The long weekend is nearly over (that is, if you were lucky enough to get one). If not, or if you're slowly, painfully dragging yourself back to real life, take comfort in these eight great food and drink deals and events, including two that promise free and discounted sweet treats to ease you back into the grind. Keep reading for the best dates on this week's culinary calendar, as well as more to put on your summer calendar.
Monday, May 28
While Señor Bear, 3301 Tejon Street, may not be the first place you think of when it comes to a cookout, the classic Memorial Day meal, the joint is open on Monday, May 28, to celebrate its first year in business. Smoked meats are on the menu, and in addition, birthday partiers will also get ceviche, sides and two drinks — all for just $25. Doors open at 1 p.m., and the Bear will welcome guests until the food runs out. Visit Señor Bear's Facebook page for more details on the shindig.
If you're the planning type, you probably already know that Friday, June 1, is National Doughnut Day. It's an occasion of such monumental importance to our nation that Fractured Prune Doughnuts, 9696 East Arapahoe Road in Greenwood Village, is offering five full days of deals on the OG breakfast cake. From Monday, May 28, through Thursday, May 31, the shop is offering buy one, get one for $9.99 on selected varieties by the dozen, plus a free pastry if you come dressed in doughnut duds. (Who knows what you'll get if you show up dressed as a doughnut?) And on Friday, June 1, everyone — regardless of their attire — gets a free OC Sand doughnut (a cake doughnut slathered in cinnamon sugar and honey glaze). You're going to be the office rock star this week.
Tuesday, May 29
Tuesday, May 29, is the saddest Tuesday of the season — it's sunny and summery, but it's also back to the grind for most cubicle dwellers. Ease into it with a stop at the 1999 Broadway building for free ice cream and a pop-up elevator ride. Yes, that's right: psychedelic elevator art installations are now being used to promote ice cream sales. While this marketing strategy seems designed to appeal solely to children under six — whose purchasing power is questionable — who cares? You'll get free Blue Bunny ice cream while supplies last. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday, June 1; we recommend getting there early before the deal melts away.
Head to Adrift Tiki Bar, 218 South Broadway, from 5 p.m. until closing May 29 for half-price hurricanes, hula dancing and free movie passes to an advance screening of Adrift on May 30 (the film opens wide on June 1). There will also be a drawing for reserve seats and a copy of the best-selling book. Supplies are limited; call 303-778-8454.
Wednesday, May 30
Cerveceria Colorado's stated mission is to "create bridges, not walls" through its use of traditional Mexican ingredients and methods for brewing beer, which makes it the perfect venue for activist organization SameSide's Denver for DACA event. The brewery at 1635 Platte Street will host the gathering on Wednesday, May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.; thirsty supporters of a DREAM bill will get a beer flight, housemade chips and guac, and action items to let their representatives know where they stand on the issue, all for $25. Sign up at eventbrite.com and get ready to see what transformative effect craft beer can have on the world.
Muslims are smack in the middle of Ramadan, a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset each day. It's a religious observance unfamiliar to many non-Muslims, but on Wednesday, May 30, the Posner Center for International Development, 1031 33rd Street, is hosting the public for an iftar dinner, where people of all religious beliefs can join Muslims while they break their fast and learn about Ramadan over a Middle Eastern meal. Dinner starts promptly at 8 p.m. (so people who are fasting can eat on time); tickets, $35, are on sale at Meet the Middle East's website.
Thursday, May 31
Drinking inside during Colorado's late spring is practically a criminal offense (or it should be). It's not too hot, it's not too cold, and there's usually a pleasant breeze wafting about your table. On Thursday, May 31, the Glass Top Bar, an outdoor pop-up bar under the glass dome of the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th and Curtis streets, will debut at 5 p.m. with a free music performance by Branden Sipes. Open Thursday through Sunday evenings until September 29 (with a few exceptions), it's the perfect place for a pre-show cocktail or an after-work pit stop while you plan the rest of your night. Find the complete schedule and entertainment lineup at the DCPA website.
