While the holidays can still be merry and bright, for restaurants, the 2020 winter season isn't so jolly. But there are many ways to support some of our favorite eateries, and giving merchandise from your sister's favorite bar or your grandpa's regular pizza joint is a good way to start. Not only does this help fund these spots, but the gifts will serve as a reminder to your loved ones to keep patronizing local establishments. Tack on a gift certificate if you're feeling generous, and let the love for food and drink shine for all to see.
Bigsby's Folly Craft Winery & Restaurant
3563 Wazee Street
This past summer, Bigsby's Folly embraced local artist Austin Zucchini-Fowler and his aim to show appreciation for health-care workers on the front line. The artist created the "Fighting Nurse" mural (found at West Colfax Avenue and Williams Street) and also collaborated art at the RiNo winery. Now the two are doing more, and Zucchini-Fowler has created a 24-by-14-inch "Colorado Strong” static cling decal for $20, for sale at Bigsby's Folly, with $5 of each purchase going to the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Angel Relief Fund. The winery also is donating $5 from each sale of its Fighting Nurse Bone-Dry Riesling ($35) and Red Blend ($45), with labels designed and signed by Zucchini-Fowler. Buy yours at the winery or online, and also check to see if the winery has any of its cute face masks in stock, which make great and practical stocking stuffers.
1526 Blake Street
This LoDo bar and eatery is closed until indoor dining can resume, but you can still purchase Brass Tacks merchandise as gifts. For starters, there's a great book that just came out called The Brass Tacks Cocktail Companion ($30), which contains more than 150 recipes from skilled bartenders around the world. Pair that with logoed stemless wine glasses ($8), mugs ($8) or tasting cups ($6). The home mixologist will also need a proper bar apron, so the custom cross-back apron ($75) is perfect for stirring up drinks on Christmas. Merchandise can be purchased online, with free shipping anywhere in the United States for orders (which go out on Mondays) over $50.
400 East 20th Avenue
Coperta chef/co-owner Paul C. Reilly and his team at this Uptown hot spot have put together a little swag to help you show your love of the restaurant. The branded Coperta and Beast + Bottle (Reilly's other restaurant) neck gators ($20) work well as a face mask, too, and the snap-back hat ($25) sporting the Italian flag is perfect for any pasta lover. Coperta also has fresh pasta for sale, making it easy to create a do-it-yourself gift basket this holiday season. Order the goods online for pick-up at the restaurant.
Hops & Pie
3920 Tennyson Street
As usual, good things are coming out of this Berkeley pizza shop, and glassware, T-shirts and hats are just a few of them. Send that pizza and beer lover a taster glass, Belgian glass, tumbler, mug or pint glass, all branded with the Hops & Pie logo — and all priced from $3 to $5. You can even add beer from the cooler onto your gift tab. Then stuff that cup with a T-shirt or work shirt. Call the shop to place an order or pick up a gift the next time you stop in for a pie and pint to go. If it's a morning visit, be sure to grab a dozen Christmas-themed doughnuts (with sugar cookie, gingerbread, peppermint bark and other flavors making appearances from now through December 25) from Berkeley Donuts inside the pizzeria.
Pizzeria Locale Boulder
1730 Pearl Street, Boulder
You can still enjoy Pizzeria Locale's Boulder menu for takeout or in one of the restaurant's outdoor Pizza Pods, and you can also share the Locale love with twelve-inch pizza plates ($25), Pizzeria Locale sweatshirts ($40) and a special spoon ($10) designed to shovel all the sweet budino (the restaurant's famous butterscotch and milk chocolate pudding) into your mouth. These items are available to order and pick up from the original Boulder location. The three fast-casual Denver locations also have gifts in the form of cylindrical pint glasses (two for $20), T-shirts ($19) and "Flour Water Yeast Salt" tote bags ($12), available in the online shop.
1808 Blake Street
We miss the unique style of Angela Neri and Sheamus Feeley's downtown bar and French dip joint. But we can still channel Pony Up with a black zip-up sweatshirt ($50) emblazoned with King Louie, the French bulldog who presides over the space in a larger-than-life painting by local artist Patrick Kane McGregor. There's a trucker cap with a rocking horse (the bar's spirit animal) stitched on the front, or another with the Pony Up logo ($20), and women's and men's V-neck T-shirts that read "Thank You For a Real Good Time" (which also appears in neon inside the bar) on the back ($20). All this plus several styles of French dip, gift cards and booze are available to order online for pick-up.
19192 Colorado Highway 8, Morrison
A buffalo steak in the historic dining room of this Morrison eatery is off limits right now, but you can give a loved one a little piece of the Fort this holiday season. Order Shinin’ Times ($40), a cookbook and memoir by Fort owner Holly Arnold Kinney, that showcases historic recipes, tales of her growing up around the restaurant and the shenanigans of her pets, Sissy Bear the black bear and Lobo the German shepherd. For the kids, there's also Sissy Bear at the Fort, a picture book about that famous bear cub that comes with a little plush bear, for $26.45. And as an added gift to yourself, visit the Fort's new food truck, Tatanka, serving buffalo prime rib sandwiches, barbecue ribs, burgers and other portable fare from noon to 3 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday at the Fort's upper parking lot.
Frasca Food and Wine
1738 Pearl Street, Boulder
This season, share a piece of Italy — in particular, the part that inspired Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson to create Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder — with the Friuli Food and Wine cookbook ($50). The book has recipes, wine notes and stories about the families the pair have befriended over the sixteen years the restaurant has been open. It might not substitute for a night of drinking and dining at this upscale eatery, but it brings some favorite dishes into any home kitchen. Frasca also has a sleek Bragard apron ($55) for sale, just right for a night of cooking Italian specialties. Order online for pick-up at the restaurant.
290 South Downing Street
Support this Washington Park restaurant while also giving beautiful scented candles made by Olivia co-owner Heather Morrison, with small and large options priced at $15 and $20. There are also pasta-themed Olivia T-shirts for $25 with the oh-so-appropriate 2020 slogan "This too shall pasta." Add on a branded wine key for $5 when picking up another gift (you must purchase something else in tandem); all proceeds from the wine keys will go directly to the staff. All orders can be placed online and picked up from the venue.
3330 Brighton Boulevard
Bring a taste of RiNo's Smok Barbecue home to your family with this gift-worthy set by chef Bill Espiricueta. Each swag bag is $112 and includes a long-sleeved shirt, a reusable bag, and a bandanna that keeps your hair back when cooking and doubles as a mask. There's also a bottle each of the signature barbecue sauce and hot sauce, a package of spice rub, and a $50 gift certificate that the receiver can use the next time they have a hankering for barbecue.
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