Archive for September, 2010

The Coffee’s Not Ready Yet!

As posted here last Friday, the 13th was scheduled to be the opening day of Peet’s Coffee and Tea at the Sheraton Hotel. Well…it didn’t happen. Looks awfully close if you look through the windows, like everything is there except for today’s pastries. The official Peet’s logo “Opening Soon” sign is even gone, replaced now by Xerox copies saying “Open Soon.” Tomorrow? Friday? When will the coffee be ready? Not soon enough!

Public Meeting This Wednesday at 5:30 Union Station Time!

The Denver Union Station Project Authority (DUSPA) will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, September 15, 2010, to provide an update on the project and to answer questions. The meeting will be held from 5:30-7 PM at the RTD Administrative Office, 1600 Blake Street, in Rooms T&D.

Items to be presented include:

1. General project update
2. Public Realm design updates
      a. Wynkoop Plaza
      b. 17th Street Gardens
      c. LRT Plaza
3. 18th Street Pedestrian Bridge update
      a. Fencing options
4. DUS canopy update

5. RTD’s Historic Station use evaluation public process

In preparation for the meeting, Kiewit will be constructing mockups of the three paver options for Wynkoop Plaza and installing railing samples for the 18th Street Passenger Bridge outside of the DUS construction office (South wing of the historic station in the outdoor seating area). Each will be 10’x10′ with two of mockups having 4″x8″ pavers and another with 6″x12″ pavers.

The mockups and samples will be installed/assembled on Wednesday, Sept. 15 and will remain in place until the end of the month. This will give the public the opportunity to view the options and provide comments.

Denver by the Slice encourages continued public involvement in the project design. The importance of attractive and highly functional public spaces cannot be overlooked. This is our front yard!

The Importance of the Number 13

A wandering mind on a Friday afternoon, not the 13th, comes across an opening announcement. Then, said mind remembers that something else should be opening. Peet’s. Good, good coffee. Downtown. BORN AGAIN! And, opening on September 13! We wrote about the previous Downtown store’s demise in January. That’s the new Peet’s Coffee and Tea at the Sheraton, a store to be run by licensees…and none too soon. We only hope they have the same Freddo skills as the company-operated locations. It’s a much shorter bus trip to Court Place. 13. Good number.

And, how about the importance of 13 straight wins for the Rockies. We just about wrote them off last week. Two weeks ago, we just said that an upcoming week of multiple road trips would, or would not determine how the season would end. It did not. Now, with 7 consecutive, they really do have a chance to do something. They will have a much better chance if they win the next six home games against the Rattlers and the Friars. Tall order. To get to 13. They will need good coffee for fuel!

Oh, and the opening that prompted a mind to wander. Not on the 13th, but the 22nd. Smashburger comes to Downtown at the Tabor Center. Seems they would have landed sooner, but the pizza place next door oozed into (Hey!) 13 extra inches of space causing new permits to be required.

That’s today’s lucky number!

Fall Season at Plus Gallery Opens Tonight!

Plus Gallery, 2501 Larimer, opens its Fall exhibit season today with a solo show of works by nationally acclaimed Kate Petley. “One Big Dream” is Petley’s 3rd solo exhibit at Plus. Plus was named the Denver Post 2009 Art Space of the Year.

Petley works with resin and film on plexiglass, such as in “The Corner of the Day”, a 2010 work shown here. Ivar Zeille, the gallery owner, downtown resident, astute film critic and art dealer, says of Petley’s work, “She slows the very act of seeing.”

The Artist’s Reception is today from 6-8 p.m., and the exhibit will be up through October 16. Denver by the Slice urges you to support your Downtown Galleries!

Tastiest Block in Town!

“Food is an important part of a balanced diet.”
– Fran Lebowitz

Take one side of one block of Downtown Denver and put a few restaurants on it. It happens all over town. But, can you tell which of these two choices has done the best job?

Block one starts with an over-priced, over-caloried chain restaurant, next door to an Asian-style chain restaurant, next door to a chain hamburger restaurant with fries, next to a chain pizza and beer television restaurant. All on one block.

