We get it: Everyone (well, almost everyone) is jonesing for In-N-Out Burger! The California-based fast-food chain is poised to launch in Aurora, Fort Collins, Lone Tree and Colorado Springs in the coming year, and anyone with a pulse has an opinion about whether to love or hate the new arrival. But there's more to Denver than burger joints with secret menus; here are ten highly anticipated restaurants expected to open in the coming months.
Avanti Food & Beverage Boulder1401 Pearl Street, Boulder
Avanti's success since the original LoHi food-hall-slash-restaurant-incubator opened four years ago made creating a multi-vendor destination look easy; since then, numerous other players have jumped in the game. In fact, Rosetta Hall entered the market in October in Boulder, just three blocks from where Avanti F & B plans to debut its sophomore effort. But the Pearl Street Mall has always been able to sustain a wide variety of restaurants and food kiosks, and Avanti's prime corner location in a former Cheesecake Factory should equate to instant foot traffic. The food hall's website indicates a spring opening, though specific vendors have not been announced.
Brasserie Brixton3701 Williams Street
This neighborhood French eatery from partners Justin Morse and Matt Daniels has been in the works for the better part of 2019, but renovations on the circa-1884 building are now complete, and interior framing and drywall are well under way. The Cole neighborhood could have a new place to dine within the next two months if progress on Brasserie Brixton continues at the current pace.
Campus Lounge701 South University Boulevard
The corner of South University Boulevard and East Exposition Avenue proved unlucky for two ownership groups who tried to make a go of it after Jim Wiste sold his decades-old Campus Lounge in 2016, but a new team hopes the third time will be a charm. The founders of Recess Beer Garden in LoHi are behind the latest effort, and they plan to return some of the neighborhood ambience and sports-bar vibe to the space. The new ownership group will keep the Campus Lounge name. Recess co-owner Owen Olson says he grew up in the neighborhood and remembers going to the Campus Lounge with his parents, so honoring its history is a priority. Olson says the bar will reopen to the public on January 29.
Fox Run Cafe3550 East Colfax Avenue
Budding restaurateur Lucien Reichert took over the former home of the Humble Pie Store last spring and has been slowly transforming the space into an all-day cafe that will bake its own sourdough bread and serve a range of modern and homey eats, from toasts topped with housemade ingredients to hearty breakfast burritos. Reichert, who previously worked at the Plimoth, is targeting late January for an opening.
Northside Eatery & Market1691 Central Street
This isn't the first time we've named Northside in a list of anticipated openings; the initial nod was back in April 2019. But the latest news coming from the LoHi space previously occupied by Candela offers the estimated opening of "early 2020." Expect a counter-service restaurant on one side with a "corner store" on the other, selling coffee, pastries, grab-and-go eats and various other sundries.
Mason's Dumpling Shop9655 East Montview Boulevard
Transforming an old dive bar in Aurora into a modern Chinese dumpling house took some doing, and owner Ker Zhu says he almost gave up on more than one occasion. But the results are nearly ready to unveil, and Mason's, an offshoot of L.A.'s famous Luscious Dumplings, is currently hiring. Poised on the edge of Denver's Stapleton neighborhood and a quickly revitalizing section of Aurora, Mason's will surely make a big splash when it opens in the next month or so.
Meta Burger5505 West 20th Avenue, Edgewater
Vegan cuisine was one of the biggest trends of 2019, and plant-based eaters will continue to seek out new options in 2020. Meta Burger has attracted a steady following of fans looking for comfort food free of animal products at its original home at 7950 East Mississippi Avenue, and a second location at the Edgewater Public Market should make the eatery's vegan fast food more accessible to westside residents. Co-owner Matthew Coates is looking to open the new Meta Burger in May or June.
Olivia290 South Downing Street
Last fall, Bistro Georgette co-owners Heather Morrison, Ty Leon and Austin Carson purchased Cafe Marmotte, which they continued to run as a French restaurant until December 31, slowly introducing pasta dishes from Leon's repertoire of Italian cuisine. Cafe Marmotte served its last French fare on the last day of 2019, and now the team is busy converting the space into a fully Italian restaurant called Olivia, after Morrison's daughter. You should be able to nab a table come mid-January.
The Ponti100 West 14th Avenue
Along with the complete overhaul of the Denver Art Museum comes a new wing where Palettes once stood. The Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center will be home to The Ponti, a new project from James Beard Award-winning chef/restaurateur Jennifer Jasinski. The chef says that the focus will be on vegetables, ancient grains, heirloom legumes and other local and seasonal items. If all goes according to plan, the Ponti will open in June 2020.
The Post Brewing Co. at the Stanley Hotel333 East Wonderview Avenue, Estes Park
Dave Query, founder of the Big Red F restaurant group, is expanding the Post Brewing Co. with a fifth location, which will take up the main floor of a former carriage house on the grounds of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The Post started out as a brewery and fried-chicken joint in Lafayette in 2014 and has since expanded to Longmont, Denver and Boulder. Query says he hopes that Estes Park residents and visitors will be enjoying the great views, beer and fried chicken by July 4.
What else is coming soon? The owners of Abejas will soon open Nosu Ramen at 700 Twelfth Street in Golden; Close Quarters, a coffee and cocktail bar, is taking over the former home of the White Whale Room at 415 South Cherokee Street; the Molecule Effect is adding a second outpost next door to Fire on the Mountain at 300 South Logan Street; and Third Culture Bakery is getting close to opening its mochi muffin and doughnut bakery at 9935 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora. And Bartaco, a cantina chain operated by the same folks that run Barcelona Wine Bar, will move in at 2001 West 32nd Avenue alongside Lady Jane and Method Roasters.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.