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!


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

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/.

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

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)

Denver Comic Con Returned To The Mile High City For Another Amazing Weekend

Denver Comic Con arrived back in Denver with a slew of characters. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The comic con scene is alive and well in Denver nowadays. Denver Comic Con continues to grow exponentially year after year with bigger crowds and more importantly bigger guest celebrities. This year was no exception.

This year boasted the likes of childhood heroes of mine such as Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy of Sixteen Candles fame. Val Kilmer was in attendance, Mr. Iceman himself. A who's who of current television stars such as Jason Momoa (Justice League and Game of Thrones), David Harbour of recent Stranger Things fame and Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy). The list goes on and on.

This year's crowds seemed on par with last years  in terms of numbers. Vendors still maintained their strong threshold with a vast opportunity to get your collectables. With 3 Main Events stages, 25 session rooms, and almost 750 hours of celebrity Q&As, panels, workshops and demos there wasn't a dull moment at this years con. There was something to keep you busy all three days.

Lot's of time and dedication went into this years cosplays. (Photo: Jason Pendleton)

The amount of hours people put into their cosplays this year did not go unnoticed, vast amounts of different array of costumes adorned the convention hall, from your usual Star Wars and Dr. Who to more intricate costumes from the world of anime and comic books.

Photo Gallery: Jason Pendleton

This years attractions such as Opening Night, Celebrity Summit, Artist Valley and Booktopia provided guest unique and one of a kind experiences. It is these experiences that people love to come to and participate in.

The Riverdale panel with KJ Apa, Skeet Ulrich and Molly Ringwald. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

This years panels were a big hit. (Photo: Austin Voldseth)

Photo Gallery: Austin Voldseth

Bonanno Opens 16-Venue Marketplace Downtown

Acclaimed Denver Chef Frank Bonanno has created his most ambitious venture yet, bringing together sixteen individual local dining and imbibing concepts under one roof in the new Dairy Block development on Wazee and 18th Avenue. The aptly named Denver Milk Market opens June 1st - a century after the Windsor Dairy first opened in the same location. As Bonanno tells us, just as Windsor Dairy nourished the community with its dairy products, we strive to do the same with a focus on family, community and a love of celebration within our doors.” His dedication to the community is also evident in his decision to donate one percent of all sales at DMM to the neurology department at Children's Hospital Colorado. and we have the insider sneak peek of all the delicious eats and drinks you'll find inside this lovely 18,000 square foot marketplace.

Guests can grab pastries and coffee in the morning; enjoy a freshly chopped salad or hot sandwich for lunch; meet friends and colleagues for evening cocktails; and pick-up fresh meat, seafood and house-made pasta by-the-pound to enjoy at home. Bananno tells us, "Each concept is rooted in a family member, a favorite trip, or favorite dining experience, so the design is not only meant to be engaging and fun for the guest, but is also a love note to every memory that each space represents." Below are the 16 carefully crafted concepts and what you can expect at each:

Morning Jones:  Coffee and nitrogenized oat milk and almond milk lattes; hot chocolate on tap; and pastries. For convenient grab-and-go, Morning Jones features a walk-up window in the Dairy Block alleyway!

Bao Chica Bao: Celebrates the cloud-like and perfectly steamed bao buns that have been a neighborhood favorite at Capitol Hill restaurant Bones. The venue is one of only two U.S. restaurants to serve jelly beer, a popular drink in Thailand that’s likened to a beer slushie. A walk-up window in Dairy Block’s activated alley allows for quick grab-and-go.

MOO Bar: Adorned with a one-of-a-kind chandelier that speaks to the space’s former life as a dairy, MOO Bar is the striking centerpiece of Denver Milk Market that serves up craft cocktails, beer and wine. Many of Bonanno’s greatest boozy hits appear on the menu, made using house-made bitters and syrups.

Lou’s Hot|Naked: A Denver favorite has been resurrected! Fans of Lou’s can expect the same juicy and spicy Nashville Hot Chicken that made their former Sunnyside neighborhood joint famous. 

