It's The Most Wonderful Time For A Beer....Denver Beer Festivals Is Upon Us

Denver Beer Festivus Has Arrived.

It’s that time of the year once again. Time to don that ugly holiday sweater and head out to Denver Beer Festivus. Always in our top five events we cover every year. The Denver Festival is a celebration of all things….beer. With over 70 breweries set to take over the Sports Castle this year, add to that fun activities such as silent disco, lucha libra wrestlers, food trucks, and a pop-up coffee shop from Method Roasters paying homage to a Seinfeld cafe it’s sure to be an amazing time.

The event takes place this Saturday, December 15th at the Sports Castle located at 1000 Broadway from 3PM to 6PM. Special VIP packages include perks such as early entrance and an awesome Festivus Koozie. More ticket information can be found here.

Festivus With the Best of Us!


DC Pie Co Opens on East Colfax

There’s a cool new restaurant on Colfax that pairs pizzas and meatballs with craft cocktails and draft beer. The cozy DC Pie Co. features an 80-person dining room and center bar, with a traditional brick oven in the back imported from Italy. Brooklyn based entrepreneur Dominic Cavagnuolo (DC) and Mary Zayaruzny teamed up to deliver Brooklyn-style brick-oven pizza featuring a mean marinara sauce that’s been passed down from DC’s two Italian grandmothers.

All-beef meatballs served with homemade spiced ricotta and house marinara

“Here at DC PIE CO., it all starts with the ingredients,” said DC. “Our sauce is made from scratch every single day with ingredients sourced from local producers. We’re bringing simple recipes and fresh ingredients to Denver, just as I was able to experience as a kid growing up in Brooklyn, NY.” In fact, 99% of DC PIE CO.’s ingredients are made in house, from the cheese, to the dough, to their must-try meatballs, served with their marinara sauce of course!

The Italian brick oven & pizza making area

Keeping things fresh and simple isn’t too difficult with a small menu like theirs. The menu is simple, yet high tech. There are six categories, Pie, Extras, Salads, Sides, Baked & Dessert, and the menu itself is on a “Pop Up and Pay”™ tablet-like menu that allows guests to expedite their ordering and payment process. The Pizza comes plain or vegan and you select toppings like their spicy slices of pepperoni (which you can also order solo because they’re delicious) to imported Italian artichoke hearts, red peppers and portabella mushrooms, all delivered fresh daily! There are seven salads on the menu ranging from familiars like kale Caesar and Caprese to more creative combinations like celery root + fennel or the watercress + pear salad.

Pepperoni “chips” and craft cocktails

We salivated over all their Baked items: the crispy pepperoni “chips”, the juicy, all-beef meatballs served with homemade spiced ricotta and marinara, and the brick-oven baked wings drizzled in their sweet hot sauce. To top it off, all three of their Baked items are on their Happy Hour menu, which is Saturday and Sunday from 3-6pm. Monday through Wednesday’s they have a Brooklyn pie and bottle of wine special for Colfax neighbors for $24! And percentage of all profits from this are donated to the Pediatric Mental Health Institute at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Happy Hour also has $2 off all drafts and specialty cocktails. They have seven Colorado draft beers and one Pennsylvania Trippel. There’re eight specialty cocktails that all feature different spirits and all-natural, house made ingredients that were impeccable. If you prefer to pair your pizza with a fine wine, DCP has you covered there too with a handful of reds, roses and white wines. For the kids, DC has six juices, soda, lemonade, or let them try a classic from DC’s childhood, a Brooklyn egg cream soda.

For more information, visit http://dcpieco.com/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Josh Stephens @freezerfilmfoto

Brooklyn egg cream soda and Nutella pizza

Bar Helix | Easy on the Eyes & the Tongue

Bar helix, located in the RiNo District, recently launched a special, supplementary menu of twelve creative versions of the classic Negroni cocktail, becoming Denver’s only Negroni bar. Bar helix is a modern, sexy bar + lounge concept created by Advanced Sommelier Kendra Anderson (aka @SwirlGirlDenver) that showcases 16 sexy, innovative cocktails, alongside an extensive wine list and decadent small plates. Grape based spirits served up sexy is the underlying theme there.

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The Negroni was always Owner Kendra’s cocktail of choice, but it wasn’t always available at bars or the bartender wouldn’t know how to make it. In case you don’t know either, a Negroni is a classic Italian cocktail, made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso, and one part Campari, garnished with orange peel. Bar helix’s signature Negroni features a Vermont gin that’s barrel aged and infused with honey, and a lesser known Campari - this drink glides down your mouth.

Kendra wanted to share her love of the Negroni with Denver through introducing and “educating” her guests to this classic cocktail, along with a variety of classic Negroni spin-offs, so everyone can find a version they love. She relishes in the opportunity the bar provides her to chat and interact with others about her extensive knowledge on spirits and wine - her and Bar Manager Victoria really know their stuff!

