Boulder bombs on booze biz

Column by Penny Parker

Penny Parker
Posted

Is Boulder crying in its beer? While the burg may have thought it would get the only Trader Joe's in Colorado with a liquor license, Denver snagged that shot.

When both stores open next year, Denver customers will be able to buy liquor and check out in an attached area of the store. The grocery and liquor sections will share a common entrance, but liquor sales must be completed separately.

How did Denver grab the liquor biz from Boulder?

“We're a better and bigger market so they can sell more (liquor) here,” said a source close to the deal. “Our process (to obtain a liquor license) is faster and cleaner, and Boulder blabbed about getting a liquor store. Denver kept its mouth shut.”

The initial hearing — the first step in the liquor license process — will be held at 9 a.m. Oct. 26. The store will have to jump through a few city-required hoops before getting the final sign-off.

Both Boulder and Denver Trader Joe's stores are expected to open around the same time next year.

Bonanno in the 'burbs

Frank Bonanno, one of Denver's top restaurateurs with such stellar eateries such as Mizuna, Luca d' Italia, Osteria Marco, Lou's Food Bar and Russell's Smoke House, is putting a pizza place in the 'burbs, according to a blog post by 5280 magazine.

According to the posting, Bonanno will take over the shuttered Counter space and open Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria in The Vistas at Park Meadows, the outdoor shopping area next to Park Meadows Mall.

Here is the rest of the story: www.5280.com/20daysofgiveaways

Tops and Temps

I Can't Help Myself but I'm on Cloud Nine because The Four Tops and The Temptations will provide the entertainment for Saturday Night Alive, the signature fundraiser for The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, on March 2. Tickets are now on sale at www.denvercenter.org/sna.

Jamie Angelich and Mimi Roberson will chair this year's event, which includes one of the chi-chi-est silent auctions, surprise box sale, dinner, desserts and dancing in the Seawell Ballroom.

Individual tickets start at $375 and corporate tables of 10 start at $6,000.

Bountiful harvest

Harvest Week, a series of pop-up dinner parties paying homage to Colorado's produce and producers, features 36 of EatDenver's independent restaurants, which will host the dinners at Grow Haus, 4751 York St., through Friday.

One brunch and five dinners — featuring different chefs and interactive themes — will be paired with hand-crafted cocktails, local brews and wines.

Guests will need to bring their own place setting (plate, cutlery and wine glass). Brunch begins at noon and dinners begin at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the events go to support EatDenver, a marketing group of independently owned restaurants, and The Grow Haus, a nonprofit indoor farm, marketplace and educational center.

More information and menus: www.eatdenver.com.

Crave rave

Crave Real Burgers, with locations in Colorado Springs and Castle Rock, creeps closer to Denver with its latest location that will open in the Town Center in Highlands Ranch in the former Fat Burger and Epic Grill space.

Crave, which has garnered raves, is from the same group who owns the iconic Old Stone Church restaurant in Castle Rock. The menu features Mile High burgers, old-fashioned shakes and a full bar. Check it out (but not if you're hungry) at www.craverealburgers.com.

Get happy

Fogo de Chao, 1513 Wynkoop, is offering a happy hour menu for the first time with cocktails and lighter bites of the signature fire-roasted meats prepared by gaucho chefs from 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 3 to 7 p.m. Sundays.

Happy hour eats are your choice of Brazilian pork sausage, bacon-wrapped chicken breast or pork parmesan medallions served with crispy polenta and pao de queijo (warm cheese bread) for $8 apiece. Every dish is gluten free.

The happy hour menu also features 11 varieties of Brazil's national drink, the caipirinha, made with a spirit derived from sugar cane. All happy hour drinks are $6.

For more information, go to www.fogo.com.

The recently opened Kachina Southwestern Grill inside the Westin Westminster has added happy hour and late-night dining options to the menu.

The happy hour menu is available from 2 to 6 p.m. daily; late-night menu is served every night from 10 p.m. to midnight.

Menu items include red chile popcorn ($3), green chile cheese fries ($5) and green chile cheeseburger ($12) made with brisket short-rib chuck, roasted green chiles and smoked cheddar on a brioche bun.

More at www.kachinagrill.com.

Third time's a charm

MICI, the family-owned Italian restaurant with locations in downtown Denver and Cherry Creek, is opened a third spot last week in Stapleton at 2373 Central Park Blvd.

Brothers Jeff and Michael Miceli and their sister Kim Miceli-Vela opened their first eatery in 2004 in downtown Denver.

In addition to the opening of the Stapleton restaurant, MICI will also be serving breakfast at its Cherry Creek North restaurant. MICI provides sit-down dining, counter service and delivery. More information: www.miciitalian.com.

Indulge in health

HealthOne's event Free Healthy Indulgences — A Women's Symposium, A Day for You will include physician-led seminars, free screenings for blood pressure, BMI, osteoporosis and more, from 9 a.m. to 3 pm. (spa lunch included) Saturday at the Sheraton Denver Tech Center.

Award-winning national speaker and author Laura Stack will discuss “The Exhaustion Cure ... Up Your Energy from Low to Go in 21 Days” during the luncheon.

More information: www.healthonewomenscare.com.

Junior League Mart at Inverness

Junior League of Denver's 2012 Mile High Holiday Mart Friday to Sunday has a new location at The Inverness Hotel.

In its 33rd year, the event features select merchants with high-quality merchandise and a unique shopping experience.

All proceeds support the league's focus of changing lives through literacy in the Denver Metro area.

Public shopping hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $10 in advance at www.jld.org; $12 at the door.

Penny Parker's “Mile High Life” column gives insights into the best events, restaurants, businesses, parties and people throughout the metro area. Parker also writes for Blacktie-Colorado.com. She can be reached at penny@blacktie-llc.com or at 303-619-5209.