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Both restaurants opened last year, in old spaces made remarkably new. In Root Down's case, a vintage service station was turned into the town's coolest bar space, as well as a private dining room -- and also provided the sleek inspiration for the brand-new building put on the corner of 1600 West 33rd Avenue. Root Down has gorgeous views of downtown Denver, but it's already a landmark in its own right.
For Marco's Coal-Fired Pizzeria, a Victorian storefront at 2129 Larimer Street was transformed into a hip urban hangout, with huge pizza ovens as a focal point, a back deck that's clubhouse-cozy, and a front bar that invites everyone inside.
The awards presentation is at 6 p.m. tonight at the L2 Arts & Culture Center at 1477 Columbine Street, with a reception at 7. Admission is free, but you can RVSP here.