There's a lot to celebrate this week — including the extension of Governor Jared Polis's order allowing restaurants and bars to continue serving to-go boozy beverages through the end of May. And there are plenty of other reasons to celebrate, including Star Wars Day and Cinco de Mayo; keep reading for worthwhile events this week and in the days ahead.
Monday, May 4
Just because you're stuck inside doesn't mean you can't celebrate Star Wars Day on Monday, May 4. In fact, there's probably never been a better time to observe the day. When else are you going to have twenty hours uninterrupted by pesky things like leaving the house to watch all nine films — even the execrable episodes I, II and III? (Add Solo and Rogue One to your film fest and you're clocking in at 25 hours.) Luckily, Arvada's Talnua Distillery, at 5405 West 56th Avenue, is providing themed cocktails starting at $10 for the movie marathon. Let a Jedi Mind Trick scramble your brain, make aggressive eye contact with your quarantine buddies while drinking Bantha Milk, and embrace your inner Kylo Ren with a Dark Side and Stormy. Order on Talnua's virtual storefront for pick-up at the distillery from noon to 7 p.m. or delivery in Denver, Arvada and Wheat Ridge.
Tuesday, May 5
You didn't think we'd miss an opportunity to round up some great deals on south-of-the-border food and drink for Cinco de Mayo, did you? Visit our separate list of online and takeout events celebrating Mexican-American culture. In addition to those, visit Que Bueno Suerte's Instagram account for Cinco de Mayo drink and meal kit specials, including a margarita party pitcher for six people, enchilada makings in two different sizes, and even a ceviche kit for seafood lovers. Just be sure to order by the end of Monday, May 4.
Wednesday, May 6
Burmese cuisine isn't on most Americans' radar — most people would be hard-pressed to find the country of Myanmar on a map. But the fact that food from the southeast Asian country hasn't become as familiar as neighboring Thailand's is a shame, because it's mouthwatering. And while you can't get to Denver's lone Burmese restaurant, Urban Burma, quite yet (you'll have to wait until May 7 for that!), you can learn how to make a few of the country's dishes via an online cooking class presented by Breaking Bread Together and Food Bridge on Wednesday, May 6. From 6 to 7:30 p.m., you'll learn how to make chicken (or vegetarian) curry and biryani rice from chef Zin Zin; for complete details, visit Eventbrite, where you can purchase a ticket ($33) that gives you access to the Zoom link and a private Facebook group with additional recipes and resources.
Thursday, May 7
Seafood shack Fish N Beer hasn't yet reopened for business, but starting on Thursday, May 7, the space at 3510 Larimer Street won't be empty. That's because the team at Tacos Tequila Whiskey (which also owns the seafood restaurant) is adding burritos to their repertoire; Burro Rito, a temporary burritoria, will be wrapping up all manner of grilled meats in giant Raquelitas red-chile tortillas at the location through Thursday, May 21. Show up early on the first day of operations (doors open at 11:30 a.m.), because while every customer that day will get a gift card for a free burrito and dessert on their next visit, the first fifty in line will get two. Plus, for every burrito you pick up, the eatery will donate one to a health-care worker. Visit Fish N Beer's website to see the menu and order online.
Friday, May 8
Foraged, 1825 Blake Street, is opening its takeout window and its heart on Fridays this month with Family Fridays. Everyone is family from 3 to 5 p.m., when the restaurant is giving away free food to those left hungry by the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations are welcomed; they'll go to the Foraged staff, along with proceeds from the sale of wine, beer and cocktails. Visit the eatery's Facebook page for details.
Keep reading for ongoing online events every day of the week....
Even though it may feel like the world has shut down forever, Mother Nature is actually doling out some good with the bad: Spring has sprung, and now's a great time to start planning a garden. In addition to growing your own food and mitigating grocery-store trips, gardening can also be a meditative hobby — and nothing could be better in these trying times. That's why farmers' advocacy group Frontline Farming is carrying on with its annual heirloom seedling sale. This year, though, all orders must be placed via the organization's online store. Choose from snowy white Japanese eggplant, lemon-colored cucumbers, violet bell peppers, pale yellow to fiery red chiles, and pitch black, burgundy, scarlet and citron hued tomatoes. Don't have a yard? Not to worry — you can also stock up on herb seedlings (oregano, basil, thyme, chamomile, cilantro and parsley) that do great in pots. Then pick up your babies on Saturday, May 9 (at 2861 West 52nd Avenue), or May 16 (at 7000 Garrison Street in Arvada) and get growing.
