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20 for 2020: New Year Brings New Front Range Restaurants

BY ERICA BUEHLER AND STEVE LYSAKER

New faces will join old acquaintances on the Front Range restaurant/bar scene in 2020, as fresh concepts prepare to launch and local favorites expand. Following—in alphabetical order—are 20 of the Denver-Boulder area’s most eagerly anticipated food-and-drink openings in 2020.

Boulder residents will soon get a taste of Ash’Kara’s Middle East fusion fare. Courtesy Ash’Kara.

1. Ash’Kara {1043 Pearl Street, Boulder}

Barely a year after making a splash in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood, Ash’Kara is preparing to open its second location this spring in the Pearl Street spot previously occupied by Pepper the Noshery. Boulderites will soon be able to enjoy Chef Daniel Asher’s bold and playful fusion of Middle East cuisine, which has wowed Denver diners since Ash’Kara’s debut in December 2018. ASHKARABOULDER.COM

2. Attimo {2246 Larimer Street, Denver}

Newly opened in the Ballpark district, Attimo is a winery and tasting room created by Snooze cofounder Jon Schlegel. After Snooze’s success, Schlegel and his family moved to northwest Italy, where he pursued his passion for wine by purchasing a small vineyard, developing relationships with top wine producers, and learning the winemaking trade. Attimo sources grapes from northern Italy (where they are crushed and undergo an initial fermentation), then finishes the wines at its Larimer Street site. The tasting room offers a variety of varietals as well as a menu with a focus on shareable snacks. ATTIMOWINE.COM

Avanti Food & Beverage, which opened its Denver food hall in 2015, is preparing a second location in Boulder. Courtesy Avanti.

3. Avanti Food & Beverage {1401 Pearl Street, Boulder}

Ash’Kara isn’t the only LoHi eatery with its sights set on downtown Boulder. Avanti Food & Beverage, which premiered its popular Denver food hall/restaurant incubator in 2015, will open a second location in the two-story, Pearl Street Mall space that was formerly home to the Cheesecake Factory. Avanti’s website hints at a spring 2020 opening. AVANTIFANDB.COM

4. bartaco {2001 West 32nd Avenue, Denver}

With many acclaimed Denver restaurants finding new homes in Boulder, it’s only fair that the so-called People’s Republic returns the favor. And so it is that bartaco will open its second Colorado location in Denver’s Lower Highlands in mid-2020. Boulder diners responded so well to bartaco’s fresh, coastal-inspired fare when its Pearl Street venue opened in 2017 that it was only a matter of time before the chain—which has restaurants in 13 states—planted roots in Denver. BARTACO.COM

5. Brasserie Brixton {3701 North Williams Street, Denver}

Engineers and first-time restaurateurs Justin Morse and Matt Daniels hoped to open their French eatery in 2019, but renovations on the 1880s-era Cole Neighborhood structure that will be its home took longer than expected. The wait promises to be worthwhile, however, as Brasserie Brixton will feature an unpretentious, French-inspired menu guided by Chef Nicholas Dalton, formerly of Mercantile Dining & Provision. Brasserie Brixton is expected to open in early 2020. BRASSERIEBRIXTON.COM

A rendering of Denver Beer Company’s pending Downing Street taproom. Courtesy Denver Beer Company.

6. Denver Beer Company {2425 South Downing Street, Denver}

The Denver Beer Company recently announced it acquired a massive property at 2425 S. Downing Street, which it will convert to a 2,500-square-foot brewery and taproom (the brewer’s third) with a 10,000-square-foot patio. The company plans to lease a second building on the property to a restaurant or snack food partner. According to Denver Beer Co.’s website, the Downing Street taproom is expected to open this summer. DENVERBEERCO.COM

7. Fox Run Café {3550 East Colfax Avenue, Denver}

The first restaurant from former Plimoth Chef Lucien Reichert is being touted as a hospitable, modern bistro with a fresh take on classic breakfast and lunch fare. The café will feature a variety of breads and pastries (created by fellow Plimoth alum Kelsie Berens) as well as breakfast burritos and an elegantly simple lunch menu centered around sandwiches and salads. Fox Run Café is expected to open in January.

8. Freedom Street {14967 Candelas Parkway, Arvada}

Hard as it may be to believe, Arvada is not yet home to a food hall. But that should change by late 2020, when Freedom Street is expected to open in the Candelas development. The outpost, which is being developed by Marco’s Pizza owner Nick Costanzo, will host about eight food vendors in addition to a bar within about 12,000 square feet of space (a 3,000-square-foot patio is also projected).

9. Golden Mill {1012 Ford Street, Golden}

A Golden landmark since the 1860s, the Golden Mill building first served as a mill, then for decades as a livestock feed and supply store. Now, a group of Golden couples is renovating the building as a food hall and gathering space. The owners hope to open the revitalized Golden Mill by year’s end with a coffee shop, bar, and multiple food vendors. THEGOLDENMILL.COM

10. Lake House Kitchen and Tavern {8026 West Bowles Avenue, Littleton}

Inspired by the ideal lakeside vacation home and with a 1,500-square-foot patio that overlooks Johnson Reservoir, the recently opened Lake House Kitchen and Tavern offers freshwater fish, fried chicken, campfire-style sausages, and other fare associated with kicking back with family on vacation. LAKEHOUSEKT.COM

