December 11, 2023


Free For All Food

Westword Most Well known Food and Restaurant Information 2020

The overarching tale in 2020 eating information has been the economic impression of the coronavirus pandemic. Dining establishments and bars have been subjected to a roller-coaster journey of regulations, like comprehensive dining-area shutdowns, 25- and 50-p.c ability constraints, early previous calls and, for bars without having foodstuff, entire closures. For that reason, visitors flocked to our lists of eateries supplying takeout and shipping and delivery (which we at first rolled out on March 17, the 1st time dining rooms had been ordered closed), and of areas reopening their dining rooms after that was permitted commencing May 26. We have since converted these lists to a total pandemic-period cafe tutorial that involves COVID-particular company particulars and safety protocols.

Other opening and closing information has also resonated with readers this yr — especially the decline of Denver classics — as have lists of our favourite destinations to obtain burgers, inexperienced chile, breakfast and Chinese cuisine. Below are the ten most well-liked Westword food items and drink stories of 2020:

In case you're new to town, this is Casa Bonita.

In scenario you might be new to town, this is Casa Bonita.

Evan Semón

Possibly Denver’s most recognizable cafe, many thanks to South Park and a long time of drawing households to its theme-park dining place, Casa Bonita shut on March 17 with no at any time reopening at partial potential or offering takeout, delivery or outside dining. But that was not so surprising: The position of a visit to Casa Bonita has normally been the overall expertise, from Black Bart’s Cave to the Acapulco-style cliff divers, and not the foodstuff. A observe in the window states that the restaurant programs to reopen when constraints are lifted, and Star Buffet, Casa Bonita’s proprietor (which never ever returned our calls), has since reiterated that purpose in interviews.

Blake Street Tavern's beer garden took over half of its parking lot.

Blake Street Tavern’s beer yard took in excess of 50 % of its parking whole lot.

Blake Road Tavern

In late July, the Tavern League of Colorado sued Governor Jared Polis over the 10 p.m. past connect with in place at the time. The accommodate was unsuccessful, but a person of the Tavern League’s most lively customers, Chris Fuselier, the owner of Blake Street Tavern, experienced a astonishing possibility to converse to Governor Polis about the plight of bars and the need to keep protection although holding the survival of corporations in mind.

Punch Bowl Social Stapleton took over the old airport tower.

Punch Bowl Social Stapleton took above the aged airport tower.

Amber Boutwell

Punch Bowl Social’s Central Park restaurant and enjoyment advanced, constructed from the bones of the former Stapleton International Airport command tower, closed at the beginning of the pandemic — and then introduced in early June that it would not reopen. Restaurateur Robert Thompson started Punch Bowl Social at 65 Broadway in 2012 ahead of escalating the enterprise to various areas all over the U.S., then having a large investment decision from Cracker Barrel, then leaving altogether. The large management tower elaborate remains vacant potentially it would make a great next spot for Casa Bonita.

Dukkah eggs and trout at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen.Extend

Dukkah eggs and trout at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen area.

Danielle Lirette

Breakfast is the most essential meal of the day, so we served up a dozen of our favorites final spring. However, the listing is down to eleven, as the 20th Avenue Cafe shut early on in the pandemic. Ivy on 7th closed briefly on November 20 because of the current ban on in-house consumers, but Wendell’s, which had shut in March, supposedly forever, reopened below new possession in Oct and is at this time serving breakfast and lunch Friday through Sunday for takeout and patio seating.

Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) at Uncle Zoe's Chinese Kitchen in Aurora.Extend

Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) at Uncle Zoe’s Chinese Kitchen area in Aurora.

Mark Antonation

We ran our annual checklist of Denver’s best Chinese restaurants previous January in element to coincide with the Lunar New Calendar year and in element to fight unfavorable stereotypes of Chinese eateries spreading simply because of a particular White Dwelling (before long-to-be-previous) resident’s insistence on calling COVID-19 the “China flu” and even the “kung flu.” Considering that then, Chinese Noodles has closed, but the relaxation continue being open up for takeout and shipping and delivery.

Racines was already more than twenty years old when it built a new restaurant — fourteen years ago.Develop

Racines was currently extra than twenty years previous when it constructed a new restaurant — fourteen many years back.


In April, not a great deal was taking place within Racines — or any other Denver restaurant. But owners Lee Goodfriend and David Racine have been fully commited to reopening…at the very least for a though. Their objective was a long goodbye ending on January 21, 2021, because Goodfriend and Racine have been marketing the setting up. But arrive July, the two determined to shut issues down permanently. “Why jeopardize our private overall health, our employees, our customers?” Racine requested at the time. “We’re earning a smart choice.”

Going, going...gone?

Heading, likely…absent?

Danielle Lirette

Past February, the operator of the constructing in which venerable red-sauce joint the Saucy Noodle has been serving up Italian cooking considering that 1964 used for a certificate of demolition eligibility. But the software came as information to Erin Markham, the Saucy Noodle’s owner. Compared with other situations exactly where cafe residence house owners have used for demolition eligibility, these types of as Tom’s Diner on East Colfax Avenue, the software was not disputed. Fortunately, the cafe stays open for now, although its lease expires at the stop of this calendar year.

A bowl of green at Brewery Bar II.

A bowl of inexperienced at Brewery Bar II.

Kenzie Bruce

You can find practically nothing hotter in Denver than environmentally friendly chile, so we served up our annual record of favorites in September, the height of the chile harvest season. Surprisingly, all of our picks are however open, if only for takeout and supply for now.

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the closing of all bars and restaurants.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock declared the closing of all bars and places to eat.


This was the initial massive blow of the pandemic for dining places and bars the announcement shut eating rooms commencing on March 17, instantly placing tens of thousands of cafe workers out of work opportunities. Takeout and supply had been continue to allowed, and Governor Jared Polis developed an govt purchase allowing for booze to go. The system was to continue to keep the limits in position until finally May 11, but the order was extended until finally Might 26, when eating rooms were authorized to reopen at 50 p.c potential. That was decreased to 25 percent on Oct 27 — and then taken again down to zero on November 20.

Euclid Hall was back — but only for one weekend.Develop

Euclid Corridor was back — but only for just one weekend.

Jennifer Olson

Larimer Sq. has been going through numerous variations lately — and the full block is now being bought to North Carolina-dependent Asana Partners. Back again in March, Euclid Hall owners Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch were being already contemplating the foreseeable future of their beer hall, considering that the lease was established to expire in August of this calendar year. But with a lockdown pending, they made the decision to near Euclid Hall, the third of their 5 Crafted Concepts eateries, which also consists of Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Authentic and Ultreia. Jasinski did leave open up the chance of reopening the restaurant in a new location at some issue in the long run.

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