Denver Restaurant Openings: 14 Locations to Get Excited About This Fall

Sports-themed lounges, fast-casual eateries, and entire food halls.

The Red Barber interior | Photo courtesy of Sage Restaurant Concepts

The Red Barber interior | Photo courtesy of Sage Restaurant Concepts

After a long year of restaurant closings and dashed hopes, 2021 proved to be the saving grace that the Denver food and beverage scene desperately needed. With an increase in vaccinations, decrease in Covid-19 cases, and the luck that is Colorado’s temperate climate, Denver has seen a growing number of restaurant openings, reopenings, and patio expansions since the beginning of the year.

Now, with summer coming to a close and most restrictions lifted, Denverites are looking to the sweet approach of fall and the new beginnings it will bring. From new sports-themed lounges to fast-casual eateries to entire food halls, this fall is shaping up to be an exciting one for Denver. Celebrity chef collaborations, vibrant new locations of popular local franchises, and everything in between is setting the stage for a fall full of delicious eats, refreshing drinks, and once again spending time together in epic spaces. Here’s a list of openings we’re particularly excited about.

A5

Address: 1600 15th Street, LoDo
Opening date: September
What was once the elite French restaurant Morin—by chef Max Mackissock and Juan Padró of the Culinary Creative group—and long before that, the Wazee Lounge and Supper Club, will be transformed this September into A5, a steakhouse combining the look and feel of the upscale restaurants that have occupied the space but with a more playful menu. The name references the most premium wagyu beef available in Japan (“A5” is the highest rating for the beef possible), which will be a feature on the steakhouse menu, and said menu will also include American wagyu and grass-fed beef options as well as a raw bar helmed by Oyster Wulff. Juan Padró has future guests expecting a large patio seating area as well as a polished-yet-casual vibe, a trait that most of his other restaurants also embody.

The GC Lounge dinnerPhoto Courtesy of The Denver Dish

The GC Lounge

Address: 1210 E. 17th Avenue, Uptown
Opening date: September
A new, interactive “eat and play” concept by the name of The GC Lounge will arrive in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood this September, bringing a fun, country club-inspired menu and four TrackMan golf simulators—ideal for any business meeting, date, or night out with friends. The bar and kitchen will be helmed by former [email protected] chef de cuisine Toby Prout, with the menu including classics like club sandwiches, roasted chicken, burgers, and crab cakes, as well as braised short ribs and a vegetable Bolognese. Upon completion, the golf club will span 3849 square feet, able to accommodate 50 dine-in guests on the patio and about 148 guests inside. Three of four simulators will be available to rent on a reservation basis, with one reserved for walk-ins only, and while The GC Lounge can provide all clubs necessary, guests can also bring their own. The lounge will be open from 8 am – 10 pm daily and will feature architecture and design elements by Unum Collaborative and furniture pieces by LVTD Design. Locations in Phoenix, Detroit, Orlando, Seattle, and Charlotte are expected to follow.

Grange Hall

Address: 6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, DTC
Opening date: September
TAG Restaurant Group revealing a grand new food hall this year is just a testament to the creative minds behind the scenes of its many successful ventures (Guard and Grace, Los Chingones, and TAG Burger Bar, to name a few) that never stop working. Grange Hall will be the newest gathering place in the heart of the Denver Tech Center, boasting an impressive 13,000 square-feet to be filled with a variety of culinary vendors across nine stalls and curated especially for Denver foodies, a micro-brewery, cocktail bar, and more. The hall’s tagline, “Grand American tradition meets innovative new food and drink,” sets the expectations high for a wide range of culinary experiences and a heavy focus on gathering and community by way of a spectacular outdoor patio, live music, and regular community events.

Deviation Distilling at Dairy BlockCourtesy of Deviation Distilling at Dairy Block

Deviation Distilling at Dairy Block

Address: 1821 Blake Street, LoDo
Opening date: September
Already a favorite in the hearts of many spirits connoisseurs, Deviation Distilling will settle quite nicely into a well-deserved home on Dairy Block this fall. The gin distillery is upgrading from its previous location on W. 1st Avenue—among a collection of restaurants, bars, retail, and recreation neighbors—to a new neighborhood with bustling downtown foot traffic and post-ballgame attendees searching for a nightcap. Deviation will be Dairy Block’s first distillery, with its two-level space designed by interior designer Chelsea Fish and architect Jim Pfeiffer, who are transforming a once-1800s firehouse into a lively patio, intimate lounge, and event space. The distillery’s signature gin and barista-inspired whiskey tastings will be available as well as a craft cocktail menu with favorites like the Cucumber Basil Smash and Paloma with Thai chili simple syrup and small bites intended to share.

