Racines starts its thirtieth anniversary party today -- and you could get the present

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In 1983, Lech Walesa of Poland won the Nobel Peace Prize, the last Deloreans were produced, Vanessa Williams became the first African-American Miss America, the final episode of M.A.S.H. aired with more than 125 million viewers tuned in -- and partners Lee Goodfriend, David Racine and the late Dixon Staples opened Racines.

See also: Celebrate Racines's thirtieth birthday in Denver, Paris...or Racine, Wisconsin

Starting this morning, Racines will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary by offering customers a chance to win a trip for two to Bouillon Racine restaurant in Paris, France, or a trip for two to Racine, Wisconsin. And yes, the trip to France is for the first-place winner -- although boosters in Racine, Wisconsin are getting pretty excited about hosting two Denver diners there.

The apostrophe-eschewing partners founded their first restaurant, Goodfriends, in 1979 (that spot closed in 2008, and its location on East Colfax Avenue is now home to Annie's Cafe). They opened Racines at 850 Bannock Street on December 27, 1983, and then went on to create a third restaurant, Dixons, which operated in downtown Denver until 2011. By then, Racines was comfortably ensconced in its current home at 650 Sherman Street, which the partners built in 2004. Because of construction, Denver was actually without a Racines for eleven months, which leaves it technically shy of thirty years of actual operations -- but the party is starting today nonetheless. And there's reason to celebrate.

"In this intensely competitive industry where restaurants come and go, we're very proud of our staff and management on this milestone anniversary," says Lee Goodfriend. "Some of our staff have been with us for all thirty years."

Stop in between today and January 31 to fill out a contest entry form to win one of the two trips; both include airfare for two, hotel accommodations and dinner for two. The winners will be chosen on February 1.

Customers can also post their favorite stories or photos on the Racines Facebook page; one of those will be picked to win dinner for two once a month for a year, a $480 value.

"Our guests have celebrated everything from closing a major deal to wedding anniversaries, birthdays or first dates at the restaurant," says David Racine. "We'd love to reminisce with our guests about the milestones they celebrated at Racines."

Have a memory you want to share with Cafe Society? Post it below.

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