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On their new Negroni menu, guests will find a variety of versions from the familiar (Campari, Death’s Door gin, Dolin sweet vermouth) to the esoteric (Cappelletti aperitivo, Casa de Valor cava brut, and Casa Mariol vermut). From December 1 through 31, guests who drink any twelve full-sized negroni cocktails will win a holiday-themed negroni gift package, a $25 gift card to bar helix, and get entered in a drawing for a chance to win a $200 gift card to the Denver Center for the Performing Arts! They’ve coined it “The Twelve Negronis of Christmas”. Or, guests who sample twelve baby Negroni cocktails during the month of December will also win a special Negroni themed gift.

The luscious bites are also not to be missed. Kendra (who was once a chef) developed a “sexed-up bar food” menu along with Chef Sam who runs the kitchen. Bar helix makes 85% of the menu items in house, from deviled eggs and shrimp cocktail to the garnishes in you cocktail.

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Kendra’s vision to make great things accessible, like fine wine, champagne, caviar, and Negroni is absolutely apparent in bar helix and the aesthetics provide a sexy, yet sophisticated environment to take your mind off the mundane. We recommend you stop by for “Woman Crush Wednesdays”, a date night, or for an “Afternoon Delight” aka happy hour 4-7pm Wednesday-Sunday.

Visit barhelixdenver.com & follow @barhelixdenver on Facebook and Instagram

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB & Samantha Bliss @redcapturesherbliss

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Cheesman Bark's Charlie Brown Holiday Portraits

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Good grief! The holidays are upon us and it’s only appropriate that we celebrate with portraits of our pups. Thursday December 6th, CheesmanBark will be photographing pups in honor of the beloved Charlie Brown character, Snoopy.

We will be creating a custom photo set that will include this iconic scene from Charlie Brown! A sad Christmas tree and a reproduction of Snoopy’s doghouse will bring the set, and your pups pic, to life!

As if you needed another reason to attend, 10% of all of the portrait sales will go to the MaxFund Animal Adoption Center! A wonderful organization who we are proud to align with once again.

CheesmanBark’s Charlie Brown Holiday Portraits:

Thursday Dec 6th 6-8pm @ Skylight

There will be 100 portrait spots for this event and it’s sure to sell out! As of right now, we will only be accepting online reservations.

Each portrait spot is $40 and will include just a few minutes in front of the lens. The purchase of $40 include one printable digital image. Additional images are $25

We’ve done over 40 of these events and typically photograph between 7 and 9 dogs every ten minutes! 1-3 minutes is enough for you to have 3-5 GREAT images to choose from.

IMPORTANT: We will only be photographing one dog per portrait spot, so if you have multiple dogs you must purchase multiple spots! No exceptions!

Things you can do to make sure your dog is a perfect poser:

Exercise them before they come

Arrive early 15-20 minutes early to let them sniff the area and get comfortable

Practice sit and stay in an environment of high stimulation

If your pet has reactivity concerns, let us know! We will gladly make accommodations to ensure your pet’s portrait experience is a successful one!

The Rise of VR Arcades in Colorado

It’s been a couple years since advanced virtual reality (VR) consoles entered the mainstream market and broke everyone’s idea of what VR can actually do. These latest developments in VR technology are lightweight, intuitive to operate, and adaptable to a number of applications and multi-sensory inputs – essentially pulling our science fiction-based conceptions of VR much closer to reality. However, when retail prices for modern VR systems proved to be too expensive for common households, the media hype surrounding VR took a slow turn.

Enter the VR arcade. Thanks to these futuristic establishments suddenly popping up in Denver and other cities in the state, you no longer need to spend hundreds of bucks to get your hands and eyes on the latest entertainment tech. But can Colorado’s currently available VR entertainment facilities actually live up to the hype? Is this new VR the experience that gamers and tech enthusiasts have been waiting for? The short answer to that is a resounding yes..

Head Games: the First Public VR Arcade in Denver

"This is somewhere anyone of any age or background could come and try out VR and any kind of experience they want to – have a different experience every time, explains Head Games co-founder Nathan Hostetler in an inverview with 9 News. But why take anyone’s word for it when you can just go there yourself. Located at W. Colfax Avenue, right in the heart of the state capital, this VR arcade opened just last year as the first public VR facility in the city. Today, they offer four separate HTC Vive headsets, each connected to a HyperX Cloud II headphone and assigned to its own open space – designed for free omni-directional movement of up to five feet. With over 40 games and experiences offered here, it’s the perfect place for first-timers to sample VR’s never-before-seen capabilities brought to life.

Veterans, Take Your Places at Kaboom VR

Meanwhile, near Windsor Lake is a VR arcade that has a total of 15 machines – comprised of not just VR headsets, but also the auxiliary controllers that expand the VR experience in this youthful place. But don’t let the chill vibe fool you. This is one of those arcades that make veteran gamers both excited and comfortable. It’s all thanks to the fact that Kaboom VR actually holds regular player tournaments to show off stuff like their racing cockpits, other sports controllers, and top-of-the-line PCs (for more “traditional” gaming). If you’re confident in your skills, you can work your way to the top rankings of games like Project Cars 2, Beat Saber, and Holoball, with the added chance of your name being features at Kaboom VR’s website.