Friday, June 1
Frank Bonanno's Milk Market food court has been eagerly awaited for months, and the day is nigh. Friday, June 1, marks the opening day of the food hall at 1800 Wazee Street. It's jam-packed with the restaurateur's concepts; both the familiar (Lou's Hot Chicken, Salt & Grinder, Bonanno Bros. Pizzeria) and the new (FEM Crepes, gelato from Cornicello and the ubiquitous poke from Mopoke) co-exist in a single space. The opening weekend is packed with events: a photo booth, puppy yoga, free milkshakes, and live music for Sunday brunch. Visit the Market's Facebook page for a complete schedule.
Keep reading for future food and drink events.
Saturday, June 2
If you haven't hit Old Major, Bar Dough or Señor Bear recently, take a shortcut by attending the Colorado Culinary Challenge on Saturday, June 2, when chefs Justin Brunson, Max MacKissock and Blake Edmonds (as well as Tobias Burkhalter of Corinne and Nikki Baldacci of Coohills) will be cooking up a storm at Le Méridien, 1475 California Street, to benefit the James Beard Foundation. Starting with a reception at 6 p.m., diners will be treated to a luxe four-course meal with cocktail pairings for $124. Snag tickets for this epic dinner at Eventbrite.
Sunday, June 10
Hot on the heels of Chicken Fight! comes another fowl food event, this time at Ace Eat Serve: Wings and Whiskey. What can we say? People love the bird. Ace Eat Serve, 501 East 17th Avenue, is hosting the event for the fifth year, and after last year's sellout bash, we expect this one to be bigger and birdier than ever. Music by Buffalo Wingmen will set the stage for the wing-eating contest, whiskey cocktails, and of course, unlimited wings from eight Denver chefs. The fun starts at 4 p.m. (3 p.m. if you opt for VIP tickets that also entitle you to an open whiskey bar); snap up your tickets, $55 or $75, at Ace's website.
Saturday, June 16
If you're curious about the luxury food festival Cochon555 but the prospect of being packed into a hotel ballroom so tightly your drink spills every time someone next to you takes a deep breath makes you itch, you might fare better at Heritage Fire Snowmass, Cochon's outdoor version of the whole-animal competition. Chefs from all over the country will set up camp at Snowmass Base Village, 120 Carriage Way, to cook more than 3,000 pounds of beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, duck, fish and goat over open fires on Saturday, June 16, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Guests will enjoy the fresh air, smell of woodfire and unlimited food and drink. Snag your tickets ($150 to $200) at cochon555.com before they're gone.
Sunday, June 24
Those who don't mind the crowds and revel in seeing and being seen at the summer's hottest food event won't want to delay in buying their ticket for Cochon555, the pork-centric food festival happening on Sunday, June 24. Competitions started in NYC in January and have been popping up in major food cities across the country before wrapping up at the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street. Competing chefs Brother Luck (Four by Brother Luck), Adam Brantz (Ultreia), Cindhura Reddy (Spuntino), Kyle Foster (Julep) and Nate Singer (Blackbelly Butcher) will each create the most delectable and luxurious bites using a heritage-breed hog, while winemakers and bartenders keep the booze flowing. Tickets, $130 to $200, are on sale now at Cochon's website.
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Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27
If ever there was a culinary power duo that could pull off a bash with an all-star lineup and sellout crowds on a Tuesday, it's Toshi and Yasu Kizaki, the chef and owners of Izakaya Den, Ototo and Sushi Den. This year's rooftop party takes place on Tuesday, June 26, and Wednesday, June 27, on the roof of Sushi Den's parking garage at 1501 Pearl Street. From 6 to 10 p.m., visiting Japanese chefs will be cooking up yatai, street food commonly found at festivals, while Denver chefs Alex Seidel, Paul Reilly and Troy Guard will join the fun by making their own interpretation of those dishes. Find out more about the party at sushiden.net and pick up tickets, $90 or $110, at Eventbrite.
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