.95 (lunch only). Not exactly 1946 prices, but, hey, in 1998, that's a deal. And it's available at Tosh's other Denver location at 5071 South Syracuse Street; if you're on the road, stop by their Tosh's de Tubac site at 14 Camino Otero in Tubac, Arizona.
The second annual LoDo Fais Do Do crawfish boil and street party will be held August 23 from noon to 6 p.m. on 17th Street between Wynkoop and Blake streets. There's no admission fee, but the food will cost you--that is, if there's any left. I do declare, last year it was a mob scene--they expected 750, but 3,000 showed up--but the folks running it (McCormick's Fish House & Bar presents the event as a fundraiser for LoDo arts-oriented organizations) swear they'll be better prepared this time. Besides crawfish platters ($6), red beans and rice ($2) and a dozen other entrees and sides, there will be beer ($3), rum lemonade ($3) and pecan pie ($3), with zydeco tunes and kids' activities for entertainment. As long as it doesn't rain, a good time is virtually guar-ahn-teed.