Epic VR's Growing Epic Community

This one’s all the way down in Citadel Mall at Colorado Springs. Epic VR is proof positive that even sleepy mountain towns appreciate cutting edge entertainment technologies. The rather huge spaces available here allows Oculus and HTC Vive headset users to move freely, with facilities that also allow your guests to watch your virtual experience. Much like the founders of the other pioneering VR arcades operating in Colorado, Epic VR’s Joseph Johnson is all about sharing potentially groundbreaking experiences with the rest of the community. I saw an opportunity, and I’d like to give people an opportunity as well, to do things that they sometimes can’t afford. So we tried to make it affordable, where people could come in and play anytime.”

VR Literally Shows the Future of Real Estate

While these arcades started opening for business just last year, VR-enabled tools for enhancing business processes have actually been gestating in this state for quite some time now. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Colorado's red hot property market. The Denver Post provides an in-depth look at how real estate firms like Kentwood City Properties and NAVA Developments have already been using the same tech to attract early buyers of their yet-to-be-finished residential units. “We started our pre-sales very early with several years to go before move-ins,” explains NAVA’s director of marketing Sarah Stone. As potential luxury condo buyers walk through the completed, fully-furnished, and completely digital versions of their future homes, it’s easy to see how useful and influential practical VR tech can eventually become.

VR: An Emerging Central Player in Nearly Every Key Industry

As you can probably already imagine, different applications of VR have already been making similar leaps and bounds across other states and industries. Where do you think the equipment for the above-mentioned arcades were sourced from? In the east coast, it's doubtless that there’s serious money to be made via VR. In fact, online casino guide Gambling.com offers a comprehensive list of New Jersey-based virtual casinos already delving into VR-enabled game play. It is in fact not rare for regular players of live VR casinos to sometimes develop friendly, amiable relationships with the live dealers that they consistently encounter online, some of which have actually garnered their own small group of loyal fans. Meanwhile, in institutions like the University of California, VR has taken a central role in the practical training of both students and professionals in various medical fields and specializations. In fact, during the last couple years, VR developers and engineers have been collaborating with some of the most experienced doctors in the country with one goal in mind: to create the most efficient, medically-accurate, realistic, and intuitively-designed VR training modules for nearly every medical procedure that can be considered essential, extremely risky, or impossibly difficult.

Yes, you read that right: the same advanced entertainment system which rewards you for accurately swinging virtual sabers to a given beat could also be responsible for creating the most well-informed and well-trained generation of medical professionals in history.

Given these recent and major developments in VR, we’d likely have to feign surprise when concert organizers eventually offer VR passes for absent but dedicated fans. This bodes well for the unlucky folks who live in Colorado but somehow often miss the best nights at Red Rocks – like that one time when visionary trip-hop musician Bonobo shared the stage with Chet Faker. Of course, nothing beats actually being physically present at your favorite artists' performances. But with VR tech already undergoing heavy development in a number of significant American industries, who knows just how epic it will be to attend future gigs from the comfort of your own virtual reality.

Denver Holiday Markets

Denver Christkindl Market | Nov. 16 - Dec. 23 

This annual event brings authentic German and European holiday traditions to Denver’s downtown (1515 Arapahoe St.)! Guests can find delicious cuisine, festive German drinks, handmade jewelry, toys, clothing, gifts and much more. Live entertainment is featured inside the festival tent every evening, and dancing is encouraged! This market is planned and executed by the German American Chamber of Commerce – Colorado Chapter (GACC-CO).

 Denver Christkindl Market

Denver Christkindl Market

Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea | Friday's-Sunday's Nov. 23-25, 30-Dec. 2, Dec. 7-9 & Dec. 14-16th, 2018

The Union Station Holiday Market by Denver Flea will include four weekends of shopping, festivities and winter fun - kicking off on Black Friday, Nov. 23 at the historic Denver Union Station! 100s of Colorado’s best makers and artisan brands will pack the Plaza of Union Station each weekend throughout the season along with music, eats, drinks, activities and more. We’ll be there opening day (Friday 23rd) so check our Instagram @ultra5280 to see this year’s market in action! Tickets are $5.

 Denver Flea

Denver Flea

Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR | November 29, 2018

Shop, Sip, and Mingle with Colorado’s finest craft, fashion, and art makers for one night only at Stapleton Holiday BAZAAR inside The Shops at Northfield. This BAZAAR will feature over 40 craft vendors including Beer, Cider, Wine & Spirit tastings throughout the evening, along with festive music and more! 4-10 PM, GA Admission is free.

 RiNo Holiday BAZAAR

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR

RiNo Holiday BAZAAR | December 7-9, 2018

Taking over Walnut Street at 28th St. from December 7 – December 9, the RiNo Holiday BAZAAR hosts over 100 hand-picked local craft, fashion, and food vendors, with local breweries, cideries and mead booths onsite pouring holiday-themed drinks and participating in the BAAZAR’s Shop & Sip program.

