Restaurateurs aren't going to stop planning, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Out-of-town restaurant companies and local favorites have plenty in store for us in 2021. Here's a preview of a few that are headed our way:
27883 Meadow Drive, Evergreen
Restaurateurs Jared and Amanda Leonard moved to Denver from Chicago in 2018, bringing hot chicken sandwiches and barbecue with them. After Launching the Budlong Hot Chicken and AJ's Pit Bar-B-Q here and then adding Grabowski's Pizza, the couple set their sights on Evergreen, where Jared has been almost singlehandedly overhauling a vacant building and turning it into a wood-fired eatery. Campfire's website promises "grilled vegetables, smoked meats, chicken, fish, small-plate sides, a pickling program...and naturally leavened, hearth baked bread," plus "fresh juice, coffee and active lifestyle foods in the morning." Expect to see Campfire open in the next month or two.
2903 Larimer Street
The RiNo neighborhood is quickly turning into a playground for national restaurant groups, with Barcelona, Shake Shack, Kuma's Corner, Slater's 50/50, Death & Co. and Uchi all laying claim to outposts here. Joining the club this spring will be Federales, an indoor/outdoor cantina concept from Chicago taking over a former mechanic's garage and a century-old house on the same property.
4024 East Eighth Place
Colorado has a strange relationship with Texas: We sneer at tourists and skiers from the Lone Star State, but we flock to restaurants like Torchy's Tacos in droves. You can't say that Texans don't know their food, and Hopdoddy is no exception. The Austin-based chain cooks a mean burger, as we've learned over the past six years since the company installed its first Colorado location at Union Station. The new Hopdoddy opens January 19 at the 9+Co development at Colorado Boulevard and East Ninth Avenue.
3453 West 32nd Avenue
7450 West 52nd Avenue, and other locations
Korean barbecue in a cup; it may sound like a gag in a Steve Martin movie (remember Cup O Pizza?), but it's one of the tastier street-food options to come to Denver in recent years. After attracting customers with a food truck and a 16th Street Mall kiosk, the Utah-based chain is expanding with three new brick-and-mortar locations in conjunction with Ramen 930. The first is expected to open on West 52nd Avenue in Arvada in the coming weeks.
The Golden Mill
1012 Ford Street, Golden
Golden will soon have two food halls when the Golden Mill joins Tributary, most likely in time for the arrival of warm weather this year. Like Golden itself, the new food hall is compact, with five counters and a central bar. There will also be a 5,000-square-foot rooftop patio with stunning views. Rolling Smoke BBQ, Happy Cones and three concepts from chef Jesus Silva (of Misaki Sushi) will provide the food.
4996 East Hampden Avenue
1710 29th Street, Boulder
One of the major players in Denver's chicken-sandwich game is expanding with two new branches of its quick-service eatery. Birdcall will roost at the Happy Canyon shopping center in south Denver and in central Boulder. These are both shooting for summer openings.
Foothills Mall, Fort Collins
Chef Bill Espiricueta's smokehouse at the Source Hotel quickly became one of Denver's best barbecue spots after opening in 2018, and now he's spreading the love to Fort Collins with a second Smok, planned for late spring or early summer. Espiricueta is also one of the driving forces behind Bellota, which opened briefly last fall at the Source before closing for the winter because of COVID indoor-dining restrictions. He and the rest of the Bellota team — Bryan Dayton, Steve Redzikowski and executive chef Manny Barella — will reopen the Mexican restaurant in early spring.
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