Two decades ago, when the first LoDo Limelight Awards were handed out, restaurants were few and far between in lower downtown. But today the restaurant and hospitality industries are the heart of LoDo, and businesses ranging from the venerable Oxford Hotel to the brand-new ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro were honored at last night's 21st annual awards ceremony.
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The Oxford Hotel -- a late-nineteenth century landmark that's home to both the Cruise Room and McCormick's Fish House -- won the Cares Award for community involvement. Frank Schultz, head of the Tavern Hospitality Group that owns the Tavern Downtown, among many other watering holes, took the Spotlight Award for marketing and events (the Tavern Downtown was just named Sports Bar of the Year by the national Nightclub & Bar magazine). And James and Alicia Deters, co-owners of ChoLon, won the new Business Award for the restaurant they opened last year at 1555 Blake Street with chef Lon Symensma.
The other winners: Slaterpuall Architects got the Legacy Award for design and preservation, and H McNeish of Prologue Development Services won the Service Award.
Big Game, the restaurant that opened last spring in the former home of Il Fornaio at 1631 Wazee Street, was also a finalist in the new business category.