Six years after the debut of metro Denver's first food hall, Avanti Food & Beverage, we're all familiar with the concept of a gathering place where you can enjoy food from multiple concepts under one roof. But three years ago, when a group of friends in Golden purchased a historic building overlooking Clear Creek in the heart of the former mining town, they weren't thinking about opening a multi-vendor food and drink destination.
"We didn't know what a food hall was at the time, but we knew we wanted the building to be there for the community, and we knew the community loved the building," says Susan Ganter, part of the ownership group that bought the former Golden Mill Feed Store building, which had originally been built as a grain mill in the 1860s.
Ganter says that she and her husband, Wes, along with Don and Jayme Martin and Corby Felsher, bought the space with the goal of turning it into something useful and enjoyable for Golden residents. They were soon introduced to Mark Shaker, the creator and owner of Stanley Marketplace, who also launched Broadway Market. "There's a lot of energy in this part of Golden, so we wanted to build on that energy," Shaker says.
Three years later, the result is the Golden Mill, which officially opens tomorrow (Friday, April 9). Shaker points out that the new food hall was originally two separate buildings, so much of the work that went into converting the property into a modern site involved joining the buildings together — they're connected by a two-story glass-and-steel structure that Shaker refers to as "a lantern" — and then converting the interior space to accommodate several kitchens and bar areas, along with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and a rooftop patio (up to 575 guests at full non-COVID capacity).
All but two of the food counters will be overseen by executive chef Jesus Silva, who also redesigned the food program at Broadway Market when it reopened last summer after the COVID-based shutdown. On the ground floor, he'll have Tacos al Chile (serving tacos, gorditas and other Mexican fare) and Republik of Chiken (specializing in fried chicken sandwiches), and on the rooftop he'll run Sushi Sora. "We have the best view of any sushi bar in town," the chef points out, adding that Sushi Sora will appeal to fans of Japanese cuisine looking for unique seafood options and presentations.
Also joining the Golden Mill are Rolling Smoke Bar-B-Que, with current locations at Stanley Marketplace and in Centennial, and Happy Cones, a New Zealand-style ice cream shop that started out as a food truck and also has a shop at Edgewater Public Market. (What's New Zealand-style ice cream? Some of it involves a device that grinds berries and mixes them with housemade ice cream for a fruity, creamy blast.) Electronic cards will be available for contactless payments at all of the vendors.
Instead of bellying up to a bar, Golden Mill customers will be able to pour their own drinks at two beverage walls, one on the main floor and one on the rooftop. The larger of the two, on the main floor, has been nicknamed Old Reliable, in honor of the original flour mill's name. There will be plenty of beer choices from Colorado and beyond, but taps will also pour wine, cocktails, nitro coffee, kombucha and other drinks. The rooftop beer wall is smaller, but includes choices such as sake and Japanese beers selected to complement Sushi Sora's menu. And because the Golden Mill is located in Golden, with a prime view of the town's biggest brewery, four Coors beers will also be on tap, and the food hall even named its private event space the Banquet Room (after Coors's flagship beer).
And speaking of views, even from the main levels, patios overlooking Clear Creek and Ford Street offer great vistas of North Table Mountain and the surrounding foothills, and from the rooftop, there are views no matter which direction you face. Ganter says that the park just down the street from the food hall is a major gathering spot for summer tubers on Clear Creek, so she's thrilled to give them a new venue for food, drinks, live music and other entertainment.
The Golden Mill is located at 1012 Ford Street in Golden, with hours from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Call 720-405-6455 or visit the food hall's website for more details.
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