Need a mid-day pick-me-up? Colorado Springs-based Distillery 291 is keeping the bar fires burning by posting short Facebook Live videos daily at 2 p.m. (and often at 5 p.m., as well). Tune in to see staff taking shotskis (appropriately socially distanced, with just one person on each end of the ski), mixing cocktails, bantering and sanitizing everything in sight. Anyone — even those who don't live south of the Denver County line — can benefit from daily cocktail recipes and a quick time-out between Zoom meetings. Distillery 291 just took home double gold for its High Rye Colorado Bourbon at the recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition, so you can order a bottle for your home bar and virtual-toast along with the 291 team.
Knowing when to log out of your email is tough when you're working from home — and it's even harder turning off your work brain when your work space is the same as your sleeping, eating, cooking, TV-watching, hand-washing and gritting-your-teeth-and-trying-not-to-bite-your-roommate's-head-off space. But every day from 7:15 to 7:30 p.m., the folks at Burns Family Artisan Ales are hosting Socially Distanced Drinking on Facebook Live. Tune in and chat in the comments with like-minded beer aficionados about what you're drinking and what it pairs with.
The Denver Central Market, 2669 Larimer Street, has shifted operations to function as a grocery store — and that makes it one of the few markets where you can get your pantry essentials and your hard liquor in the same spot. Curio, the in-house bar, won't mix up a cocktail to sip while you shop, but you can order cocktail kits and bottles of booze for pick-up Tuesday through Friday (2 to 6 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) For the most part, the cocktail kits don't include booze, but instead are substantial baskets of fruit, mixers, garnishes, syrups, bitters and ice that make from eight to ten drinks; prices range from $25 to $50. And while you can splurge on a bottle of spirits — there are several $300 options for sale on Curio's website — you can get a liter of most house spirits for $25 or $30. You can even get fancy ice cubes, which will run you $4 for four, if for some reason you lack access to water and a freezer. Once you have your goodies in hand, start shaking with the help of the bar's Cocktail Sessions, free videos in which bartenders from Curio, Brass Tacks and Roger's Liquid Oasis walk you through the steps to creating perfect quarantine quaffs.
Stem Ciders isn't letting a little thing like a global health crisis put a crimp in its long-running tradition of Tuesday pairings. The cidery continues to offer four cans of cider accompanied by four food items (upcoming: cupcakes and sushi) picked by bakers, chefs and producers for pick-up between 3 and 7 p.m. from the Stem taproom at 2811 Walnut Street. Unlike in pre-pandemic times, you can reserve your plate (costs vary, but hover in the $25 range) in advance on Eventbrite (recommended) through noon on the prior Monday, but there will be a limited supply of pairings for sale on a first-come, first-served basis on Tuesday. Take a look at Stem's Facebook page for details on the week's selections.
The Mile High City's own self-serve chicken sandwich chain, Birdcall, is taking a cue from its namesake and bestowing beautiful music on the people of Denver. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday through the end of Denver's stay-at-home order, the restaurant's Facebook and Instagram pages will be streaming free mini-sets from local musicians as part of its Birdcall Lockdown concert series. Past artists include Wildermiss and Neoma; tune in at 8 p.m. for your fix of local music — even better if it's enjoyed with one of the joint's family meals or sandwiches, which you can order online, pick up from the restaurant and enjoy from the comfort of your own couch.
The Boulder-based Cocktail Squad, purveyor of canned cocktails and 1989-era Taylor Swift catchphrases, has launched a series of music sets from local musicians on its YouTube channel. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, you can watch new performances from artists like Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, Andrew McConathy of the Drunken Hearts and more. Presumably, not every musician making an appearance will be a bearded white dude named after one of the Twelve Apostles, but you'll have to tune in to find out — and even if they are, it'll go down easier with one of the Squad's cocktails in hand; visit its website to find out where you can order them for delivery. In lieu of tips, the beverage producer is requesting that you donate to nonprofit organizations Feed the Frontlines Boulder, United States Bartenders' Guild National Charity Foundation and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Relief Fund.
Our favorite place for Negronis, Bar Helix, is doing double duty as a smokehouse on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can order the bar's ribs and sides from 2 p.m. until sellout for no-contact pick-up at 3440 Larimer Street. Details are up on Bar Helix's website, where you can place your order for food as well as large-format cocktails designed to serve six people or more.
The longer Colorado's stay-at-home order drags on, the worse our case of cabin fever gets (at this point, your cousin's wedding in Rapelje, Montana — population 110 — sounds positively enticing). But while you're stuck at home, you can prepare for your next trip to somewhere closer and much, much tastier: Colorado's wine country. Starting Wednesday, April 15, the Colorado Wine Facebook page launched its weekly happy half-hour at 4:30 p.m. on Facebook Live. Winemakers from across the state join the stream each week and chat about tasting tips, the winemaking process and viewer questions. Visit Colorado Wine's website to connect with wineries close to you and find out how you can purchase their wares to drink during happy hour (or — let's be honest — any hour of the day).
