Archive for March, 2011

And, the Streets Shall Be “Forever Green”!

Street Watch makes the front page of the Slice about once a year. For this weekend, Downtown, we forecast thousands and thousands of people wandering around trying to look Irish and trying to find a restroom.

Denver’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is, as you know, one of the largest in the country. And, every year they have a theme. This year’s is particularly clever. It’s “Forever Green”. And, if you see the graphic presentation (here), you’ll see two pine trees substituted for “11” in the year 2011. We get it. Green and green. We can assume, then, that this year, unlike those in the past, the parade will leave Downtown and LoDo spotless, with no waste paper and no plastic cups left behind. The Shriners’ endless motor patrols may even be using electric motors this year. But, we doubt that, because undoubtedly the cords would get tangled.

So, all you Street Watchers, parade at 10:15 Saturday from 27th and Blake, to 17th, to Wynkoop and disappearing behind Coors Field somewhere. And, don’t worry if you are not there by 10:15 sharp. This goes on for hours.

There’s a new route this year for Sunday’s Runnin’ O’ The Green starting at 10:00 Sunday at 17th and Wazee. They’ll take 17th to Market, Market to 20th, then over to Highlands, winding around and eventually back to 19th and Wazee. There, the runners will have a lovely view of the block-long fenced-in festival tent in front of Fado.

There are always a lot of people in this race/run. But this year the field will be limited to the ones who remember to change their clocks Saturday night for Daylight Savings Time. (Is this early?)

And, just for fun, we downtown residents will be joined by over 10,000 volleyballers this weekend and next. They’ll be the large groups dressed alike. Or, is that the parade?

Hail to the Chief!

Too much beer here? Well, it is a big part of Downtown Denver life. And, sometimes, it is for a very good cause.

For years, Rock Bottom Brewery, and it’s chain of locations, has brewed and sold Fire Chief Ale. With a special Fire Chief Menu. And, with real Fire Fighters serving lunch on Thursday, March 10!

A portion of the proceeds goes to Fire Fighter related causes and burn relief programs locally. And, it’s a big amount. You have until April 17th to get to the Rock Bottom to help, at 16th and Curtis.

And, here’s a tip. Go earlier, like at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday the 10th for your FREE pint of this year’s Fire Chief Ale. Only until 6:30 p.m…but the hoses will be running.

It’s described as a pleasantly sweet auburn-colored ale with a lightly toasted malt flavor. Read more about Rock Bottom and Fire Chief here.

Tip your hat. Tip your pint. To our Fire Fighters!

Dixon’s…Putting the Meat Back Into the Madness!

In our constant effort to keep Downtown Denver informed about serious subjects, here’s something important. You, of course, know about March Madness, that time of year which really goes right into April and is all basketball. It’s just about here.

Last weekend in St. Louis, there was a college conference tournament titled “Arch Madness.” And, of course we have our normal On-going Madness.

No one else has “MarchMeatMadness”, though. But Dixon’s on the 16th Street Mall at Wazee does. Make your plans now to attend…right after you turn your tournament bracket and a few bucks into Matt at the bar. (That’s a big pool!)

Over at the Pepsi Center, on Thursday the 17th and Saturday the 19th, eight of the tournament teams will be playing to move on to the Sweet 16 the following week. One or more of those teams will no doubt adopt Dixon’s as its “headquarters”, but that will just add to the fun.

A Bite of The Poster

Here’s the best part. And, nobody else has it!

The MarchMeatMadness Platter! Meat for the soul, and/or the group. “Featuring blackened chicken, sliced strip steak, jalapeño cheddar brat, hot links and polish sausage. Served with cole slaw, dinner rolls and a trio of “Slam Dunk” sauces.” All for just $19.95. And, pitchers of the local beer for only $6.00.

Are they mad?

Tap, Tap, Tap…Tap, Tap. Count ‘Em. 32 Now Playing at the Wazee!

The Wazee Supper Club, 15th and Wazee (as if we need to tell you), wants to celebrate. And, well they should. So, on Thursday, March 10, from 5-7 p.m., they will. And, you are invited. That evening, they’ll be sampling some of their new draft beers, with snacks, to honor their 12 newest taps. No charge, in the Loft space above the main room. Come and enjoy and meet some of the brewers of fine craft beers.

