And just one day after that official opening, Whitaker nabbed a big honor when he was named a semifinalist for this year's James Beard Award for Best Restaurateur in the country. In all, thirteen Colorado chefs and restaurants secured nominations in various categories, including Best Chef: Mountain.
Tennyson Street is also now home to the second location of Evergreen's Kalaka Mexican Kitchen, which serves street tacos, fajitas, bowls, salads and more.
After leaving its spot next to the Ogden Theatre in August 2021, Alpine Dog Brewing is back. On January 27, it opened its new space inside the former Denver Bicycle Cafe, bringing more craft beer to East 17th Avenue's restaurant row.
There's a new bar on Seventh and Grant in Cap Hill, a block mainly occupied by concepts from restaurateur Frank Bonanno. After quietly closing Lou's Food Bar (in a spot that started as Bones before switching to a focus on hot chicken, which you can still get at Milk Market), Bonanno Concepts has transformed the space into Salita, a watering hole that "marries the Colorado west, Denver artistry and a touch of Italian glam," according to the announcement. Staffing the bar is the team from Bonanno's Green Russell, which closed early January 1 after twelve years in Larimer Square.
the ten best sandwich shops in Denver, reopened in a new home in the CitySet Complex in Glendale. While the menu remains the same (try the smothered torta ahogata), the space is bigger and brighter, with more seating for fans of these fully loaded Mexican sandwiches.
Neko Ramen & Rice is now open in northeast Park Hill, with a concise menu that includes several appetizers, two rice bowl variations and five types of ramen.
There were also two new spots in the suburbs. Centennial is home to the first Colorado location of Inchin's Bamboo Garden, an Indian/Chinese chain that got its start in Atlanta in 2003 and has over twenty outposts in ten states. In Arvada, Mangiami is now serving Italian fare, including Detroit-style pizzas.
Among the closures this week was Denver's only Black Eyed Pea, though the chain still has eight other locations in the state. The ice cream and coffee shop Smith + Canon has shuttered its Colfax Avenue location but will open an outpost at Colorado Mills soon, and is also planning an Aurora storefront. And after a short-lived run, Stem Ciders has closed Howdy Bar, which had been operating out of its former RiNo taproom since last October.
In other openings-and-closings news:
- The District has rebranded as 1908 An Uptown Eatery.
- Little Brazil in Wheat Ridge is on the move to a bigger, better location.
- Il Porcellino is launching a new dinner concept centered on fresh pasta this March.
Alpine Dog Brewing Company, 1308 East 17th Avenue
Hey Kiddo/Ok Yeah/The Rooftop, 4337 Tennyson Street
Inchin's Bamboo Garden, 12073 East Arapahoe Road, Centennial
Kalaka Mexican Kitchen Berkeley, 4528 Tennyson Street
Las Tortas, 682 South Colorado Boulevard
Mangiami, 5614 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, Arvada
Neko Ramen & Rice, 4030 Colorado Boulevard
Salita, 701 Grant Street
Restaurants and bars closing this week:*
Black Eyed Pea, 1470 South Colorado Boulevard
Howdy Bar, 2811 Walnut Street
Smith + Canon, 2260 East Colfax Avenue