A combination of outdoor pop-up shops sprinkled with fashion trucks and cozy, heated tents, the RiNo Holiday BAZAAR will spark the festive spirit for all with warm drinks and fire pits, funky music, and a selection of Denver Metro’s best food trucks on hand and a full bar! RiNo BOOZ hall, located in the heart of the BAZAAR, will be open all weekend long serving an array of Colorado crafted spirits and has bottles available to purchase.

Admission to RiNo Holiday BAZAAR is free until 7 PM on Friday, and before 12 PM on Saturday and Sunday, with GA tickets available for $5 at the door. Or RSVP at denverbazaar.com for free admission all weekend! Drink sampling packages are also available, with a range of options to fit your Shop & Sip experience. Please click here for details and more information on all Shop & Sip packages.

Yes Please Makers Market | December 8 & 9, 2018
Keeping it real this holiday season with a free, maker-hosted, vendor-friendly market starring 100(ish) of our favorite makers. After being part of the local Denver market circuit, Yes Please founders Kiwi Schloffel (of Craft Boner) and Taylor Barkin (of Moore Collection) wanted to create something with the vendor experience in mind: accessible, affordable booth pricing, attention to locals-only goods, and a friendly, supportive community. Tickets are free, but an RSVP is required. The first 50 people to show up each day get awesome totes from Craft Boner. 

 Yes Please Makers Market

Yes Please Makers Market

By Tiffany Candelaria

Tap & Burger: Top Rated Burgers & Veggie Friendly Favorites

Tap & Burger Belleview Station is not your typical sports and burger bar; turns out they are a foodie focused restaurant with a menu full of fresh plant-based dishes, local grass-fed beef and tasty sides and fries. This DTC location is their third, with the first being Highland Tap & Burger in LoHi that opened in 2010 and one in Sloan’s Lake. All the Tap & Burger locations focus on local ingredients, make everything in house, and boast a large variety of local brews on tap.

 Tap Burger

Tap Burger

Beyond their great menu, which we will review for you next, they take the time to help the Colorado community. Their efforts include working with nonprofits (four at the moment), educating high school students on sustainable farming, and doing what they can to save the most energy and waste within their restaurants.

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The menu here has a whole section of “Plant Based” offerings that include salads, a red curry quinoa bowl, and the ImpossibleTM brand, which is a plant-based meat substitute that (as the name implies) tastes too good to be true. They serve both ImpossibleTMTacos and Burgers which were deemed fantastic by both the vegetarians and meat eaters in the room. A handful of restaurants carry the ImpossibleTM burger, but their tacos allow for a delightful combination of seasoned “meat” with guacamole and pico verde that worked wonderfully. We’d love to see these tacos at the next taco festival this summer!

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Also noteworthy are the starters such as the crispy chicken empanadas, smoked Tap wings, Asian Lettuce Wraps and grilled artichoke. And last but not least, the burgers we tried were juicy, flavorful and customizable. They feature four creations on their menu but also give diners the option to fully customize and substitute beef for veggie, lamb, turkey or the ImpossibleTM

One of their four features is the Tap Burger which was rated “Top 15 Burger” by Zagat and features root beer pulled pork, onion rings, American cheese, and aged white cheddar. The pulled pork was succulent and complemented the burger and fried onion really well, with an overall sweet BBQ flavor. Another favorite was the Shroom Luva’s, rated “Top 10 Burger in Denver” by Zagat,  with just the right amount of with sautéed mushrooms and mushroom aioli, along with a nice Swiss cheese (perfect for those who really l like mushrooms).

Words by Tiffany Candelaria Photos by Samantha Bliss
http://tapandburgerbelleview.com

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5 Neighborhoods, 5 Restaurants in Denver

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Here are some restaurants to check out in five Denver neighborhoods. This is a great list to refer to the next time you're looking for a new dining destination or happen to be in one of the areas enjoying some night life. Plan on checking them out with a group? A Denver Charter Bus Service is the perfect way to make sure you're having the most convenient and safe transportation, and it's a lot easier than ordering multiple Uber rides!

LoDo

Rioja

1431 Larimer Street

Rioja is a Spanish and Mediterranean fusion style restaurant with some seriously impressive dishes throughout their menu. Their happy hour changes each month, inspired by a different country each time. Don't miss out on their weekend brunch menu, either! It features items like donuts with lemon marscapone and blueberry compote, sweet potato hash, and the rioja benedict.

Highland

Puerto Rico 5280 Cuisine

3109 Federal Blvd

This new Puerto Rican restaurant offers a comfortable atmosphere to dine and drink when you're in the neighborhood. How can you go wrong with comfort food options like the light, flaky authentic pastries named Pastelillos? The mofongo is another amazing dish to consider ordering when you're here. It's all super fresh!

Rino

Rino Beer Garden

3800 Walnut Street

Beer lovers consider Rino to be a haven for nightlife, and they aren't wrong! With their selection of beer and enhanced bar food, this will easily become of your regular stops if it isn't already. There are large outdoor patio with fire pits and easy to share dishes, so this is always a fitting spot to gather with your friends in Denver.