Stranded Pilgrim: Offers guests an all-Colorado list of brews previously only available at brewers’ taprooms. “Frank’s Honey Blonde” – brewed exclusively for Denver Milk Market by Great Divide Brewing Company – is a nod to Frank’s wife and partner, Jacqueline, and is only available here.

Albina by the Sea: A tribute to Frank’s grandmother, whose cooking inspired him as a child, offers seafood favorites like crab cakes and lobster rolls, along with fresh fish, house-made cocktail sauce and other necessities to create a seafood feast at home.

The Green Huntsman: For lighter fare, guests will find freshly chopped and perfectly dressed salads at The Green Huntsman, in addition to house-made drinking vinegar and nitrogenized green tea.

Mano Pastaria: Mano, meaning “hand” in Italian, features quintessential hand-rolled pastas to enjoy at Denver Milk Market or at home. Pastas and sauces are available for purchase by the pound, as well as antipasti and pizza dough from neighboring Bonanno Brothers Pizza. 

Bonanno Brothers Pizza: Named after Frank’s two sons, Luca and Marco, Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria celebrates decades, and generations, of Bonannos crafting delicious, freshly-spun pizza.  

Ruth’s Butchery: A one-stop-shop for the best meats, Ruth’s Butchery is a tribute to his wife Jacqueline’s grandmother, who famously made the best hamburger around. Guests can try it and a selection of other hot sandwiches here.

S&G Salumeria: After 15 years of perfecting cured meats, S&G Salumeria offers Frank’s expertly house-cured meats, as well as house-made and imported artisan cheeses. Guests can observe as fresh mozzarella and burrata are crafted behind the counter, while enjoying a sandwich made popular at Denver Highlands’ neighborhood restaurant, Salt & Grinder.

MoPoke: Offers the ultimate Hawaiian experience, with fresh fish over rice, and the perfect accoutrements to transport taste buds to the islands.   

Cellar: Cellar allows guests the unique opportunity to purchase a bottle of wine from a carefully curated selection and bring the opened bottle with them through the Market. Wine is also available by the glass.  

Fem: With just three ingredients (flour, eggs and milk), Fem turns out simple, yet seriously tasty crepes.  

Cornicello: Cornicello transports guests to the streets of Rome with deliciously indulgent gelato, boozy milkshakes, soft serve and other delicious dairy treats. The creamery also features a walk-up window in Dairy Block’s alleyway, ideal for warm summer evenings.

Engine Room: Open late and the perfect way to end a night out, Engine Room serves up delicious New York-style slices and Sicilian pies from the walk-up window located directly on Dairy Block’s activated alley, on 19th Street.

To celebrate the opening, Denver Milk Market is offering a variety of activations Friday, June 1 through Sunday, June 3, many of which are free and open to the public. Events will include yard games in the Dairy Block Alley, photo booths, a Rockies Rally Happy Hour with cocktail and beer specials, community yoga, a violinist brunch and more. For a full list of events, visit DMM’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/denvermilkmarket/

For more information, please visit http://dairyblock.com.

Photos by Robert Castro

New this June at Denver's Longest-Running Block Party | People's Fair

People’s Fair Art & Music Festival is Denver’s largest and longest-running block party, which celebrates its 47th year at Civic Center Park, June 1-3, 2018. People’s Fair celebrates the best of the Mile High City, including music; culture; fitness; food and beverage; fine art; and a makers’ marketplace produced in partnership with Denver Flea.

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They are kicking things off Friday, June 1. with a featured concert from MAX, who's current hit, “Lights Down Low,” ft. gnash, hit number one on Billboard’s Emerging Artists and Adult Pop Songs charts earlier this year. A variety of free concerts will follow MAX’s performance throughout the weekend: a full day of bluegrass performances on the festival’s main stage on Saturday, June 2, featuring Matt Rouch & The Noise Upstairs, Turkeyfoot, Lonesome Days, Kitchen Dwellers, and Trout Steak Revival. Sunday, June 3, Moon Taxi will make their only Colorado appearance this summer at 4:30 pm, with The Other Black  opening for them at 3 pm. Additional live entertainment will showcase an eclectic range of Denver talent, including performances from Dazzling Divas Drag Show, Colorado Mestizo Dancers, and dance groups performing everything from ballet to belly dancing!

The Mural Project is back this year, a live art competition in which teams of young, local artists paint murals onsite during the festival. Many teams return to the Mural Project year after year, allowing attendees to witness transformations in the up-and-coming artists, who develop positive self-expression, time management, critical thinking and more through participating in the project. There is also a fine art show featuring more than 100 artists, beer & wine garden, a variety of fitness vendors, fitness-oriented events, such as free community yoga classes courtesy of CorePower Yoga, hosted at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on the main stage. New this year, the “Outdoor Adventure Fest” will invite attendees to experience the Colorado outdoors in the heart of the city, with a climbing wall, a kayak pool, goat yoga and more.

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In addition to highlighting the unique communities found in every corner of Denver, People’s Fair raises funds for nonprofit organizations. The event primarily benefits Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods, although all of the beverage booths at the festival are staffed by volunteers from various nonprofit organizations, who raise funds via tips received at their bars. 2018 community partners include Project Angel Heart and Colorado Gay Rodeo Association.


Reserve VIP tickets, your free yoga ticket, or $5 general admission ticket to MAX at  https://peoplesfair.com/tickets/

Photos by Ryan Cox

BRECKENRIDGE BREWERY RELEASES THE 2018 OFFICIAL COMIC CON BEER “RAZZNAROK”

Launch Party to Take Place Thursday, May 17th at Stoney's Bar and Grill

WHO:  Breckenridge Brewery and Denver Comic Con (DCC) will officially launch the 2018 Comic Con Beer, RAZZNAROK, on May 17th at Stoney's Bar and Grill with live music, games, cosplay, and the first of many collectible pint glass giveaways. The beer’s name was the winner of the annual “Name the Denver Comic Con Beer” contest which beat out more than 800 submissions during the online contest. RAZZNAROK was inspired by the widely popular 2017 Marvel Comic book film: Thor: Ragnarok.

The 2018 DCC beer is a Belgian style witbier brewed with fresh raspberry puree. For the seventh straight year, Breck will be releasing the beer along with limited edition DCC beer pint glasses. This year’s Razznarok glass features artwork by local comic artist Morgan Beem.

After the launch party, RAZZNAROK will stay on tap at Stoney's through Denver Comic Con. Other pubs within walking distance to the Colorado Convention Center will serve the beer leading up to and during the event. Follow Breckenridge Brewery on Facebook and Twitter for information on other pint glass giveaway events during Denver Comic Con. This information will also be posted on breckbrew.com in the weeks prior to the DCC.

WHAT: For seven years Breckenridge Brewery has brewed a special beer exclusively for Denver Comic Con (DCC). The first 200 people to this FREE event will receive a limited collector’s series “Razznarok” pint glass featuring custom design by artist Morgan Beem. Colorado's premiere party band, 6 Million Dollar Band will be bringin' the 80s energy to keep the dance floor movin' all night!

WHERE: Stoney's Bar & Grill 1111 Lincoln St. Denver, CO

When:Thursday, May 17th

- Doors 7pm

- Live music by 6 Million Dollar Band 8pm

- DJ 10pm

About “Razznarok!”

Razznarok is a time-honored, Belgian-style ale with a tart pink twist. Brewed with unmalted wheat, orange zest, coriander and fresh raspberry puree, this unfiltered, light-bodied beer has fruity notes of raspberry & citrus, a touch of spice, and a pink blush of color. Refreshing. Surprising. Sprightly. Whimsical.

Past winners of the "Name the Comic Con Beer" contest are The Fantastic Pour, The Caped Brewsader, Brews Wayne, Hulk's Mash, Snape-ricot, and I Am Brewt.

 

5 Upcoming Events In Denver

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5 Upcoming Events in Denver

Denver hosts a plethora of unique events throughout the year. Regardless of the activities you enjoy or the scene you prefer, it's safe to say that you'll be able to find something that fits your interests. Here are some of the top upcoming events in the Denver area spanning from fashion, food, to music! If you're looking for a way to get around without shuffling ride share services or dealing with traffic, be sure to check out this Boulder Party Bus Service.

 

Denver Beer and Music Festival

May 19 at the Vinyl Events Center

This craft beer and music festival is headlined by the rock band Shwayze, but there will also be other live bands and DJ's at the event. There will be local food vendors at the Tasting Village of Food as well as unlimited samples of 50 different varieties of spirits, wine, and beer. Tickets range from $35 to $50 for VIP admission, and it will be worth every penny.

 

ThriftCon

May 20 at INDUSTRY RiNo Station

For those who enjoy a good bargain or rare vintage find, you're not going to want to miss out on ThriftCon. There will be vintage collectibles, clothing, and home goods to consider buying here. With over 40 vendors, the selection is sure to be solid. You won't leave here without a new piece, guaranteed.

 

Trash Fashion Show

June 9 at EXDO

This evening of innovative fashion features clothes made from reclaimed material by local designers. There will be different categories that the designers will compete in such as "Little Black Dress" and "White Trash". General admission will run you $25, while the $150 VIP ticket includes valet parking, a pre show cocktail reception, gift bag, front row seating, and admission to the Tracks nightclub for the after party.

 

Denver Summer Brew Fest

July 27 & 28 at Mile High Station

The Denver Summer Brew Fest boasts over 100 brews and ciders to choose from 40 different breweries. The brew fest benefits the Swallow Hill Music Association, so it's a great event to support. Tickets range from $35 to $60 for their package deal. General admission runs from 7-10 PM, but VIP holders can show up an hour early to enjoy a special beer and cheese sampling.

 

Reggae on the Grass

July 29 @ Levitt Pavilion

This is a free concert series that's open for all ages. Feel good reggae will be playing on multiple stages with bands like Nase Face, Emcee Rasta Stevie, Colorado Binghistra, Ras Marcus Benjamin, and the Denver Vintage Reggae Society. This is the first annual event, and it's sure to be super entertaining.

A Tropical Escape in Denver's Cap Hill

When you think of the Caribbean do you  picture white sand beaches, tropical colors and flavors, fruity drinks, and island music? Well you'll find all this (minus the beach) at the new Calypso Caribbean restaurant, bar and café Bang Up to the Elephant in their cool, new space in Capitol Hill.

The fully immersive restaurant comes from Denver restaurateur Kevin Delk, the creative mastermind behind Two-Fisted Mario's, Mario's Double Daughters and the Aspen tree filled Beatrice & Woodsley. In similar fashion, Bang Up to the Elephant is full of imaginative touches, creative interior design, and lots of Caribbean colors. From the painted floor to the blue-hued light and everything in between, this new restaurant offers much more than just a meal.

The large space had been abandoned for nearly 27 years prior, and before that was The Mercury Café. The team had a lot of work ahead of them, but the empty canvas allowed for creativity and a total transformation. Between the ambiance, the unique food, and the tropical drinks (and plants), you really feel transported to a tropical destination. Another cool component is the sunny front “patio” café, enclosed with colorful mosaic stained glass walls, big doors that can fully open on a nice day and a park fountain.

We began with a few cocktails from Cocktail Conservator Dylan Holcomb, our favorite being the Nose Ender because it’s served in a coconut and festively garnished. Its spirit is tequila and house-made cream of coconut. If this doesn’t make you feel like you’ve been transported, the food and ambiance surely will. The Devil’s Claw and Newgate Knockers where our other favorite cocktails and were also beautifully garnished. Devil’s Claw contains Mekong, a Thai spirit, lemon juice, Chinese Five Spice, and curry syrup. Despite all the exotic spices, the drink was well rounded and refreshing, it did bring out the spice in the food however. The Newgate Knockers drink was a bit creamy and sweet, with lemon juice, tamarind, gin and Orgeat.

The menu is led by Executive Chef Travis Messervey, of Beatrice & Woodsley, and features a wide range of "Calypso cuisine". Delk gave us a brief history of the Islands, explaining how many different countries explored and colonized the Caribbean at various times, thus bringing their foods and customs to the Islands and its native people. Diners here will find African, Indian, European and Chinese dishes and influences on the menu. For example, the Jerk Chicken is slow-cooked over pimento wood from the All Spice Tree, traditionally used to smoke jerk meats, and covered in a savory, spicy rub. It had wonderfully deep flavors, wasn’t too spicy, and sits atop rice and black-eyed peas. It comes with a side of astringent papaya-red cabbage slaw and is garnished with tasty smoked, sweet pineapple slices.

Their Bake & Pepper Shrimp sandwich was also a standout and is one of four versions you can order of this popular Trinidadian dish. It had breaded shrimp between two pieces of fried flatbread with tomatoes, red cabbage slaw, and a green herb spread. It was satisfying, fresh and crispy. We also tried the Kale & Plantains salad that was coated in hot pepper vinaigrette which really packed a punch. The plantains and jicama help cool you, but beware. The Bowl-O-Chow Mein wasn’t spicy except for the jalapenos on top and was loaded with healthy veggies, a bit too soaked in teriyaki sauce however. To finish us off we had a scoop of fried ice cream with chocolate rum sauce and mango chunks. Delk admitted fried ice cream is not really Caribbean, he just has a soft spot for it and thinks his diners will too. It was delicious, tasting like a sundae atop a warm old-fashioned doughnut. Their menu is extensive and offers many more delicious dishes than we were able to try, so we'll be back.

Bang Up to the Elephant provides a great year-round escape, whether it be from the weather, the daily grind, or the typical meal. They have happy hour daily from 3-6:30pm and will also be launching live music brunches on Saturday and Sunday’s 9-3pm soon!

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB       Photos by Samantha Bliss  @redfollowsherbliss http://banguptotheelephant.restaurant/

Breckenridge Brewery Tour & Dinner

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Saturday night we got to go behind the scenes of the Breckenridge Brewery facilities at their Farmhouse in Littleton, CO and were treated to a special private beer dinner in their Barrel Room! Since being acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev December of 2015, the facilities and beer production has greatly expanded and contributed to their cool new Farmhouse "campus" as they call it.

We got a great tour from Katie who literally walked us through each step in the brewing, aging and bottling process. Yes, some of their beers are aged, including their newest Brewery Lane Series release, the Imperial Vanilla Porter. This limited series beer is aged in Rum barrels, which we later dined among, and brewed with Madagascar vanilla beans.

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At the end of the tour we each got a full pour of the Irish Stout and headed down to the Barrel Room where they had set up tables for us lucky 30 to sit and dine. The first course was a Roasted Beet Flatbread paired with an amazing Barrel Aged Imperial Cherry Stout. Next we had an Agave Wheat Shrimp Ceviche served on an avocado with an Oak Aged Saison which was light but flavorful, just like the Ceviche.

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The entree was a big bowl of Duck Confit atop Risotto and Brussels Sprouts with a dry hopped orange glaze. This dish was so delicious and had a wonderful caramelized taste with an orange undertone from the glaze. It was paired with their seasonal holiday beer, the Holidale wich paired the holiday flavors of cinnamon and spice perfectly with the warming dish tinged with orange flavors. The beer itself is more of an Amber Ale with savory spices reminiscent of winter.

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For the fourth course we finished with an Imperial Vanilla Porter Orange Ganache Tart with a vanilla whip. This was a dense chocolate tart with a strong orange zest flavor and delicate whip and nitrogen shattered blood oranges sprinkled on top! They did the shattering in front of us which was fun to watch and added a unique taste and dining experience. This was paired with the Imperial Vanilla Porter of course which was dark and thicker like the Irish Stout. 

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We were so impressed with this special Barrel Aged Beer Dinner by Executive Chef Nate Gravina and GM Joe Porter, and encourage you to look out for the next time the brewery hosts one of these. And after such an excellent dinner you should definitely make it a point to get some food with your beer the next time you're there. Cheers~

Full photo gallery below.  https://www.breckbrew.com/beers

Words by Tiffany Candelaria             Photos by Josh Stephens

Ophelia’s Will Tantalize All Your Senses


Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox is a multilevel "gastro-brothel" that surrounds its guests in luxurious furnishing, flattering mood lighting, and blatantly sexy décor, aka it’s a great place for a date. In addition to dining, there’s a stage and lounge in the lower level, also viewable from the upper restaurant level that wraps around it. The name of the place is an intriguing mouthful… and you’ll find the food is as well.