Or, take the block of Blake Street between 15th and 16th, east side. A locally-owned Indian restaurant, next to a locally-owned organic eatery, next to a tavern, next to a new craft beer and fresh food restaurant, next to a Moroccan dining room, next to a family-owned Mexican restaurant, next to an unique Caribbean restaurant with a great rum selection. We think that’s an easy choice for the urban dweller.

That one block of Blake offers a gastronomic world tour, without the usual suspects. The other block we referred to, 16th between Larimer and Lawrence is in a sea of chains, plenty of dough, and just a little cheesy.

The Downtown resident, especially the LoDo resident, is blessed with that block of Blake Street. India House, Organixx, the Blake St. Vault, Fresh Craft, Marrakesh, D’Corazon and 8 Rivers. On a recent Friday evening, every place had people on the patio and one of the restaurant owners gathered the other owners to share cocktails as the evening went on. You don’t get that with chains. You don’t get that at the strip mall.

In the interest of full disclosure, the other side of the Blake block has two chain restaurants, Wahoo’s and Rio Grande. But, this fall, another new spot opens, Cholon, a “modern Asian fusion” place in the Sugar Cube building. Definitely not a chain.

We all have our favorites. And, we’ve tried them all. From a selection of 20 craft beers on tap at Fresh Craft to the LoDo Dirty Martini at India House. From Scott’s special jerk chicken to the Organnix 3-egg scramble. This block is window-shopping-for-food at its best. And, where you should send your friends and visitors. Good eats right here in the neighborhood!

“There’s a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back, you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.”
– Steven Wright

(Let Denver by the Slice know of your favorite Downtown eating block!)

Rams, Buffalo and Turkey Legs, the Farm-to-Table Trend Continues!

Frequently, a long holiday weekend brings an air of calm and quiet to Downtown. Uncrowded patios, open tables, and breathing room on the shuttles. So, this weekend, while the Rockies are busy making their October tee times, enjoy the few times that it actually may be quiet. Maybe late Monday.

College football at noon on Saturday means a few thousand folks wandering over to LoDo at about 4:30. How convenient. At least there’s enough of the day before that to get provisions and get back inside or up to the roof.

Or, if you choose, you can attend the annual Taste of Colorado at the Civic Center. There, you can sample food from restaurants that you may go to anyway, just without having to buy little “tickets” for smaller portions. And, you certainly have every opportunity to walk around with a Turkey Leg, a Corn Cob or a Corn Dog or a Hot Dog. Something for everyone!

And, don’t miss the music. Many, many groups (some you may have heard of) playing Friday through Monday evening at several stages. Rides, games, art, crafts, beer, wine, beer, food and beer. Whew!

Another part of town, Five Points, will host an interesting event Saturday and Sunday on Welton Street. Even if you don’t attend, or plan to attend, the Electric Avenue Music and Arts Festival, you owe it to yourself to listen to the fun song that plays when you go to their website!

The Rockies will come back for a Monday afternoon game (it’s in their contract), setting the tone for a quieter Monday evening. Good thing, too, since on Tuesday, at 1:30, we’ll all be making our way over to Union Station for the DUSPA Construction Celebration. Prepare for speeching!

Have a good Labor Day Weekend…and Keep On Slicin’!

Up in the Air: 24 Hours Over the Rockies!

Let’s talk Baseball. This Thursday, tomorrow, our Colorado Rockies will surely tie yet another Major League Record — Shortest Home Stand Ever! One game, one day, one afternoon, one chance to beat a team they really need to beat. The Phillies could also make the argument for Shortest Road Trip Ever, but that’s just confusing.

With a schedule that  George Clooney’s character would love, our Rockies fly Thursday morning over the Rockies from San Francisco to Denver. To play a rush hour game just after 5 p.m. at Coors Field. After the game, they fly back over the Rockies to San Diego for an important 3-game series with the Friars.

The Phillies, for their part, will also fly over the Rockies from the left coast. But their game today (Wednesday) is hours before the Rocks, and they’ll just be lounging around Twittering, belching and channel surfing all morning at the Westin while our guys have to travel. Not fair.

So, here’s hoping for the sweep. Bring your short brooms to the game. There is still some hope cooking in these guys… at least at this writing.

Rockies over Rockies twice in one day. Phillies over Rockies, not at all!

And, speaking of good guy George Clooney, we at Denver by the Slice would probably be really good guys, too, if we had a house on Lake Como. Wouldn’t you?