Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Mayor's Design Awards honor restaurants and markets, old and new

No sooner had husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane opened Marczyk Fine Foods at 770 East 17th Avenue than people started asking when they would open a second store -- usually begging them to open one in their neighborhood. Nine years later, the couple (now joined by Pete's brother, Paul) finally introduced Marczyk's II this summer, and it's a beauty. The store at 5010 East Colfax Avenue is in a renovated hardware store (and supermarket before that), and it's already become a mainstay on Denver's unofficial main street.

And Marczyk's II was just one of several food-focused businesses and buildings ranging from a new 7-Eleven to beer joints old and new that were honored at the seventh annual Mayor's Design Awards this week. The others:

Stir Cooking School, 3215 Zuni Street, winner in "Buildings That Beckon" category. Stir may be tiny, but this new cooking school/bar is a stirring sight in a century-old building in Highland. Bittersweet, 500 East Alameda Avenue, winner in "What Goes Around Comes Back Around" category. The restaurant that Olav and Melissa Peterson opened last December in an old gas station/car repair shop is sweet indeed. Great Divide Brewing Company, 2201 Arapahoe Street, winner in "Oh, Pioneers!" category. Great Divide opened its brewery back in 1994, before Coors Field completely transformed this part of downtown, then expanded and added a tap room in 2008. Today, it's one of the city's favorite watering holes. Jelly, 600 East 13th Avenue, winner in "Oh, Pioneers!" category. Since it opened early this year in a renovated storefront in the heart of Capitol Hill, Jelly has been a very good reason to rise and shine. Ale House at Amato's, 2501 16th Street, winner in "Buildings That Beckon" category. The spot that once held Amato's, a garden store, is now home to Ale House at Amato's -- which incorporated the original building into the new structure that also has two stand-out decks. Bistro Vendôme ,1420 Larimer Street, winner in "Buildings That Beckon" category.There's nothing new about this charming, eight-year-old restaurant tucked into the back of Larimer Square -- and that's good news, because its outdoor garden is a longtime favorite with brunchers in this town. 7-Eleven at 2341 East Colfax Avenue, winner in "Main Street Transformation" category. The new, two-story store is a prime example of Main Street Zoning, with the building coming right up to the street, and the parking put in the back. "Denver urban corridors come alive," the award proclaims.

Find photos of all seventeen winners of the Mayor's Design Awards here.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun