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

Lifestyle | Denver's Best Haunted Houses

Human beings are weird. We voluntarily consent to entering creepy places ridden with chainsaws, demented clowns and awakened zombies… Our eyes light at the excitement accompanied with small spaces and ominous laughter. Because, when our pulse quickens and tiny pearls of sweat form at our temples, we feel alive. It reminds us simultaneously of our mortality and immortality... Haunted houses may make us cower in shame or sacrifice a loved one standing next to us, but they also offer an escape from reality. 

And luckily for our sweet, sadistic readers, Denver has some of the scariest haunted houses in America. We already did all of the ground work for you to ensure your haunted house experience is one you’ll never forget (or escape from)! *Muahahahaha

So grab some candy corn, light that pumpkin candle and hold someone’s hand because we’re about to give you the down-low on Denver’s best haunts. 

The Overview (in no particular order): 

13th Floor:

Only one of the many haunts lurking on the 13th floor (image: cuindependent.com)

Only one of the many haunts lurking on the 13th floor (image: cuindependent.com)

The 13th floor disorients you, terrifies you and then spits you out into the depths of hell. From the very second you enter the 13th Floor you are overcome with an overwhelming sense of inescapability. There is literally no turning back and what lies in lurk ahead is enough to make even the toughest of bros whimper in fear. The special effects used in making this haunted house are way beyond anything we’ve come across before. Each room is meticulously put together and emphasizes even the smallest of details. From the swamp room to the dizzy bridge, the 13th Floor really pushes the boundaries on what constitutes a haunted house. We were truly impressed. 

City of the Dead: 

The City of the Dead was no stranger to poorly bound chainlink fences. 

The City of the Dead was no stranger to poorly bound chainlink fences. 

The City of the Dead was terrifying from the get-go, with a Purge-esq alarm whaling coupled with the palpable fear from the line, the anticipation was almost more frightening than the haunted house - almost. The fog filled sky and shattered lampposts transported you to a true City of the Dead. The scenery and atmosphere became your reality and you were suddenly running aimlessly through the haunted streets of an abandoned, ravaged city. Terrifying, exciting and pulse quickening - highly recommended. 

Haunted Field of Screams: 

Chainsaws and corn - A Haunted Field of Screams staple. 

Chainsaws and corn - A Haunted Field of Screams staple. 

The Haunted Field of Screams is composed of three different haunts, all of which were a rip-roaring good time. We laughed, we cried, we almost punched a crawling demon - all in all the perfect Halloween evening. The first and longest haunt was the corn maze, as you wandered aimlessly through fields of corn, demons, scare crows and vampiric warlords spooked, haunted and chased you to the finish line. We followed the maze with some good old fashion demon hunting. Disclaimer: Zombie paintball may bring out your darker side. The last and scariest event at the Haunted Field of Screams was the haunted house, as we waded through tiny crawl spaces, broken down school buses and carnivals straight from hades, we couldn’t help but be overcome with awe. The time, effort and detail that went into the entire field was mesmerizing. We recommend taking the whole family or a date and making an entire night out of it. SO fun. 

Asylum: 

You can check in...but you'll probably never check out of the Asylum. (Image: Galleryhip.com)

You can check in...but you'll probably never check out of the Asylum. (Image: Galleryhip.com)

The Asylum begins by throwing you into a room with around 8 other people. In the room there is a dead body, an X-ray and a code (somewhere). You have 3 minutes to crack the code and escape before the room fills with knock out gas. Tensions are high as you race around the room, fighting the clock and your fellow cellmates for your life. Inside the Asylum the same tensions and clock fueled anxiety are rampant. Every room, turn or twist could be your last. As you run through the hospital you are greeted by escaped/deranged patients and even equally as scary staff. The Asylum was jump-out scary, alarming and anxiety inducing. An all around great haunted house. 

The Awards: 

Best Overall Haunted House: 13th Floor

Best Date Night: Haunted Field of Screams 

Best Costumes/Stage Design: City of the Dead

Best Storyline: Asylum

Scariest Haunted House: 13th Floor

Most Fun: Haunted Field Of Screams

Things to look out for: Spruce will be shutting down their normal retail and barber operations in lieu of a haunted house on Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1 starting at noon. This will be Denver's first and only virtual reality haunted house -- and it's free! To learn more and book your appointment, click here