SoBro

Colore Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

2700 S Broadway

It can be hard to find good Italian food, but Colore definitely knows what they're doing. We recommend making reservations if you plan on coming here for a holiday such as Mother's Day or Valentine's Day. Some of the highlights on this menu include the roasted jalapeno artichoke dip, chicken marsala and linguine pescatore.

Cherry Creek

True Food Kitchen

2800 E 2nd Avenue

Are you looking for a healthy option? True Food Kitchen is the place to be for flavorful vegan and vegetarian eats. Try their edamame dumplings, spaghetti squash casserole, or the inside out quinoa burger if you want to stick to the tried and true favorites. We highly recommend taking a look at their dessert menu while you're here, too.

Pepper X Ultra5280: Bad-ass Babes Behind Denver Based Brassieres

 Photos courtesy of Jaclyn Fu

Photos courtesy of Jaclyn Fu

We decided to highlight Denver based brand Pepper, for small boobies, and bad asses alike, take a peek into the journey of Jaclyn Fu.

Tell me a little about yourself, and the brand, Pepper? You must’ve reached a point where underrepresentation got frustrating if you were possessed to start your own brand. Do you feel as though the brand represents you as a person? 

I'm Jaclyn Fu, Co-founder & CEO of Pepper, the first and only body positive bra company for small-chested women that wants you to celebrate your body exactly as it is. Pepper was very much inspired by own frustrations of not being able to find a bra that fit because my size is typically an afterthought for bra companies. The brand does reflect my views on promoting self love and inclusivity, but more-so it represents our vibrant community of women who may be small but are mighty.

How do you even begin a project like this? How does one begin to make a model of a bra? 

Good question, my co-founder Lia and I had zero bra design experience when we started! We did get really good at talking to potential customers and listening to their pains, so we used that research to help design what a better fitting bra for this audience could look and feel like. We started by talking to friends, family, even people I met on Craigslist, to try to understand why current bras don't fit and how it makes them feel. We then did a lot of market research and came up with hypotheses on how to improve on the designs that are out there.

What struggles did you face getting started? Did anyone give you slack for what you wanted to bring onto the market? 

It was a constant uphill battle to show we were onto something with Pepper. We were doing something completely new, made most men uncomfortable to talk about, and so had a hard time being taken seriously. However we were able to find some really awesome investors who believe in us and our mission and are grateful to partner with them now to bring Pepper to the masses.

So after the Kickstarters extreme success (470% in the first 13 days is wild, btw), did you get reached out to by major brands/distributors? Who will be carrying Pepper? 

We are a direct-to-consumer brand, so for the time being will only be selling online. This allows us to really get to know our customers and develop authentic relationships with them so we can keep creating designs they'll love. We are open to major distributors in the future, however.

 

What is next for the brand? What’s next for you?

Our customers are already asking for more styles! We're currently working on a new wireless bra, and expanding our All You Bra collection with more colors and fabrics. We're also doing a lot of thinking on what it means to be a body positive brand and how we can live our ethos in everything that we do. For myself, I'm fired up to take Pepper to the next level and make an impact on an industry that hasn't been disrupted in so long!

 

What’s your favorite boobie related saying/slogan/catch phrase/silly saying? 

Embrace the 'flat' in flattering ;)

Thank you for being a Denver babe, working hard to represent all of us. Now onto a few random questions I’m sure our readers will be keen on learning about you. 

Favorite musician lately? I've been listening to a lot of Bazzi, Anthony Russo and Post Malone 
 

Favorite Denver hangout for a drink? for food? for music?

Bar Dough and Sushi Den are a few of my favorite restaurants. Love getting drinks at Death & Co and dancing at Temple!
 

Favorite Denver store?

Alas, I don't do much shopping anymore (the founder life)

Shop the brand at https://www.wearpepper.com/.

Westword Feast Hit the Spot

Last Sunday, September 30, Westword Magazine's annual foodie "Feast" event returned to downtown Denver’s McNichols Building for a few hours of food and booze-infused fun! Over 45 of Westword’s food writers and readers favorite restaurants were there sampling from their menu alongside local and national booze brands.

A VIP ticket offered perks such as early entrance, two private lounge areas (one indoors one outdoors) with an open bar, restrooms, goodie bags, and special food tasting from the Cherry Creek sushi spot Matsuhisa. All the perks were great, but for all those in GA things weren't bad at all! The lines stayed moderate all day, if one table had a long line, you could try back in 30 minutes and it'd be gone. People seemed to congregate together creating hype, and amazingly (as we see this happen all the time at foodie events) none of the restaurants ran out of food until the end! So VIP or not, everyone got the unlimited food and booze samples they were promised, even food samples to go from RxBar, Duke's Smoked Meats & Naked. Another plus, there were plenty of tables, water stations and restrooms for all.

