Best New Restaurant Neighborhood - 2005
How great is it that Denver's best new neighborhood restaurant is also Denver's oldest restaurant neighborhood? Once the center of the city's commercial district, by the '60s all those great Victorian buildings in the 1400 block of Larimer Street had slid down to skid-row status, and only the intervention of Dana Crawford saved them from destruction. Still, for many years, Larimer Square served primarily as a tourist attraction that locals visited only for seasonal events, with restaurants like the Magic Pan feeding the masses. But no more. Today Larimer Square remains a must-stop for visitors to the city -- but it really belongs to those of us who live here, as the heart of Denver's eating and entertainment life. It holds some of the city's best restaurants -- Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Capital Grille -- as well as great bars, happening clubs, cool shops and unbeatable patios, not to mention Ted Turner's buffaloes. In addition to Crawford, we should also thank Jeff Hermanson and Larimer Square Management Corporation for figuring out how to make the city's oldest block its best.