Denver’s Food Scene is STILL on Fire – Part 1

Denver’s Food Scene is STILL on Fire – Part 1
Photo © Ophelia's/Facebook
Photo © Ophelia’s/Facebook

Denver Eater has released its new and improved list of most anticipated restaurants for spring and early summer.  The fact that they have to specify “early summer” instead of just “summer” goes to show how extremely on fire Denver’s food scene is!  As you know, we appreciate restaurants that are in walkable, cool neighborhoods.  Here, we’re highlighting the restaurants that we’re most pumped about – enjoy!

Solitaire – 3927 W. 32nd Ave in West Highlands

Taking over the former space of Highland’s Garden Café, Solitaire will open sometime in April by Mark Ferguson, formerly of Spago in Vail and Las Vegas.  Solitaire promises a diverse, world cuisine with a comfortable bar setting.  Ferguson’s not getting rid of the gardens or the charm of the house, but he is updating the interior to match his vision.  West Highlands is in need of some new restaurants at this point, as there hasn’t been a whole lot opening lately.  There are the staples, of course, but a new breath of fresh air is always nice!

Ophelia’s – 1215 20th St in Ballpark

Transforming a former brothel, Ophelia’s will be a restaurant, bar, lounge, and live music venue.  Brought to you by Justin Cucci, the man who helped bring us Linger, Root Down, and a Spanish-Not-Named-Yet-Restaurant right next to Linger, is now involved in bringing Ophelia’s to the Ballpark neighborhood.  It’s set to open sometime in April in the historic Airedale building, which first opened in 1889 as Kopper’s Hotel and Saloon.  The building has seen some “colorful” businesses in the past, and was officially named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Cucci plans to make the first floor a gastropub with a seasonal vegetable-focused menu.  There will also be a stage for live music on the weekends with a giant glass dance floor on the second floor, which is kind of humorous if you consider that this building used to house peep shows.  Cucci isn’t opening this restaurant alone, of course. He also has Daniel Asher from Edible Beats, Jeremy Kittelson from Root Down and Kate Kaufman from the Kitchen in Boulder.  Ophelia’s should be an awesome addition to this space that so badly needs a facelift.

Finn’s Manor – 2927 Larimer Street in RiNo

On the Brighton Blvd. side of RiNo there are a few of these giant-warehouse-turned-hip-collection-of-restaurants, but this is the first to be on the other side of the river.  These warehouses seem to be defining RiNo, and with so many of them popping up I just hope the demand isn’t becoming smaller than the supply.  Either way, here’s another one! At 29th and Larimer, Finn’s Manor will open in 6,000 square feet of warehouse; enough space for six or more rotating food trucks and a bar (inside of an old house – that’s pretty cool) that will feature New Orleans cocktails. Finn’s Manor is brought to us by Noah Price of Populist and Crema Coffehouse, Thomas Taylor (his business partner), and Robert Sickler, a whisky brand ambassador.  Finn’s Manor is set to open in Late April/Early May.  I think that the concept they’re going for will be a big success because it’s changing up the old warehouse scene. I’ll be there for sure!

Bar Fausto – 3126 Larimer Street in RiNo

Also on the east side of the river in RiNo, and also brought to us from another Populist and Crema Coffeehouse representative, Jonathan Power, comes Bar Fausto.  Along with him comes Koan Goedman of Huckleberry Roasters and the team from FinArt, a design-build company.  Bar Fausto will open Late May and will bring cocktails and charcuterie to a 2,000 sq.ft. space that can seat up to 100 people!  There’s very little information out there about this restaurant at the moment, save for some great photos on their Facebook page.  Each photo mentions either celebrating or being happy about progress so we’re going to assume this project is on track to open on time.  We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more information!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Denver’s Food Scene!

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