Our favorite bites included the following: Roaming Buffalo BBQ had these (pictured above) tasty tamales with BBQ beef and pork inside. Sugar Fire Smoke House had not only pork belly, but also the most succulent béarnaise beef. Gypsy Q served their Brisket Banh Mi Sandwich and Kimchi Mac & Cheese. Frijoles Colorado served their Cuban Lechon Moro y Maduros (roasted pork with black beans, rice & sweet plantain). Jackdaw, an Irish restaurant we've never heard of showcased superb Corned Beef on homemade sweet soda bread. Milk & Cake and Little Man Ice Cream treated us to scrumptious cupcakes and ice cream.

Photos by Robert Castro Words by Tiffany Candelaria

Safeword X Ultra5280 : A Look Into the Boss Babes of Denver

 Logo by Justine Henderson

Logo by Justine Henderson

We took some time to interview Bryn Carter and Shayla Preeshl, to talk about the amazing girl power forward collective that they started. Bringing boss babes from all walks of life together, creating connections, promoting local businesses, and sharing good quality time together,

 Photo by Sara Palandeng

Photo by Sara Palandeng

Tell me a little about the bad ass babes that created Safeword. What are each of your backgrounds? What brought the two of you together? What things started happening in your life that drove you to wanting a project of this nature? What was the turning point in your life that brought you to this thing that is Safeword.

B: I’m a Midwest girl, I moved here from a city outside of Chicago called Rockford after living in Australia for a while. The two of us actually met on a shoot a year ago – Shayla was styling and I was modeling. We clicked immediately and started hanging out after that. In all honesty, the idea for Safeword was really finalized one night at my house after a lot of wine haha. But before that, we had attended creative meet-ups (where we found a lack of female attendees) and women entrepreneur events (which we found to be full of cliques) and realized there was a real need for a place for female creatives and entrepreneurs to come together and network while growing alongside one another both personally and professionally. We refer to it as our coming-to-Jesus moment that night but between the two of us, we know so many amazing women in this city and our hope is to get these women working with one another and eventually take this to other cities as well.

 

S: I hail from small-town Montana, and have a background in wardrobe styling and marketing. I had lived in Denver for a few years, and found it difficult in my time here to connect with fellow creative women. Another turning point for us was when we had attended a local meetup, and it felt the opposite of welcoming for the babes who attended. We realized we need to do something for the ladies, there is too much talent here that is underrepresented!

 

Tell me a little about Safeword itself. What does the word mean/why did you choose this title?. Y’all have thrown some awesome events over the last few months, I attended the last at Ft. Greene and had an awesome time. What’s the purpose of events like these?

Well, we like to play a lot with words and their meanings. For example, on our website we have a section called ‘Centerfolds’ which has always referred to usually a sexy woman in the middle of some raunchy magazine. We wanted to reclaim these words that may have been used to degrade or to put down women and now our ‘Centerfold’ section is where we interview amazing creative women and entrepreneurs who share their stories. Safeword is the same – we wanted to use a work that represented a safe place that women could come together and feel comfortable.

The purpose of these events is to do networking differently – we like to have amazing artists and business owners there who can show their work, do their work, sell their products and meet some incredible women along the way. From our previous networking experiences, we had felt a sense of in-authenticity. Interactions felt robotic and forced. We always describe our events as hanging out with your girlfriends. We have a ton of ladies who come to them alone, and end up leaving with a babe squad worth of contacts and friendships by the end.

 

What was the goal in creating this group? How has it been going and how can local babes keep perpetuating the growth of that?

The goal is simple really – get all these amazing women together in one spot so they can network and build this business while also building their friend groups. We had a lot of women who just moved to the city come to our last event and reach out to thank us after because they were having such a hard time meeting women, and after our event they had some genuine new friends to hang out with. It’s things like those moments that let us know we are doing something right and hopefully will keep growing Safeword into something great. We hope to bring this to a national level, as we know of markets that are even more difficult to meet women in these industries than Denver. One other goal we focus on is creating an open dialogue amongst women, so instead of being pit against one another we can conquer avenues together through those relationships. The support we have received locally has been overwhelming. We launched this as a passion project, but had no idea how our audience would react. The fact that it has exceeded our expectations in growth by a long shot continues to motivate us.

 Photo by Sara Palandeng

Photo by Sara Palandeng

 

What upcoming events do we have to look forward to? Any extra awesome stuff coming in the near future?

 People always ask why we aren’t doing events all the time haha and we get asked weekly to partner with people on other events, but end of the day, we are not an event company and we really have to commit to why we started Safeword and stick to the quarterly networking events. Shayla and I also do this as a side hustle – she works full -time for a bad ass, women-owned and operated PR firm in town, I am a realtor and working to open a women’s co-working space (details coming soon babes). This is something we feel so strongly about and we are beyond thankful for all the amazing women we have met and the support we have been shown. Safeword is what it is because of the incredible babes of this city. Look for our next big event in the winter but might be one or two beforehand – we will be sure to keep you informed.

Follow the Safeword website here and follow these lovely babes on Instagram to keep up with the amazing things to come!

 Photo by Kim Desmond

Photo by Kim Desmond

OmFest Colorado Review

OmFest Colorado returned for its fifth year last Saturday to Founders Green bringing Denver a day full of free yoga, barre, meditation and mindfulness.

