June 23, 2024


Cooking Is My World

Westword Most Popular Meals and Cafe Information 2020

The overarching story in 2020 dining news has been the economic affect of the coronavirus pandemic. Dining establishments and bars have been subjected to a roller-coaster journey of rules, which include total eating-space shutdowns, 25- and 50-percent potential limitations, early past calls and, for bars devoid of foods, full closures. Therefore, viewers flocked to our lists of eateries presenting takeout and shipping (which we initially rolled out on March 17, the initial time eating rooms ended up purchased closed), and of places reopening their dining rooms once that was authorized starting up May possibly 26. We have because transformed all those lists to a complete pandemic-period cafe tutorial that contains COVID-certain company specifics and safety protocols.

Other opening and closing news has also resonated with visitors this yr — primarily the reduction of Denver classics — as have lists of our preferred destinations to come across burgers, eco-friendly chile, breakfast and Chinese cuisine. Right here are the 10 most well-known Westword foodstuff and drink tales of 2020:

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

In situation you are new to town, this is Casa Bonita.

Evan Semón

Possibly Denver’s most recognizable restaurant, many thanks to South Park and many years of drawing families to its concept-park eating room, Casa Bonita shut on March 17 without the need of at any time reopening at partial capacity or supplying takeout, shipping or outdoor eating. But that wasn’t so shocking: The issue of a check out to Casa Bonita has constantly been the overall working experience, from Black Bart’s Cave to the Acapulco-design and style cliff divers, and not the food stuff. A notice in the window states that the restaurant options to reopen when limitations are lifted, and Star Buffet, Casa Bonita’s owner (which by no means returned our phone calls), has since reiterated that purpose in interviews.

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

Blake Avenue Tavern’s beer back garden took over 50 % of its parking good deal.

Blake Street Tavern

In late July, the Tavern League of Colorado sued Governor Jared Polis around the 10 p.m. last get in touch with in location at the time. The match was unsuccessful, but a person of the Tavern League’s most lively associates, Chris Fuselier, the proprietor of Blake Avenue Tavern, had a shocking likelihood to speak to Governor Polis about the plight of bars and the have to have to preserve safety when keeping the survival of businesses in mind.

Punch Bowl Social Stapleton took over the old airport tower.

Punch Bowl Social Stapleton took more than the previous airport tower.

Amber Boutwell

Punch Bowl Social’s Central Park restaurant and amusement complicated, built from the bones of the former Stapleton Intercontinental Airport handle tower, closed at the starting of the pandemic — and then announced in early June that it would not reopen. Restaurateur Robert Thompson established Punch Bowl Social at 65 Broadway in 2012 prior to increasing the organization to a number of destinations all-around the U.S., then getting a large investment from Cracker Barrel, then leaving entirely. The huge handle tower sophisticated remains vacant probably it would make a excellent next site for Casa Bonita.

Dukkah eggs and trout at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen.Develop

Dukkah eggs and trout at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen.

Danielle Lirette

Breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day, so we served up a dozen of our favorites previous spring. However, the list is down to eleven, as the 20th Street Cafe shut early on in the pandemic. Ivy on 7th closed briefly on November 20 simply because of the present-day ban on in-property customers, but Wendell’s, which had closed in March, supposedly forever, reopened under new ownership in October and is now serving breakfast and lunch Friday via Sunday for takeout and patio seating.

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

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

Mark Antonation

We ran our annual list of Denver’s very best Chinese dining establishments previous January in part to coincide with the Lunar New 12 months and in aspect to combat detrimental stereotypes of Chinese eateries spreading since of a certain White House (shortly-to-be-former) resident’s insistence on contacting COVID-19 the “China flu” and even the “kung flu.” Because then, Chinese Noodles has shut, but the relaxation continue being open for takeout and delivery.

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

Racines was presently much more than 20 several years aged when it developed a new cafe — fourteen several years back.


In April, not substantially was going on inside of Racines — or any other Denver restaurant. But owners Lee Goodfriend and David Racine have been committed to reopening…at minimum for a whilst. Their purpose was a lengthy goodbye ending on January 21, 2021, since Goodfriend and Racine were being promoting the constructing. But arrive July, the two decided to shut points down forever. “Why jeopardize our particular well being, our team, our consumers?” Racine questioned at the time. “We’re making a intelligent choice.”

Going, going...gone?

Likely, likely…gone?

Danielle Lirette

Last February, the proprietor of the constructing in which venerable crimson-sauce joint the Saucy Noodle has been serving up Italian cooking because 1964 utilized for a certification of demolition eligibility. But the application arrived as news to Erin Markham, the Saucy Noodle’s owner. In contrast to other circumstances exactly where cafe residence house owners have applied for demolition eligibility, this sort of as Tom’s Diner on East Colfax Avenue, the application was not disputed. Fortunately, the cafe remains open up for now, though its lease expires at the conclusion of this year.

A bowl of green at Brewery Bar II.

A bowl of environmentally friendly at Brewery Bar II.

Kenzie Bruce

You can find absolutely nothing hotter in Denver than inexperienced chile, so we served up our once-a-year listing of favorites in September, the top of the chile harvest period. Incredibly, all of our picks are still open, if only for takeout and delivery for now.

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

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock introduced the closing of all bars and dining places.


This was the to start with huge blow of the pandemic for restaurants and bars the announcement closed dining rooms beginning on March 17, right away putting tens of 1000’s of cafe employees out of work opportunities. Takeout and supply were even now authorized, and Governor Jared Polis established an government purchase permitting for booze to go. The prepare was to keep the constraints in position until finally May well 11, but the order was prolonged right until May perhaps 26, when dining rooms ended up allowed to reopen at 50 % ability. That was lowered to 25 percent on Oct 27 — and then taken back again down to zero on November 20.

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

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

Jennifer Olson

Larimer Square has been undergoing a lot of adjustments a short while ago — and the whole block is now staying marketed to North Carolina-based mostly Asana Companions. Back in March, Euclid Hall house owners Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch were now thinking about the future of their beer corridor, considering that the lease was set to expire in August of this calendar year. But with a lockdown pending, they decided to close Euclid Hall, the third of their 5 Crafted Principles eateries, which also includes Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Authentic and Ultreia. Jasinski did go away open up the probability of reopening the restaurant in a new area at some issue in the upcoming.

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