At 6 p.m. tonight at the Mercury Cafe, still-Mayor John Hickenlooper will hand out Denver's 2010 Mayor's Design Awards, honoring eleven neighborhood projects that combine form and function in remarkable ways. Several of the winners are restaurants, including the Mercury, the eatery/community center that Marilyn Megenity opened at 2199 California Street more than two decades ago, after she finally found a home for the movable feast that had gone through numerous locations around town in the previous ten years.
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"Great cities are just as enriched by many small and beautiful design interventions as they are by large and bold civic gestures," says Hickenlooper, who, as a co-founder of the Wynkoop Brewing Company, knows all about the challenges of putting a restaurant in an emerging neighborhood.
The other restaurant winners this year include Domo, the country Japanese restaurant that's an urban oasis at 1356 Osage Street; Crema Coffee House, in a reclaimed storefront at 2862 Larimer Street; and Fuel Café, which put one of the town's hippest eateries in an old taxi fueling station at 3455 Ringsby Court, in the heart of the Rino district.
Find the complete list of six years of Mayor's Design Award winners here..