Westword Most Popular Meals and Restaurant News 2020

The overarching tale in 2020 dining news has been the financial effect of the coronavirus

The overarching tale in 2020 dining news has been the financial effect of the coronavirus pandemic. Dining places and bars have been subjected to a roller-coaster experience of restrictions, which include total dining-room shutdowns, 25- and 50-p.c ability constraints, early previous phone calls and, for bars with no food stuff, comprehensive closures. Therefore, viewers flocked to our lists of eateries offering takeout and shipping (which we in the beginning rolled out on March 17, the very first time dining rooms ended up purchased shut), and of sites reopening their dining rooms when that was authorized commencing May possibly 26. We have considering the fact that converted individuals lists to a complete pandemic-period cafe guideline that involves COVID-precise service details and protection protocols.

Other opening and closing information has also resonated with readers this 12 months — primarily the reduction of Denver classics — as have lists of our most loved spots to find burgers, eco-friendly chile, breakfast and Chinese delicacies. Here are the 10 most popular Westword foodstuff and drink tales of 2020:

In case you happen to be new to city, this is Casa Bonita.

Evan Semón

Probably Denver’s most recognizable restaurant, many thanks to South Park and decades of drawing families to its theme-park dining space, Casa Bonita shut on March 17 with out ever reopening at partial potential or supplying takeout, supply or outdoor dining. But that wasn’t so astonishing: The position of a go to to Casa Bonita has normally been the total encounter, from Black Bart’s Cave to the Acapulco-model cliff divers, and not the meals. A be aware in the window states that the restaurant strategies to reopen when restrictions are lifted, and Star Buffet, Casa Bonita’s operator (which in no way returned our phone calls), has considering that reiterated that purpose in interviews.

Blake Street Tavern's beer garden took over half of its parking lot.

Blake Street Tavern’s beer back garden took more than 50 percent of its parking lot.

Blake Road Tavern

In late July, the Tavern League of Colorado sued Governor Jared Polis above the 10 p.m. last connect with in location at the time. The go well with was unsuccessful, but a person of the Tavern League’s most active users, Chris Fuselier, the owner of Blake Avenue Tavern, experienced a surprising opportunity to discuss to Governor Polis about the plight of bars and the want to keep protection while trying to keep the survival of businesses in thoughts.

Punch Bowl Social Stapleton took over the old airport tower.

Punch Bowl Social Stapleton took over the aged airport tower.

Amber Boutwell

Punch Bowl Social’s Central Park cafe and leisure intricate, designed from the bones of the previous Stapleton Global Airport handle tower, shut at the starting of the pandemic — and then declared in early June that it would not reopen. Restaurateur Robert Thompson founded Punch Bowl Social at 65 Broadway in 2012 ahead of expanding the company to several places all-around the U.S., then finding a huge financial commitment from Cracker Barrel, then leaving entirely. The massive control tower complicated stays vacant most likely it would make a fantastic second location for Casa Bonita.

Dukkah eggs and trout at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen.Increase

Dukkah eggs and trout at Stowaway Espresso + Kitchen.

Danielle Lirette

Breakfast is the most significant meal of the day, so we served up a dozen of our favorites last spring. Sad to say, the checklist is down to eleven, as the 20th Avenue Cafe shut early on in the pandemic. Ivy on 7th closed quickly on November 20 since of the recent ban on in-house shoppers, but Wendell’s, which experienced closed in March, supposedly forever, reopened underneath new ownership in Oct and is currently serving breakfast and lunch Friday by means of Sunday for takeout and patio seating.

Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) at Uncle Zoe's Chinese Kitchen in Aurora.Develop

Xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) at Uncle Zoe’s Chinese Kitchen in Aurora.

Mark Antonation

We ran our once-a-year checklist of Denver’s greatest Chinese places to eat last January in portion to coincide with the Lunar New Yr and in section to combat destructive stereotypes of Chinese eateries spreading mainly because of a specific White Dwelling (shortly-to-be-former) resident’s insistence on contacting COVID-19 the “China flu” and even the “kung flu.” Since then, Chinese Noodles has closed, but the relaxation stay open for takeout and delivery.

Racines was already more than twenty years old when it built a new restaurant — fourteen years ago.Grow

Racines was now more than 20 yrs aged when it constructed a new restaurant — fourteen yrs in the past.


In April, not significantly was occurring inside Racines — or any other Denver cafe. But owners Lee Goodfriend and David Racine were being committed to reopening…at least for a while. Their objective was a extended goodbye ending on January 21, 2021, considering that Goodfriend and Racine were providing the developing. But appear July, the two made the decision to shut items down completely. “Why jeopardize our private health and fitness, our staff members, our customers?” Racine asked at the time. “We are creating a smart conclusion.”

Going, going...gone?

Likely, going…long gone?

Danielle Lirette

Past February, the operator of the setting up exactly where venerable red-sauce joint the Saucy Noodle has been serving up Italian cooking since 1964 applied for a certification of demolition eligibility. But the software came as information to Erin Markham, the Saucy Noodle’s operator. Contrary to other circumstances in which restaurant property owners have used for demolition eligibility, such as Tom’s Diner on East Colfax Avenue, the software was not disputed. Thankfully, the cafe stays open up for now, nevertheless its lease expires at the end of this year.

A bowl of green at Brewery Bar II.

A bowl of inexperienced at Brewery Bar II.

Kenzie Bruce

There is almost nothing hotter in Denver than environmentally friendly chile, so we served up our once-a-year listing of favorites in September, the top of the chile harvest period. Amazingly, all of our picks are however open up, if only for takeout and shipping for now.

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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the closing of all bars and restaurants.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock introduced the closing of all bars and restaurants.


This was the to start with massive blow of the pandemic for eating places and bars the announcement closed eating rooms beginning on March 17, quickly placing tens of 1000’s of cafe personnel out of positions. Takeout and shipping were still permitted, and Governor Jared Polis established an executive order enabling for booze to go. The program was to continue to keep the limitations in area until eventually May perhaps 11, but the buy was extended until finally May possibly 26, when eating rooms were permitted to reopen at 50 percent capability. That was reduced to 25 p.c on October 27 — and then taken again down to zero on November 20.

Euclid Hall was back — but only for one weekend.Grow

Euclid Corridor was back — but only for one weekend.

Jennifer Olson

Larimer Sq. has been undergoing many improvements just lately — and the overall block is now getting offered to North Carolina-based Asana Partners. Back again in March, Euclid Corridor proprietors Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch were being by now contemplating the future of their beer hall, given that the lease was established to expire in August of this calendar year. But with a lockdown pending, they decided to shut Euclid Corridor, the 3rd of their five Crafted Concepts eateries, which also contains Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine and Ultreia. Jasinski did go away open up the likelihood of reopening the cafe in a new place at some level in the long term.

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