And, from that Loft area, take a look around and think about this place. Built 100 years ago, this building has been the “Wazee” since 1974, opened by the Karagas brothers. They had opened My Brother’s Bar five years earlier at Platte and 15th. The city always embraced both spots, and both have become integral parts of all the new development while clinging to their origins and styles.

And, gratefully, the “newer” owners of the Wazee, the Wynkoop Brewing group, have kept things very much the same.

Except in the basement. 100-year old buildings in LoDo do have basements, and they can be rather daunting. The basement at the Wazee is reached by a covered stairway of about 8 wooden planks, reaching a dirt floor room with very low ceilings. And, there you can see some changes over the years. From just a crawl space, continual digging has lowered the floor. The beer kegs are down there. But, when they decided to add the extra taps, they dug some more.

Shannon Baker, General Manager, explains that during slow periods, anyone able would go down and dig a little, putting the dirt into pickle buckets to be hauled away. We had heard rumors of treasures found in the soil (It’s not far to the creek where gold was discovered launching this city), but she is not aware of it. Just dirt.

And, after a while, they had enough room to assemble a new high-tech cooler, big enough to hold 32 kegs and the requisite plumbing. It looks like a small semi-trailer. And, it’s close to the landing area where kegs are dropped from the sidewalk opening to a pile of tires softening their arrival in the basement. Hey, it works.

It’s one thing to build a new place and put in lots of taps. It’s quite another to retrofit a 100 year old basement.

Now, you can enjoy such offerings as Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, a Saison from Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, or Sierra Nevada’s Glissade Golden Bock. And, the new beer list has the size of the serving, price, and alcohol content for each brew.

The Wazee also now delivers. Pizza, Strombolis and Salads only. But, what a great service for all the people living in the neighborhood. That certainly takes the fear out of ordering a delivery pizza. Now, you can get a great Wazee Pizza!

Big, busy days are coming up at the Wazee. St. Patrick’s and the NCAA tournament. Opening Day on April 1. And, you know, there’s always something.

Back downstairs, another story. Some of the crew that demolished the Terminal Annex Post Office Building that stood a block away at Wynkoop had also worked on demolishing the old viaducts that used to link Downtown with the “other side.” Parking for the Wazee used to be under one of those viaducts. But, while working on the Terminal Annex, the crew fell into eating lunch every day at the Wazee. Rita Reeverts has been there for 26 years. And, when they finished the demolition, they brought her a gift. The huge letters from the word “Terminal” spelling her name “R-I-T-A.”

Those letters from the Post Office take up a lot of room in the basement.

Over 200 Stories and Counting!

Denver by the Slice hit a milestone this week, in just its 15th month of existence. We’ve managed to put up over 200 items in, about, around and through the subject of living in Downtown Denver. Wow.

There may have been 8 million stories in The Naked City. But, we’ll take our 200 and go from there!

And, we’ve even read most of them.

Photography Fully Exposed in March!

Over 80 events throughout Denver and the region have been brought together to form the Denver Month of Photography. MOP is a project brought to life by Director/Curator Mark Sink, noted Denver photographer.

The RedLine art space, 24th and Arapahoe, will serve as the nerve center for the Month Photography, with exhibitions, lectures, and workshops. For student and professional photographers there will be intensive portfolio reviews with galleries and museum directors, curators, photography collectors, teachers, critics, editors. Experts who can influence and advise on current marketing and offer image world knowledge.

Three shows open there on March 11, with the Opening Reception from 6-10 p.m. featuring a performance by the Ballet Nouveau Colorado. “Discoveries of the Houston FotoFest Meeting Place”, “Modern Uses of Alternative Processes”, and “Thought Objects” will be the three exhibits through April 16. You can read about all the events, lectures, portfolio reviews and performances here at the Month of Photography site.

Patti Hallock, "Picnic, White Sands, NM"

And, in conjunction with MOP, just one of the many gallery shows to tie in is at PLUS Gallery, 2501 Larimer Street. “The West is Here” is the third solo show at Plus by Denver photographer Patti Hallock. It opens with a reception this Friday, March 4, 6-9 p.m., and runs through April 9. See more information at the PLUS site here.

Photography in the moment…for a full month! Thank you, Mark Sink.