Welcome to April in Denver, when a snowy day can put a damper on the mere suggestion of spending time outside, even just a few days before the boys of summer show up for the Colorado Rockies' home opener — on a day predicted to be sunny and warm. You can bet the Ballpark neighborhood will be crawling with purple-clad baseball fans (or those just looking for an excuse to ditch work for a day) come Friday, April 7, and you should join in the fun, too, which will spread well into other downtown entertainment districts. Here are ten ways to get in the spirit with drink deals, sausage suggestions and patio parties before you make your way to Coors Field.
Chef Jensen Cummings will be grilling Tender Belly beer brats at the Burnt Barrel for opening day.
Burnt Barrel Colorado Spirits and Sports
1201 16th Street
Chef Jensen Cummings, founder of Brewed Food, has created a line of beer bratwursts in conjunction with Tender Belly and Blue Moon RiNo. The Tender Belly Signature Beer Brat line hits the city for the the first time from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 7 in front of the Burnt Barrel (formerly the Tilted Kilt) on the 16th Street Mall. The sausages are made with Tender Belly's responsibly sourced pork and brewing ingredients from Blue Moon. Cummings will be grilling up India Pale Lager brats and Mango Wheat Chili sausages. These dogs aren't simply steeped in suds like most beer brats, but include hops and other beer-making ingredients as well as spices and chiles.
Hopdoddy and Ratio Beerworks will help usher in a new Rockies season.
1747 Wynkoop Street
Texas burger slinger Hopdoddy is kicking off the Rockies’ 2017 season in conjunction with Ratio Beerworks. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., you can celebrate on Hopdoddy's patio — which spills out onto Union Station's plaza and will be expanded with extra square footage on Opening Day only — with Ratio’s Antidote IPA and Domestica Standard American Ale on tap, as well as cornhole and other outdoor activities.
The Infinite Monkey Theorem Urban Winery
3200 Larimer Street
Sophisticated baseball fans can now sip wine from IMT inside Coors Field, which will be sold on the Rooftop for the first time ever, then head over to the winery for First Friday from 3 to 10 p.m. April 7, with music from the Vibes Lounge, art on display from JP Menetrier, and eats from Skadi's food truck.
Jax Fish House
1539 17th Street
Colorado's homegrown seafood restaurant will open early for an extended happy hour from noon to 6 p.m.April 7, with $3 Post Brewing Company cans and $1.50 oysters. You can also fill up on lobster rolls, sea dogs, po’ boys and burgers before heading over to the ballpark. Reservations are strongly recommended.
At Latigo, you can practically hear the ump calling balls and strikes.
2229 Blake Street
Latigo just opened at the end of last year's baseball season, so this is the upscale Mexican restaurant's first home opener. You can't get any closer to Coors Field than this, so stop in for south-of-the-border specialties and enjoy a shot of Don Julio Blanco and a Mexican lager for $10. There will also be an outdoor taco stand serving $2 tacos, $5 burritos and $5 margaritas. And don't miss the Exotico and Don Julio girls, who will be handing out tequila samples from noon to 2 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m., respectively.
1610 16th Street
April is patio season, dammit, and patios will open — rain, shine, snow or hail. Lucky Pie kicks off its first patio party at 11 a.m. April 7 with a New England IPA collaboration between Epic and Telluride Brewing, as well as tappings of Los Locos Mexican Lager, Tart ’n Juicy Sour IPA, Freaky Fish Belgian IPA and Russell Kelly Pale Ale. Leave work early (or better yet, call in), because beer and pizza are the perfect way to pre-game.
918 17th Street
Range has cooked up a jalapeño bison brat just for the Rockies' first home game. Get one, along with a side (cider-and-rye Brussels sprouts, an organic farm salad, habanero candied bacon, or salt and vinegar French fries) for $14. And if you're more of a sausage fan than a baseball aficionado, you can skip Opening Day and get the special any time from April 4 through April 9.
Sausage is great game-day grub.
1415 Market Street
Housemade sausages are as common downtown as home runs at Coor Field; Rhein Haus always makes its own German-style wurst, and for Opening Day, the kitchen is cranking out a good deal, with any gourmet brat and a Rhein Haus lager for just $10 on April 7. With indoor bocce courts, pretzels, and German, Belgian and American brews, the beer hall may prove so entertaining that you'll forget all about the ballgame.
Stoic & Genuine
1701 Wynkoop Street
Stoic & Genuine at Union Station and its sibling restaurant Euclid Hall are getting into the spirit by offering grab-and-go gourmet dogs you can take with you to the game. Stop by the S & G patio from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 7 for Euclid Hall's Italian beef sausage with onion agrodolce or pork-and-crawfish boudin with remoulade. There will also be fish-and-chip hoagies with tartar sauce, grilled oysters, and Diebolt Brewing French ale (the beer's not available to go, however). Not heading to the ballpark? No problem: Avoid the crowds and overpriced beer by eating in.
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Stop at Vesta on the way to Coors Field for liquid-nitrogen caramel corn.
1822 Blake Street
Vesta has been the bomb on Blake Street for twenty years (nearly as long as the Rockies themselves), so a visit to the LoDo eatery is a natural for the home opener. Stroll over to Vesta's patio, where chef Nick Kayser and his team will offer an elevated take on a ballpark favorite: their version of Cracker Jack, made using liquid nitrogen and loaded with salt and brown-sugar caramel. Grab a $3 bag for the walk to Coors Field and you'll receive a card for a complimentary Vesta sauce-sampler small plate — that's housemade naan bread with your choice of five sauces — when you return.