Olive Garden has had a tough month. Its new, "Never Ending Pasta Pass" promo was mocked by everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to Red Eye; more ominously, Starboard Value, an investor that's trying to gain control of Darden Restaurants, Olive Garden's owner, at the annual meeting October 10, slapped the chai ... More >>
In her recent review of the Kitchen Next Door Glendale, Gretchen Kurtz gave a short history of the TGI Fridays phenomenon, and wondered if the Kitchen Next Door could be the next big thing? It's certainly becoming big in Denver, where the Kitchen Next Door just opened in Union Station, in a space th ... More >>
"When Restaurant Kevin Taylor opened, it was a completely new offering for Denver, a city still very much trying to find its way on the culinary map," reflects Kevin Taylor, chef of Kevin Taylor's at the Opera House, Limelight Supper Club, Palettes at the Denver Art Museum, Rouge and the Teller Bar ... More >>
It was just two years ago that Frank's Kitchen opened its doors. The regular e-mail that Dina Berta, a longtime restaurant reporter, and her contractor-turned-chef husband, Frank, sent out last week was full of plans for the future after a successful car show. They were talking about doing more even ... More >>
Burger King, the eternal also-ran of fast-food burger chains, is revving up for delivery, something arch-rival McDonald's and other competitors already offer in other countries. After testing the service in a few major cities -- New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. -- Burger King recently expa ... More >>
Denver's great dive bars are disappearing -- but there are still many worthy of celebration, including Bar Bar (Carioca Cafe), which just won Best Dive Bar in the Best of Denver 2013. And there was stiff competition for that award, as evidenced by our list of the dozen best dive bars in Denver. That ... More >>
Technomic Inc. has released its inaugural list of Chain Restaurant Consumers' Choice Award honorees, winners, chosen from 115 fast-food, fast-casual and full-service restaurants, with the winners selected by consumers. So now for the two pressing questions: What, exactly, is Technomic, and which r ... More >>
Last Friday night, the Denver Police Department did an undercover operation, sending underage police cadets to liquor establishments across Denver where they tried to buy booze. And succeeded in the case of four bars (and numerous liquor stores), all of which were cited for selling to a minor. The ... More >>
Remember Hardee's -- the fast-food stop with the oft-touted "Made from Scratch Biscuits?" It's okay if you don't, since Hardee's restaurants have yet to penetrate Colorado or the states to the west of us, so we only have Hardee's sloppy sibling, Carl's Jr., to pimp out Hardee's biscuits. And lucky f ... More >>
Do you want a shot of attitude with that beer? Laura Shunk's interview with Adam Hodak, the Green Russell bartender who doesn't think bartenders should be pretentious, hit a few people in their funny bones, not to mention wallets lightened by the cost of craft cocktails. The comments keep flowing o ... More >>
We might all be Manhattan and martini connoisseurs now, but not even ten years ago, properly made classic cocktails were a lot more difficult to find not just in Denver, but in any city. And cocktail bars -- at least the trendy cocktail bars that keep proliferating today -- were virtually non-exist ... More >>
Mark MangerDina Berta traded the write stuff for the right stuff.When Dina Berta made the jump from writing about restaurants to running a restaurant, she had one insight that helped prepare her for the road ahead: "I knew a little about the industry, and I knew it was a lot of work, but also ... More >>
Companies will do anything these days to get you to become their fan on Facebook. Free concert tickets? Check. Free donuts? Check. Deep discounts on sneakers? Check. Naturally, fast-food chains were way out in front of the trend, offering discounts to Facebook fans in exchange for them beamin ... More >>
More than eighty years after Maid-Rite got its start in Muscatine, Iowa, the chain has finally made it as far west as Denver, where Ralph's Maid-Rite Sports Diner opened last week in Littleton. Ralph's serves the loose-meat and breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches that are hallmarks of Maid-Ri ... More >>
Last September, Rich Wong and his partner, Sharyn Nissen, rolled out a food cart, named it Street Eats and began pimping everything from Hawaiian-style kalbi ribs and Peking barbecue pork buns to chicken and andouille sausage gumbo and wild boar dogs tricked-out with cranberries and apricots ... More >>
The 16th Street Mall has food vendors, but no trucks.As far as Brian Phetteplace can determine, the last time the city revised the rules for mobile food vendors -- at least the rules as they applied to downtown -- was back in 1996, long before anyone anticipated the current race of food truck ... More >>
