Best of Denver

The Best of Denver Winners: 1984

In 1984, Westword published its first Best of Denver issue, a celebration of the city that touted everything from the Best Radio Station (KBCO, then six years old) to the Best Gallery Openings (Pirate Contemporary Art Oasis, still going strong on Navajo Street despite plenty of competition from other now-booming arts districts). Many of the other winners are long gone, along with leg warmers, the mobile hot-tub business and our Best Restaurant, Cafe Giovanni.

But no honor was more farsighted than the one given the Denver Broncos’ brand-spanking-new quarterback, who’d had a very discouraging season after gracing the cover of Westword during his first days at training camp. Even so, our Best of Denver team called a winning play and gave John Elway the Best Future award. “A Hall of Famer, for sure,” we succinctly predicted.

Here are the rest of the winner from that first issue (look for the 25th on March 28, 2008):

Best of Denver 1984 CITY LIVING

Best Political Gaffe – Pena's blizzard report card

Best Bright Idea (That Didn't Work) – Pena's idea that city garbage trucks would drive at night to help pack the snow

Best Political Joke – Governor Lamm on Texas

Best Bar Song – “Ol’ Man Lamm” sung to the tune of “Ol’ Man River” by James Bunch and Bob Kapelke, attorneys

Best Ronald Reagan Imitation – Azar's Big Boy

Best Political Flash In The Pan – Pat Schroeder's analysis of the Ronald Reagan presidency issued to the House of Reps

Best Also-Ran – Steve Leatherman (Littleton banker who ran for the Senate)

Best Almost-Ran – Michael Kennedy (who intended to run against Tim Wirth)

Best Timing – Donald Seawell 's decision to fill DCPA positions with his own people

Best Political Fundraiser (Democratic) – Rep. Ben Nighthorse Campbell planned to cut off his ponytail to raise money for his campaign

Best Political Fundraiser (Republican) – Republican auction in October

Best Republican Paparazzi – Holly Coors

Best Vaginal Politics – Michael Muftic

Best Person To Watch – John Parr

Best Business Namedropper – Coors Beer's suit against Chicago beverage maker Robert Corr

Best Political Namedropper – Dottie Wham

Best Resume – Norma Jones' resume for the number three spot in the city's parks and recreation department

Best Talent – Miss Colorado USA

Best Bumpersticker – "Imagine a Great City--and Go There!"

Best business card – Eric Sonderman prints business cards with the slogan "Imagine a Great Consultant"

Best Feud (Political) – Pena and Mike Licht's dispute over Pena plaza on 14th and Santa Fe

Best Local Candidate For President – Pirate the dog

Best Boundary – Denver is off limits to the Soviet journalists (although the City and County of Denver which covers the same area is not)

Best Coincidence – Officer Kevin Boyd of the Denver Police flees the scene of a burglary after learning that the victim had AIDS

Best Use of The Solar Fountain – A giant top ramen dish to feed the destitute

Best Graffiti – The back wall of the Safeway at Colfax and Josephine

Best Billboard - Nike runners, Federal, 15th, and assorted locations

Best Publicist – Mark Bliesener, Feyline Presents

Best Dough Boy – Gene Alarid

Best Alternative Use of Chopsticks – Trisha Flynn Cheroutes

Best Anchorperson – Ed Sardella, K-USA

Best Sportscaster – Ron Zapollo, KCNC

Best Weatherman – Weatherman Bowman

Best Man – Lou Wright's husband

Best Apartment Entrance – The Portofino Apartments

Best Place to Park – The Hogback, Green Mountain

Best Use of Turquoise – The Boulevard Shopping Center sign on South Colorado, just before the I-25 intersection

Best Restored Building – Blake Street Terrace

Best Abandoned Building – Republic Plaza

Best Candidate For Renovation – Barber & Beauty Supplies

Best Catholic Classes – The Denver Catholic Register's classes "Evenings for the Engaged"

Best Name For An Organization – Denver Capital of the Age of Enlightenment

Best Cruising (Low End) – West Colfax

Best Cruising (High End) – Marlowe's & the Chrysler

Best Cruising (Gay) – The Cheesman Park pavillion

Best Political Gathering – 17,000 people who gathered to encircle Rocky Mountain Nuclear Weapons Plant in October

