Colorado weather doesn't exactly care about our outdoor plans in the springtime, but most Denverites are willing to don their outdoorsy gear and brave the elements — especially if it means a fun time and some free grub. The Colorado Rockies will play their first home game of the season on Friday, April 6, and the weather is expected to be cold and wet. But even if the game is postponed, there will still be plenty happening around LoDo and the Ballpark neighborhood. Chief among the activities is the debut of the Alley at the Dairy Block, downtown Denver's first "activated" alley.
So what does "activated" mean? The stretch of alley from 18th to 19th street between Blake and Wazee streets has been cleaned up, repaved, decorated with murals and other outdoor art and, most important, given a common consumption liquor license. So if you purchase a drink from one of the bars or restaurants that opens onto the Alley, you can carry it with you from one end to the other as you peruse shops or relax with friends on one of several patios — all without having to dodge garbage trucks and rodents of unusual size.
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Part of the Alley is covered, since the Maven Hotel above it spans the center of the block on the second floor, so you'll have shelter in case of rain or snow.
To help christen the Alley, Poka Lola Social Club, the cocktail bar inside the Maven, will unveil its back patio beginning at 10 a.m., with food and drink specials and live music.
At the opposite end of the Alley, Milk Market, a food hall with more than a dozen different concepts from restaurateur Frank Bonanno, still has a few month's worth of construction to go before it opens, but the Milk Market team will be handing out free hot dogs, bottled waters and other goodies from noon until 2 p.m.
Other currently open establishments on the block include Huckleberry Roasters and Kachina Cantina. But the coming months will also see the opening of two new bars: Seven Grand and Run for the Roses. And Bonanno will also install a walk-up pizza window in the Alley to fill the late-night munchies niche.