11. Mason’s Dumpling Shop {9655 East Montview Boulevard, Aurora}

With street tacos and steaks available at nearly every corner in Denver, it’s often hard to find a new cuisine to surprise and delight. Enter: Mason’s Dumpling Shop. The branch of L.A.’s notable Luscious Dumplings will be run by the same family and is making its way to Aurora for a spring 2020 opening in their first-ever Colorado location. Dumpling fans from all over the state will have access to delicious, hand-rolled dumplings at the newly renovated Chinese dumpling house, formerly a dive bar, in the Stapleton neighborhood. With the shop’s sign officially in place, it’s only a matter of time before the doors are open and the dumplings are rolling out (literally). MASONSDUMPLINGSHOP.COM

12. Northside Eatery + Market {1691 Central Street, Denver}

After a much-anticipated wait, Northside Eatery + Market, which is slated to be “Denver’s new favorite neighborhood gathering place,” is finally arriving early this year. After an initial expected opening last year, the 3,300-square foot, all-day cafe will bring a counter-service restaurant and bar serving starters, soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrées on one side and a market on the other selling coffee, pastries, grab-and-go eats, fresh produce, and pantry staples. The market and cafe will feature Colorado-based brands like Loyal Coffee and Grateful Bread and will focus specifically on providing seasonal and sustainably sourced produce and ingredients. NORTHSIDEDENVER.COM

13. Nosu Ramen {700 12th Street, Golden}

The Front Range’s burgeoning ramen scene will gain a new entry when Nosu Ramen opens early this year. Nosu is the creation of Abejas Co-Owner Brandon Bortles and Chef de Cuisine Max Kofoed, both Golden natives, and it will serve traditional and nontraditional ramen bowls as well as bento boxes and other small-plate dishes. Nosu is expected to open in early 2020. NOSURAMEN.COM

14. Olivia {290 South Downing Street, Denver}

With the new year comes a new name and menu refresh at Café Marmotte, whose owners are turning their culinary focus from France to Italy. Olivia boasts a redesigned dining area and a menu highlighted by handmade pasta and inspired takes on classic Italian dishes. OLIVIADENVER.COM

James Beard Award-winning Chef Jennifer Jasinski is guiding the menu at The Ponti, which will open in the Denver Art Museum this June. Photo by Clayton Vurciaga.

15. The Ponti {100 West 14th Avenue, Denver}

The Denver Art Museum’s new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center will host two new restaurants, one of which—The Ponti—will be led by James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Jennifer Jasinski (of Rioja, Bistro Vendôme, and Stoic & Genuine fame). The Ponti’s menu will emphasize locally sourced ingredients with a focus on ancient grains, heirloom legumes, handcrafted pastas, and seasonal vegetables. The Ponti is expected to open in June.

16. Postino {820 North Colorado Boulevard, Denver}

With locations already in LoHi and on Broadway, Postino WineCafe is set to open its third Denver location on 9th and Colorado in early spring of 2020. The popular cafe is known for its farm-fresh brunch fare on weekends and its most popular daily happy hour special, the $5 Before 5pm, where all wines by the glass and pitchers of beer are available for $5 from open until 5pm. Pop in for a glass and nibble on some perfectly paired bruschetta or charcuterie boards. POSTINOWINECAFE.COM

17. Spice Trade Brewing {8745 East Orchard Road, Greenwood Village}

Spice Trade Brewing’s award-winning beers originated at Yak & Yeti’s Arvada location, but this year they will get a taproom showcase of their own in a Greenwood Village space designed to evoke an outdoor street market. Spice Trade’s beers, which are often flavored with exotic herbs and spices, will be complemented by globally influenced street food. The brewery/restaurant is expected to open by mid-year. SPICETRADEBREWING.COM

Popular Berkeley, California, bakery Third Culture will bring its renowned doughnuts and muffins to Denver this year. Courtesy Third Culture.

18. Third Culture Bakery {9935 East Colfax, Aurora}

Founded by Chef Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu of Berkeley (whose backstory may be even sweeter than their desserts), Third Culture Bakery is set to grace the grounds of Colorado as the first in the state this February. The popular bakery, home of the Original Mochi Muffin®, butter mochi doughnuts, and other food and drink, was born out of Butarbutar’s and Shyu’s childhood memories of pastries from Indonesia and Taiwan, and has taken California by storm. The main showroom will be on East Colfax in Aurora, with a downtown Denver café planned to arrive this summer. THIRDCULTUREBAKERY.COM

19. Unnamed Campus Lounge Project {701 South University Boulevard, Denver}

The original Campus Lounge was a Bonnie Brae Neighborhood staple for nearly a half-century, but since its sale in 2016 it has changed hands three times. Its newest ownership group is the team behind LoHi’s hip Recess Beer Garden. The interior is being remodeled with a 1970s-style summer camp vibe and will include a game area, and the restaurant will feature elevated pub fare from sandwiches to steaks, as well as a salad bar. While the Campus Lounge name will likely not remain due to legal issues, the owners hope to retain the iconic neon sign.

20. Unnamed Troy Guard Food Hall Project {6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, Denver}

Acclaimed Denver restaurateur Troy Guard (TAG Restaurant, Guard and Grace, et al.) is taking on the food hall with what is expected to be a 10-space facility in the Denver Tech Center site formerly occupied by C.B. & Potts. Guard will maintain the C.B. & Potts brewhouse for a beer garden and renovate the 13,000-square-foot dining space.