Best Breathalyzer Test – The polygraph machine on the TV show, "Lie Detector"


Best Neon – Micky Manor

Best Bathroom (Men) – The Oxford

Best Bathroom (Women) – Ship's Tavern, The Brown Palace

Best Churchyard Display – Mount Carmel Church

Best Church Bells – Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Best Place to Buy Plastic Icons – Woolworth's basement

Best Local Religious Group – The Happy Church

Best Adult Toy Store – The Crypt

Best V.D Clinic – University of Colorado Health Center

Best Suburb – Arvada

Best Denver Export – The Denver boot

Best Cemetery – Riverside

Best Place to Watch the Fireworks – The Chili Pepper

Best Place to Watch the Carousel Ball – The Fairmount Hotel Lobby Bar

Best Escape – The Great Sand Dunes

Best Massage – Shiatsu Therapy Group

Best Masseur – Sam Silver

Best Barbershop – The Brown Palace

Best Hair Designer – Rita Highfield, Time & Again

Best Manicure – Cynthia Hester, Hands Down

Best Piano Tuner – David Nereson

Best Comic Book Store – Colorado Comics

Best Flower Shop – De Millar

Best Pawn Shop – Wedgles

Best Bank Lobby – Colorado National Bank

Best Video Outlet – Video Country

Best Shopping Spree – Pace Membership Warehouse

Best Library – Platte Park Branch

Best Bookstore – Tattered Cover

Best Used Bookstore – "Bookstore row"

Best Newspaper Delivery Service – Sagebrush News, Inc.

Best Newsstand – Aurora Newsland

Best Magazine Stand – Squire Books

Best Business Name – Dinette Concepts

Best Occult Store – Castle Rising

Best Card Shop – Carde Blanche

Best Camera Shop – Mike's

Best Gardening Supplies – Rocky Mountain Seed Co.

Best Hardware Store – Belcaro Ace Hardware

Best Upholstery – Colorado School of Upholstery

Best Pharmacy – Country Club Pharmacy

Best Health Deal – Denver General Health Card

Best Emergency Room – Denver General Hospital

Best Route From the Airport Downtown – Martin Luther King Dr. through five points curving around to Champa

Best Car Mechanic – Joe Gonzales

Best Name For A Gas Station – Two Crazy Brothers

Best Parking Ticket Referee – Jesse Salinas

Best 24-Hour Gas Station – Logan Mini Market

Best Synchronized Stoplights – 14th Avenue

Best Speed Trap – 8th Avenue between Colorado and Downing

Best Bus Route – #52

Best Dry Cleaners – Bellaire Cleaners

Best Laundromat – Smiley's

Best Fabric Store – Hancock Fabrics

Best Thrift Store – Aurora DAV

Best Retro – Broadway Revue

Best Clothing Markdowns – Loehmann's

Best Flea Market – Bonanza


The Cosmopolitan Coot Lake


Best Mural – Cliff Palace, by Terry Schoonhoven, One United Bank Center

Best Outdoor Sculpture – Kenneth Snelson's "Soft Landing" at Seventeenth Street Plaza

Best Non-Sculpture Public Art – The Mudmen

Best Gallery Openings – Pirate Contemporary Art Oasis

Best Gallery – Inkfish

Best Movie Theatre – Cooper Theatre

Best Movie Theatre With No Lines – Target Village III

Best Place to See A Movie Alone – Denver Center Cinema

Best Theatre Candy Stand – Ogden Theatre

Best Drive-In – Lake Shore Drive-In Theatre

Best Place to Play Hooky – Water World

Best Roller Coaster – Mr. Twister at Elitch Gardens

Best Bowling Alley – Celebrity Sports Center

Best Golf Course – Willis Case

Best Tennis Court – Gates Tennis Center

Best Bike Path – Along Cherry Creek

Best Ski Run – Loveland Back Bowls

Best Jogging Path – 7th Avenue Parkway

Best Public Pool – Eldorado Springs

Best Hot Springs – Indian Springs, Idaho Springs

Best Sports Talk Show – Joe Williams, KLAK's High Country Sports

Best Coach – Floyd Theard, Basketball, University of Denver

Best Physique – T.R. Dunn, Nugget

Best Profile – Kiki Vanderweghe, Ex-Nugget

Best Buy – Enclosed box, The Denver Bears

Best Sports Executive – Bob Ottewill Commissioner, Colorado Whiffleball Federation