Colorado Sake Co. is sending home sushi and sake kits to customers nearly every night of the week for sushi-rolling classes; the packages include enough seafood, rice, nori and veggies to make six rolls (two each of three different styles), plus a rolling mat, chopsticks, wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger. Oh, and the most important part — two 350-milliliter bottles of sake: the American Standard (a junmai ginjo, if you're into details) and one flavored version, such as raspberry-lavender. The kits ring in at $80 and are built for two, and you can add more bottles of sake for $10 each. Sign up for the classes on the Colorado Sake Co. Facebook page; they're currently offered every Wednesday through Sunday at 6:30 p.m., with a second session at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Even coronavirus can't kill Wine Wednesday, and Bigsby's Folly is doing its part to uphold the Hump Day tradition. Every Wednesday at 7 p.m., the winery crew is holding virtual gatherings on Instagram Live; while you're there, be sure to take a moment to peruse the feed and enjoy frequent, costumed moments of levity from owners Chad and Marla Yetka.
American Elm, 4132 West 32nd Avenue, is hyping a different cocktail each week during its Friday happy hour — because once you've learned everything there is to know about your housemate(s), pet(s), Tik Tok feed, Joe Exotic and the offerings of every streaming platform you can think of, God knows you need some variety. Bartenders will walk you through creating basic drinks as well as variations at 4 p.m. on the restaurant's Instagram page; to play along, visit American Elm's website, where you can place a pick-up or delivery order for the classic drink's ingredients. While the "Happy Hour Cocktail Kit" for six includes no booze — only bitters, ice cubes and simple syrup — for $15, the "Cocktails to Go" section offers a set of drink ingredients (including the booze) for six drinks at around $40. And because every alcohol purchase must include food, you can indulge in one of the spot's excellent entrees or family meals.
Denver Beer Co. is hosting a virtual happy hour and tasting every Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. on Facebook Live and its YouTube channel; the taproom's head brewer and owners will discuss select brews each week, which will be posted on DBC's Facebook page in advance so that you can drink along if you'd like.
Golden spirits maker State 38 Distilling is hosting a virtual happy hour every Friday at 4:30 p.m. (times subject to change based on guests). Past online gatherings have included cocktail recipes, whiskey 101 education and expert guest appearances. Even better? The distillery is running this deal through the end of April: Stop by 400 Corporate Circle in Golden between 3 and 5 p.m. to pick up two bottles of brown spirits (including not only whiskey, but also the outfit's reposado and añejo agave spirits) and get a free bottle of Damn Good vodka. Visit State 38's Facebook page for details about each week's edition.
Golden Moon Distillery can't invite you into its tasting room, so instead it's welcoming you behind the scenes with a series of virtual tours of the facility. Previous installments have showcased the outfit's original plant, its distinctive grain silo and distilling processes of single-malt whiskey and specialty liqueurs. Check Golden Moon's Facebook and Instagram pages for details of upcoming tours — and to get the entire tour experience, call ahead to the distillery, 303-993-7174, and order a bottle of Golden Moon's excellent spirits to accompany the tour.
Dos Luces Brewery will hold Friday night meetups on Google Hangouts at 6 p.m. until the taproom reopens. Owner/head brewer Judd Belstock will be discussing his chicha and pulque. Details are up on the Dos Luces Facebook page, where you can also find info on pre-order and pick-up of its brews.
Proof Wine & Spirits, 3360 Larimer Street, is moving its weekly in-store wine tastings into the virtual Wild West (aka Instagram). Each Tuesday, the shop will announce two wines that it will uncork; you can order the bottles on its website and pick them up at the store. Then on Friday at 6 p.m., join store manager and sommelier Jessica Barrand on Instagram Live as she tastes and takes notes on the wine. We'll raise a glass to that.
Curtis Park residents have an easy way to decide where to order Friday night takeout: Curtis Park Neighbors has recently formed the Curtis Park Meal Train. Each week, nearby denizens can order a meal for two for $35 (plus two drinks for just $5 more if the selected restaurant has a liquor license!) no later than Thursday for Friday night delivery straight to your doorstep — if you live within five miles of the participating restaurants. Past participants include Dio Mio Handmade Pasta, Hop Alley and Lou's Italian Specialties. Stay tuned for upcoming collabs and order on the Meal Train website.
Know of an event or activity that belongs here? Send information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.