You can find Brian Melton behind the bar at TAG.All the talk about "In the Weeds" inspired Brian Melton to send in this missive about the restaurant industry. It's our New Year's Eve gift for everyone in the business --and anyone out on the town tonight who benefits from exemplary workers in ... More >>
We knew rap had gone mainstream when Will Smith's The Fresh Prince of Bel Air began airing in 1990, and we know craft beer has done the same now that T.G.I. Friday's is pairing its new menu items with selected beers from New Belgium Brewing. On December 21, the casual dining chain will host ... More >>
Lori MidsonIf you've been following this blog, then you know that we announced a contest a few weeks ago, where we asked Cafe Society readers to suggest a name for the new street food pavement feast at Civic Center Park, which is already home to Tuesday's Civic Center Eats. The expanded gru ... More >>
Consumer Reports gives Five Guys a high-five.Consumer Reports takes on fast-food burgers in its October issue, and the results aren't good for the world's burger behemoth. The magazine asked 28,000 subscribers for their opinion on fast-food burgers, and McDonald's came in last -- by a margin ... More >>
The Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, which owns several bagel and coffee chains, including Einstein Bros, recently announced that it will start using cage-free eggs in its stores. "We're proud to be launching this initiative and believe that moving in this direction will help improve the tre ... More >>
As the owners of 8 Rivers, their fourth restaurant, Wanda James and Scott Durrah know the food business. And as the owners of Apothecary of Colorado, the medical marijuana dispensary they opened in December at 1730 Blake Street, just two blocks from their restaurant at 1550 Blake, they know t ... More >>
How do you know you're in a classic dive? It helps if the owner stands up and welcomes you to his place -- the place he's had for 58 years, and bought before he was old enough to own it legally. Jerry Feld bought the bar at 404 Broadway back in 1951, and he's run Club 404 ever since -- eve ... More >>
This month, the Colorado Restaurant Association inducted three more people into its hall of fame, an honor bestowed on those who've had a huge impact on the Colorado restaurant world. We're profiling all three here on Cafe Society. First up is Tom Wilscam, who has his fingerprints on many institu ... More >>
While Denver-born restaurant chain Chipotle is getting flak for its new ad campaign's distinct lack of cojones, the marketing for Quiznos Sub Shop, another local restaurant chain done (sorta) good, still shows a lot of balls. Or, to be more accurate in this particular case, a lot of boobs. The Pl ... More >>
Downtown is a relative ghost town tonight, with even such mainstays as Dixons closed on account of snow. But there are still restaurants serving tonight, chief among them P.F. Chang's at 1415 15th Street (the only one of the metro locations open, and seating a fair amount of tables as well as doing ... More >>
Misery loves company, and if the National Restaurant Association's annual forecast -- released on Friday, December 19 -- is correct, Coloradans will still be getting out of the house and into restaurants in 2009. According to the 2009 Restaurant Industry Forecast, Colorado will place third in t ... More >>
Nation's Restaurant News, the bible of the restaurant industry, has reported that David Giesen, who owns Steak Escape and Johnny Rockets franchises in Colorado, on Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to court filings, his Giesen Restaurant Enterprises LLC and Rocket Restaura ... More >>
If your bank account isn't on the rocks, the Capital Grille has just the holiday item for you: a $1,000 martini. But this drink, officially named the Share Our Strength Charity Martini, comes with a real twist: a white topaz and diamond caviar rope bracelet, a limited-edition, custom piece by desig ... More >>
Ex-employees say Jim Sullivan ran his empire like the dictator he named a restaurant after. Since Monday, when I posted my first blog about the sudden closure of Nine75 and Ocean -- Jim Sullivan’s last two Sullivan Restaurant Group operations -- my phone has been ringing off the hook. Some ca ... More >>
We are gathered here today to mark the passing of one of the oldest Chipotle restaurants in Denver, the location at 13th and Pennsylvania streets. One of the original, 15-20 pre-McDonald's Chipotles, the store opened in 1998, back before the big-burrito chain -- founded in Denver five years earlier ... More >>
Restaurants unwrap a few surprises.
Theres good reason to call Denver a cow town.
Denver is a glass act.
Taking the tube
Welcome to McDonald's, where Steve Bigari is lovin' it.
The Capital Grille
Male strippers are the latest victims in the city's war on crack.
Here's a tip for restaurateurs: Before you cut into your waitstaff's wages, check state regulations.