Best Sportswriter Covering A Beat – T.J. Simers, Broncos for the Rocky Mountain News

Best Bronco – Gary Kubiak

Best Pass – Rick Upchurch, former Bronco

Best Future – John Elway, Denver Broncos

Best Deal – Denver Gold Sale

Best Game – Broncos 21, Baltimore 19, December 11, 1983

Best Jukebox – Satire Lounge

Best Muzak – Taco Bueno

Best Studio (Low End) – Hands On Recording Studio

Best Studio (High End) – Denver Center Audio-Visual, Recording and Research Center, DCPA

Best Local Label (Rock) – Local Anesthetic

Best Local Label (Classical) – Owl

Best Stereo Shop – Crisman Audiovision

Best Record Store (New) – Wax Trax

Best Record Store (Used) – Albums on The Hill

Best Record Store (Classical) – Sound Warehouse

Best Guitar Shop (Electric) – Cadillac Guitars

Best Guitar Shop (Acoustic) – Ferretta's Music Service

Best Sheet Music – John Dillon Music

Best Rock Band – The Aviators

Best Blues Band – The Captain's Red Hot Blues Band

Best Bluegrass Band – Hot Rize

Best Jazz Band – Spike Robinson and whoever he's playing with

Best Jazz Club – El Chapultepec

Best Dance Club – Tracks

Best Concert Venue – Rainbow Music Hall

Best Seat in Boettcher – Any seat in dress circle 1 or mezzanine 4

Best DJ – Lisa Hartman, KVOD & Ginger Havlat, KADE

Best Radio Station – KBCO, 97 FM, Boulder

Best Long Goodbye – Lannie Garrett

Best Free Catalog – A DFU catalog

Best Summation Of the Denver Entertainment Scene – The Denver Post has been without an entertainment editor for the past 6 months