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This year's OmFest featured the local yoga and fitness community, musicians, food trucks, artisans, local breweries and wineries! Again they incorporated fun for the whole family with yoga for all ages and free kids activities. Every hour from 9am to 6:30pm there was a yoga or fitness class, with the day culminating in a live band taking participants and the local community into the lovely summer evening. 

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The day was sunny and warm, and many people filtered in and out of the festival thought the day. The final yoga flow took place as the sun set and a cool breeze cooled everyone off. What a wonderful day of practice and community in the grassy courtyard.

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Photos by Samantha Bliss

FNG Launches Lunch, Eventually Brunch

Troy Guard’s rock n’ roll restaurant FNG is now opening at 11:30am Tuesday through Saturday to serve up your favorites during lunch hours. A great midday escape from your corporate job! The space is hip, edgy and full of music memorabilia and vinyl. According to their team, “FNG is the reminder of all that is genuine, pure and just f’n good. Our food is Rock n’ Roll and our drinks are Punk Rock. The staff is an over-educated, tattooed, eclectic band of experience-creating, hospitality rock stars.” 

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We sampled a few lunch favorites selected by the staff as well as a few of their cool cocktails. To start we had the Tater Tots & Salmon Salad which is just what it sounds like atop arugula with green and white aioli. This salad is apparently a guest favorite, which surprised both the staff and us, but we do give it points for originality.

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Another guest favorite is their Bologna Slider with Swiss, 1000 Island dressing, and potato chips on a King’s Hawaiian Roll (one of the only items not made in house because sometimes you can't beat a classic). A traditional burger, Mediterranean lamb, fried and rotisserie chicken sliders are also popular lunch options. We had the full size version of their buttermilk brined chicken slider which won this summer's Chicken Fight event! Each day there will be an added sandwich feature during lunch to test out chefs’ favorites and the FNG team will mold their lunch menu based on diners' favorites.  

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FNG's all-day menu features ten craft cocktails that drift from the mainstream in their unique ingredients and booze-y bite. We loved the Almost Famous that pairs ruby red flavored vodka with coconut milk and the smoky mezcal meets blackberry cocktail Bramble On. Also tasty is the "secret" dessert menu with nostalgic favorites like Banana Cream Pie and the Dirt Cup as known from childhood. 

FNG served Happy Hour weekdays 3-6pm and if you order from their special Live Nation section of the menu you'll be entered to win tickets to an upcoming Live Nation concert! And winners also receive a $50 FNG dining credit so you can come party/eat before the show!

3940 West 32nd Avenue in the Highlands. https://www.fngrestaurant.com/

Written by Tiffany Candelaria @TCDoesFnB     Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesHerBliss

OmFest Colorado Returns to Denver Sept 15

OmFest Colorado returns to Denver for it's fifth year on Saturday, September 15th for a full day of outdoor yoga, fitness, music, and local vendors at Founder's Green.

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OmFest began when Jeannene Orofino moved to Denver from New York (where she worked as a yoga teacher) and wondered why Denver didn't have a local yoga festival. Together with two local yoga instructors, the three woman created a family-friendly yoga festival for the Denver community. “Our goal was to make a local festival that was affordable, because a lot of people can’t afford the other festivals with big-name teachers that they fly in,” Orofino remembers.

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This year's OmFest features local talent within the yoga and fitness community, musicians, food trucks, seven local artisans, local breweries and wineries! They've also incorporated fun for the whole family with yoga for all ages, kids activities and free admission for those 12 and under. Every hour from 9am to 6:30pm there will be a yoga or fitness class (or both) with the day culminating in a live DJ and drummer teaming up to take us into the evening. 

Tickets can be purchased online for $49 at http://omfestcolorado.com/

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Korean BarbieQ Pop Up Experience

Last weekend, the vacant restaurant space beneath Larimer Square transformed into a special pop-up experience themed around Korean BarbieQ. Odd concept, but cool creation that blended Barbie-themed decor and drinks with Korean barbecue. The pop up experience returns again this Thursday through Saturday August 25th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at 1414 Larimer, Denver. Tickets include dinner and drinks - get tickets here:  https://www.thricepopup.com/#tickets

After this weekend, the BarbieQ will then be deconstructed to make way for another pop-up concept by OZ Architecture Associate Principal and Director of Brand Experience Design Abigale Plonkey. “I’ve always wanted to create a pop-up event, and I’ve seen them successful in New York and LA and thought this was an opportunity to bring it to Denver,” Plonkey said. "So we came up with the concept of Thrice — food, drink, design. It always has to have those three elements to make it unique. It can’t just drink, it can’t just be food and it can’t just be about design.” Chef Bill Espiricueta of Smok is preparing the food for this pop-up, and Shawn Campbell, lead bartender at El Five, curated the cocktails.

After the Korean BarbieQ wraps up this weekend, be on the lookout for the next concept — Cosmotropical, a David Bowie-inspired event where outer space meets tiki bar. The decor will focus on astronomy and have lots of neon. The third event will be Chroma, during which the room will change colors as different courses are served!