Ophelia’s opened a couple years ago and is part of Chef Justin Cucci’s collection of top-rated restaurants around Denver. Located in the old Airedale building on 20th Street and Larimer, it was formerly a peep-show parlor and clearly inspired the restaurant’s décor. The menu is a tantalizing assortment of American dishes featuring globally inspired ingredients paired in intriguing ways. In addition to its vegetable forward dishes, 75% of the ingredients are organically sourced and the menu has gluten-free and vegan icons to help those with dietary restrictions.

We were delighted to dine at Ophelia’s this Tuesday and were treated to an amazing assortment of dishes that showcased the variety of foods, flavors, and ingenuity the team brings to the tables each night. We began with cocktails of course, the Never Enough gin cocktail and the Hard Eight Rye cocktail, which were both great – one sweet and citrusy the later earthy and zesty.

To start, we selected the Smoked Scallops, 600 Degree Squash and the Crispy Pork Belly. This was already more food than we could finish knowing entrees where ahead, but we are so glad we ordered it all anyway because these three dishes were outstanding. The scallops were petite, soft and smoky, served with lavash crackers, microgreens, and a chive crème fraise and hot sauce, all meant to pile onto the crackers. The creamy crème spread was a perfect balance for the smoky scallops and seed-laden lavash. We also loved the 600 Degree Squash, a collection of caramelized yellow and green zucchini with sweet, creamy goat feta and a sundried tomato sauce. The Crispy Pork Belly was especially outstanding because it was not full of fat like so often happens when we’ve ordered pork belly. It truly was crispy and candied on the outside, and soft and supple on the inside, bursting with so much savory and sweet flavor. Best pork belly we can recall!  

Next, the kitchen surprised us with their Brothel Burger and BBQ Chicken Flatbread. The burger was super succulent Elk, we didn’t even realize this while we ate it, topped with Korean BBQ, Miso candied bacon, Ponzu onions, and pickled vegetables all between a pretzel pun. We loved it. The BBQ Chicken Flatbread was accompanied by bacon, Pepper Jack, mozzarella, charred onion, bell pepper and jicama-radicchio slaw, which was an excellent addition to an overall wonderfully composed sweet, smoky, tangy pizza. All of their flatbreads and burger buns are also available gluten free.

We then made room for two of their Dinner entrees, the Steelhead Trout with Pozole and Chicken & Waffles, which were like yin and yang as far as flavors, textures, ingredients and nutrition. Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew composed of hominy, green chilies, and spices. Their pozole is topped traditionally with fresh radishes, cilantro, tomatillo salsa, and chunks of avocado, but is only mildly spicy. The trout was wonderful, not too fishy, seasoned with black pepper, and a great, local alternative to salmon. An added bonus, all of the warming spices, herbs, root vegetables and omega-3 fish make this an excellent winter dish and flu-fighter!

On the other end of the spectrum, the Chicken & Waffles were decadent, sweet and crunchy. It comes with two pieces of herb and potato laden waffle between three pieces of crispy, fried chicken topped with bacon bits, a flavorful cinnamon apple butter and chili honey – my goodness! On the side, there’s a bit of healthy greenery for you with apple slices and dried cranberries.

Throughout all of this wonderful feasting, live musicians took turns on the stage below for open mic night. Wednesday’s and Sunday’s Ophelia’s has jazz bands, and the rest of the week generally has live music events as well. Ophelia’s is much more than just a delicious restaurant; it’s a happening hangout with plenty of pleasing offerings. The bar and lounge areas provide really nice drinking spots, and the wrap around restaurant is an awesome medley of fabulous food and dynamic entertainment below. We absolutely suggest you go!

https://www.opheliasdenver.com/

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @tcdoesfnb     Photos by Samantha Bliss @redfollowsherbliss

Chicken & Waffles