In Memoriam – The Mercury Café


Best Supermarket – King Sooper's

Best Specialty Food Store – FBC Foods International

Best Natural Foods – Alfalfa's Market

Best Butcher – FBC Foods International

Best Seafood Market – Port of Denver

Best Cheese Shop – The Big Cheese

Best Japanese Market – Pacific Mercantile

Best Italian Market – Mancinelli's Italian Market

Best Greek Bakery – Omonoia Bakery

Best Greek Market – Economy Greek Market

Best German Bakery – Ohle's German and American Deli Restaurant

Best French Bakery – Andre's Restaurant & Confiserie Suisse

Best Mexican Bakery – Panaderia Rosales Bakery

Best Caterer – Le Petit Gourmet Catering

Best Liquor Store – Argonaut Liquors

Best Piano Bar – Ivory's Piano Bar

Best Lounge Singer – Billy Wilson, The Tally Ho

Best Mountain Bar – Little Bear, Main Street, Evergreen

Best Happy Hour – Thrills

Best Neighborhood Bar (Central) – The Punch Bowl

Best Neighborhood Bar (North) – The Edgewater Inn

Best Neighborhood Bar (South) – The Oak Alley Inn

Best Neighborhood Bar (West) – Love to Drink Lounge

Best Neighborhood Bar (East) – Just Binky's

Best Neighborhood Bar (Reader’s Choice) – My Brother's Bar

Best Bartender – Johnny/My Brother’s Bar

Best House Drinks – Hungry Farmer

Best Mexican Restaurant – Las Delicias

Best Nachos – The Blue Bonnet Cafe & Lounge

Best Green Chile – La Fiesta

Best Sopapilla – La Loma

Best Tortillas – Betty's Take-Out

Best Special Salsa – Las Delicias

Best Chile Rellenos – La Fiesta

Best Tamales – Betty's Take-Out

Best Green-Corn Tamales – Garcia's of Scottsdale

Best Huevos Rancheros – Taqueria Patzcuaro

Best Chips and Salsa – The Blue Bonnet

Best Menudo – Satire Restaurant and Lounge

Best Mexican Bar Food – Brewery Bar II

Best Spanish-Mexican – Don Quijote

Best Italian (Expensive) – Little Pepina's

Best Italian (Low End) – Blue Parrot Cage

Best Spaghetti and Meatballs – Patsy's Inn

Best Chinese – Twin Dragon

Best Peking Duck – Yen King

Best Egg Rolls – Jade Palace

Best Japanese Restaurant – Kobe An

Best Sushi – Sushi Koi

Best French-Vietnamese – Chez Thoa

Best Vietnamese – Oriental Place

Best Thai – Siam Restaurant

Best Russian – Little Russian Café

Best Indian – Taj Mahal

Best Greek (Low End) – Central 1

Best Greek (High End) – Regas Mediterranean Café

Best French (Low End) – Le Central

Best French (High End) – La Chaumiere, Lyons

Best Nouvelle – Dudley's

Best Seafood – Fresh Fish Co.

Best Deli – Goldberg's Deli

Best Bagel – New York Bagel Boys

Best Health Food – The Cafeteria, Porter Memorial Hospital

Best Chicken-Fried Steak – Buddy's

Best Rocky Mountain Oysters – The Buckhorn Exchange

Best Rocky Mountain Trout – The Oxford Hotel

Best Fried Chicken – Homestead Restaurant

Best Take-Out Chicken – Jim Dandy Extra Spicy

Best Steakhouse (Low end) – The Columbine Steakhouse

Best Steakhouse (High End) – The Colorado Mine Company

Best Buffalo – The Fort

Best Barbecue – Zona's

Best Soul Food – Pierre's Supper Club

Best Creole – Foucher's Creole Café

Best Pizza Slices – Famous Pizza

Best Pizza (Thin Crust) – Bonnie Brae Tavern

Best Pizza (Thick Crust) – Maxwell's

Best Pizza (Yuppie) – Govnr's Park

Best Hot Dogs – Mustard's Last Stand

Best Fries – Chili's

Best Burgers – Fuddruckers

Best Burgers (Presentation) – My Brother’s Bar

Best Ice Cream – Big Olaf's

Best Milkshakes – Wheat Ridge Dairy

Best Dessert – Triple Crown, Racine's

Best Candy – Godiva, Southglenn Mall

Best Cup of Coffee – Kate's Place

Best Cup of Coffee (High End) – Brown Palace

Best Coffee (Decaffeinated) – The Pantry

Best Coffeehouse – Muddy's

Best Greasy Spoon – The Aristocrat

Best Breakfast – Elly May's Kitchen

Best Power Breakfast – The Egg Shell

Best Pancakes – Lighthouse Café

Best Sweet Rolls – The Kitchen

Best Exotic Brunch – Dim Sum, China Terrace

Best Brunch Buffet – Moulin Rouge Room, Fairmont Hotel

Best Brunch – El Rancho

Best Picnic Spot – Confluence Park

Best Picnic Take-Out – The Pantry

Best Seafood Take-Out – Down Home Fish Market

Best Drive -In – Chubby Burger Drive Inn

Best Place To Take Out Of Towners – The Buckhorn Exchange

Best Mountain Restaurant – Tivoli Deer

Best Drinks With A View – The Flagstaff House

Best Outdoor Cafe (Privacy) – Philippe's

Best Outdoor Cafe For People Watching – Caldonia's

Best Romantic Dinner – Brendle's

Best Tearoom – The Denver Tearoom

Best Hotel Restaurant – McGuire's, Fairmont Hotel

Best After-Theatre Restaurant – Cafe Promenade

Best 24-Hour Restaurant – Reese's Best Ambiance (Low end) – Eddie Bohn's Pig & Whistle

Best Ambiance (High End) – Marquis Restaurant, Fairmont

Best Place To Look At Cadillac’s At 3 a.m. – White Spot

Best Place To Eat With Kids – Round The Corner

Best Sandwich – Martine's

Best Salad Bar – Old Country Restaurant

Best Dinner Salad – Grande Giovanni's

Best All You Can Eat – King's Table

Best Uniforms – Mary & Lou's Café

Best Use Of An Old A&W – Mama San's Restaurant

Best Parking Lot – Colorado Mine Company

Best Parking Lot To Avoid – Bobby McGee’s

Best Service – Tante Louise

Best Free Lunch – Jesus Saves Lunch

Best Restaurant (Price No Object) – Cafe Giovanni


Super 6 Drive In The Broken Drum