Photos by Josh Stephens

Our Journey To A Place Called Tacolandia

 Tacos and lowriders. (Photo Credit: Samantha Bliss)

Tacos and lowriders. (Photo Credit: Samantha Bliss)

As we have mentioned on many occasions we are pretty big fans of tacos here at Ultra5280. From al pastor to carnitas any edible morsel of goodness that can be filled in a warm tortilla we are big fans of. This year we were fortunate enough to cover another edition of Tacolandia presented by our good friends at Westword.

We had pretty large helpings of the vast selection of some of the cities best taco establishments. It is hard to pick a favorite amongst the wide selection so we will just say we enjoyed them all. What is becoming a taco lovers destination event was once again filled with food, music, a car show and an outrageous lucha libre ring.

Mariachi America (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Music from Mariachi America had everybody dancing to the rhythms of salsa and cumbias, while fellow Denver spanish rock bands such as iZCALLi and Los Mocochetes brought the local flavor. Members of the Saints and Sinner Car Club had their finest whips (it's what the cool kids say instead of cars) on display. With candy coated paint jobs to dizzying chrome wheels. The event is always a favorite of ours and if you have never been we suggest you mark it in your calendar asap for next year.

All the tacos. (Photo Credit: Samantha Bliss)

The proud traditions of the latino culture were on display. (Photo Credit: Robert Castro)

Photo Gallery 1: Samantha Bliss (Staff Photographer)

Photo Gallery 2: Robert Castro (Editor in Chief)

Female Founders to Open Denver’s First Independent, Female Owned Sex Boutique This Saturday!

 All photos credit to  Jessica Christie Photography  

All photos credit to Jessica Christie Photography 

 Awakening, Denver's premier sex-positive boutique and community resource, announced the grand opening and permanent residency in Modern Nomad warehouse located in the River North Arts District. The boutique will open to the public on Saturday, August 18 at 12pm. 

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Created by Tory Johnson and Rose Kalasz, Awakening was founded on the mission that sex stores no longer have to be uncomfortable and intimidating to walk into. Awakening Boutique is specifically designed to offer a modern, progressive, femme-centric take on the current sex store market, providing the opportunity and space for Denver residents and visitors to explore their sexuality and interests comfortably. 

As the duo matured growing up, they went through adolescent parallels relying on each other for support. Rose Kalasz dives into the idea that evoked Awakening. "We bought our first vibrators together when we were 18 because we were too intimidated and unsure to go into a sex store alone. Tory lived in Seattle for a long time, where we saw stores like Babeland, and She-Bop in Portland, that approached the concept of “sex shop” in a totally fresh way. They were clean, open, informed, and focused on female and LGBTQ pleasure and health." Developing into adulthood and finding the desire to open their own shop, they wanted to provide women the comfort and support they had in one another and we're thrilled they chose our city to do so. "We often wondered why Denver didn’t have something like that, and this year we both found ourselves in a situation where we could make it happen."

"Going into this, we really had no idea what to expect!" Said Kalasz, about Denver's response to Awakening. "We knew that we were passionate about it, and that there was a real need for a female-focused and sex positive resource in Denver, and that’s all we were going off of! Modern Nomad was so awesome and open minded when we approached them with the idea, and we have felt included and welcomed by everyone we have talked to there. The response from the women of Denver has been enthusiastic to say the least, so we are pretty excited to open and finally get going!"

“Many people today are uncomfortable, intimidated, or uninformed about adult novelty and sexual health products,” said Johnson, Co-Founder of Awakening Boutique. “We are seeing that consumers are overwhelmed by shopping online for sex-related products due to the lack of guidance and the broad selection and that many are too embarrassed to go into large novelty stores. We want to offer a kind of environment that is not currently available to women interested in exploring their sexuality in a more comfortable, informed, and fun way.” 

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The boutique will stock all high-end, non-toxic, eco-friendly sex toys as well as lingerie, books and home goods. Snapshot of products for sale include DAME ProductsWOO For Play Coconut Love OilWildfire UndiesTantusFun Factory, and Hey Mavens! Lingerie. All products stocked are hand-selected by Johnson and Kalasz. 

“We are very selective about the products we choose to offer and the knowledge level of our staff. Our products are welcoming to customers of varied demographics, interests, and experience levels,” said Kalasz. “First time toy buyers, couples interested in experimenting with light kink and bdsm, women looking for non-toxic, sexual health products - come on in!” 

For more information about Awakening Boutique, visit www.awakeningboutique.co. Find Awakening Boutique on Instagram here

SAVE THE DATE: 

Join Awakening Boutique in celebrating the official opening as a permanent resident to the Modern Nomad warehouse on Saturday, August 18 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Free food, drinks, and live music. Be the first to shop all Awakening Boutique products and receive a party favor of 10% off your first purchase at Awakening Boutique. Walk out with free products - various vendor product raffling throughout the evening. To RSVP for the Grand Opening, visit Facebook here.  

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