Denver's fast-paced growth means the restaurant industry is still at full sprint trying to keep up with demand. Last year was one of the biggest years in the city's history for sheer volume of restaurant openings, as well as variety, and it looks like 2015 will see, if not the quantity of last year, at least some exciting new concepts from big-name veterans as well as newcomers with grand visions. Here's a look at some of the most anticipated new bars and eateries coming our way this spring and summer, grouped by neighborhood.
3200 Pecos Street
Planned opening: May 2015
Avanti is a collection of seven new, fast-casual concepts built in shipping containers inside a former printing warehouse overlooking the downtown skyline. Owners Patrick O'Neill, Brad Arguello and Rob Hahn are installing two bars on two floors, a rooftop deck that will feature some of the best views in town, and outdoor bleacher seating to capture the Coors Field vibe. All seven restaurant slots have been claimed and leases will be short in duration and staggered so that Avanti will become an incubator where budding restaurateurs can try out their concepts before investing in their own brick-and-mortar operations. The initial tenants are:
Mijo: An pan-Asian noodle shop from former Bones team John DePierro and Michael Nevarez, who will focus on udon rice bowls.
Quiero Arepas: A stationary version of one of Denver's favorite food trucks, featuring Venezuelan arepas, the corn flour-based pocket sandwiches stuffed with savory meats, beans and fried plantain.
Souk Shawarma: A Middle Eastern Street food kitchen from Jon Robbins of Bistro Barbès.
Poco Torteria: A foray into Mexican sandwiches from Kevin Morrison, who has already had noted success with his two Pinche Taqueria locations.
Brava: A second home for David Bravdica’s neapolitan pizza oven, which currently operates under the Clock Tower on the 16th Street Mall.
Bixo: A Mediterranean small-plates concept from Denver newcomer Marco Gonzales, veteran of several top kitchens in France and Spain.
Farmer Girl: A farm-to-table concept from chef Tim Payne, who runs the Tasterie Truck.
also coming to LoHi:
2227 West 32nd Avenue
Highland Tap & Burger owner Juan Padro just announced he'll be opening this upscale pizza joint next door, with chef Max MacKissock — of Squeaky Bean fame — at the helm.
1950 West 32nd Avenue
Williams & Graham team Sean Kenyon and Todd Colehour are opening a more casual, neighborhood bar next door to their speakeasy original.
RiNo and Ballpark
2601 Walnut Street
Twelve chef and owner Jeff Osaka has been working on his new ramen shop for almost a year now, but all signs point indicate that the noodle slurping should start this month.
1309 26th Street
First Draft will have more than forty self-service taps, giving customers the chance to sample beers by the ounce or by the glass.
3500 Larimer Street
Uncle chef/owner Tommy Lee is expanding his brand to a new bar and Asian eatery in RiNo. The name isn't 100 percent, though; we'll keep you posted if it changes.
3126 Larimer Street
Jonathan Power of the Populist and Koan Goedman of Huckleberry Roasters will be opening this bar across the street from the Populist.
2706 Larimer Street
This will be another Sean Kenyon-run joint, in conjunction with Justin Anthony and Lisa Vedovelli, the owners of the Matchbox across the street.
1215 20th Street
The latest from Edible Beats, restaurateur Justin Cucci's group that already includes Linger, Root Down and Root Down DIA, this Ballpark restaurant and nightclub is set to open later this month.
2601 Larimer Street
Jeff Osaka isn't just planning ramen joints; he's also working on a new Japanese fish house featuring a conveyor-belt sushi delivery system.
2927 Larimer Street
Part food-truck corral and part craft-cocktail bar, Finn's Manor is the brainchild of Thomas Taylor, Robert Sickler and Noah Price, co-owner of Crema Coffeehouse the Populist.
Cherry Creek North
Blue Island Oyster Bar
2625 Second Avenue
The owners of Humboldt and Stout Street Social are planning a raw bar and seafood house for the new 250 Columbine development.
245 Columbine Street
Departure will be the latest Denver eatery from the Sage Restaurant Group, which also runs the Corner Office, Kachina Southwestern Grill and Second Home.
2817 East Third Avenue
That's right: Jeff Osaka isn't content with just one ramen joint, so he's putting a second one in the former location of the Ay Caramba tortas kitchen.
3927 West 32nd Avenue
Solitaire, from Vail restaurateurs Mark A. Ferguson and Andrea Fergusun, is going into the the twin Victorians that once housed longtime Denver favorite Highland Garden Cafe
Blue Pan Pizza
West 32nd Avenue
The chef at Telluride's Brown Dog Pizza is bringing a square deal to West Highland in the form of Detroit-style pizza.
2450 West 44th Avenue
This pig-centric eatery will add another breakfast, lunch and dinner option to the quiet neighborhood, along with another yet-to-be-named restaurant in the renovated Cobbler's Corner building.
2400 West 44th Avenue
BluePlains will feature seafood and game in the former home of a Mexican restaurant and carniceria.
Milk & Honey
1414 Larimer Street
Chef-restaurateur Michael Shiell has been gutting and rebuilding the lower level space in Larimer Square that once housed Lime Cantina. The menu will focus on straightforward meat presentations with chef-y flourishes and a deep wine list.
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Belleview Station, DTC
Troy Guard is opening a second location of his Ballpark grand slam taqueria.
6775 South Santa Fe Drive
Breckenridge Brewery's new twelve-acre southern campus will feature this 8,000 square-foot restaurant as part of the riverfront attractions.
What other openings are you looking forward to? Let us know in the comments section.