The Crack Shack

Address: 6575 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard, DTC
Opening date: September
The Crack Shack will be one of Grange Hall’s first official vendors upon the anticipated food hall’s opening this September. Originating in San Diego and now spanning six (soon to be seven) fine casual eatery “coops” across the Western US, the fried chicken spot treats fried chicken like the elite menu item it is. Co-founders Dan Pena and Jon Sloan use their fine-dining backgrounds to elicit a little more respect for fried chicken sandwiches as fine dining by using high-quality ingredients, outstanding presentation, and unparalleled flavors. The Crack Shack will also source from local purveyors like Red Bird Farms, City Bakery, and Little Man Ice cream to stock up on cage-free, free-range chicken, bread products, and tasty desserts. Plus, all condiments served are house made each day, and include Cracksup, Kimchi BBQ, Sriracha 1000 Island, and Sweet Heat sauces.

The Red Barber exterior The Red Barber rooftop
| Photo by Sage Restaurant Concepts

The Red Barber

Address: 3770 Walnut Street, RiNo
Opening date: Early fall
Denver is no stranger to rooftop lounges offering breathtaking views of both the Front Range and city skyline. The Red Barber is taking advantage of how much the Mile High City dwellers love their rooftop views with its new, 3,300 square-foot location atop the Catbird hotel in the RiNo arts district. Expect several fire pits for intimate conversation and casual cocktail-sipping as well as life-sized yard games for a more playful gathering. The Red Barber intends to create a fantastical backyard experience high above the city by way of sculptures, art installations, cozy velvet seating, live music, and a calendar full of future fun and games. The rooftop lounge will be open year-round, with a menu featuring handheld bites, bottled cocktails, beer, and frosé.

Apple Blossom at the Hyatt Centric

Address: 1776 Champa Street, Downtown Denver
Opening date: Late-fall
From the owners of the beloved Coperta and now-shuttered Beast + Bottle comes the highly anticipated Apple Blossom from siblings and restaurateurs Paul and Aileen Reilly. The duo, known for their cozy, craft kitchens and farm-to-table menus are bringing life to the restaurant space within the Hyatt Centric Downtown Denver hotel, with Chef de Cuisine Russ Fox and Executive Pastry Chef Jodi Polson leading the culinary team. Apple Blossom will be open for service for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the menu focusing heavily on seasonal offerings and local agricultural availability. Guests can expect the same intimate atmosphere as the Reillys’ other concepts, along with signature features like housemade pasta and locally sourced ingredients from Colorado farms and purveyors. Libations will include all-American wine list, craft cocktail menu, cider, wine, and beer, and must-try dishes like the Cowtown Beef Plate (a nod to Denver’s Stock Show heritage), Whole Grilled Rainbow Trout, and Chef Fox’s Sweet Moon Pancakes (per the brunch menu) have Denver mouths watering.

​​Eiskaffee at 11th Avenue HostelCourtesy of ​​Eiskaffee at 11th Avenue Hostel

​​Eiskaffee at 11th Avenue Hostel

Address: 1112 Broadway, Golden Triangle
Opening date: Early fall
Erika Thomas and Chad Stutz, owners of the frozen delight favorite High Point Creamery, are taking the next step in their venture to offer the best treats in Denver. Their newest concept, Eiskaffee, finds a home both in the 11th Avenue Hostel and Troy Guard’s Grange Hall this fall, offering German-inspired coffee and ice cream from early morning caffeine cravings to late night dessert desires. As the name suggests, the menu will feature eiskaffees (cold brew coffee topped with vanilla ice cream, grated chocolate, and whipped cream), an assortment of indulgent ice cream flavors, a full coffee menu, and for quick bites, morning pastries and grab-and-go sandwiches will also be available.

YumCha Dumpling and Noodle Bar

Address: 1520 16th Street, LoDo
Opening date: Early fall
If there’s one (well, two) things that Denver foodies love, it’s dumplings and noodles. Chef Lon Symensma of ChoLon Concepts is very aware of this and, to our utter gratitude, he is delivering. YumCha is set to open this year along the 16th Street Mall alongside two of Symensma’s other concepts, ChoLon and Le Roux. The dumpling and noodle bar will be replacing the Asian fusion restaurant Cho77 after a successful six years in business and two Denver locations. Star dumpling maker Michelle Xiao will be on Symensma’s team after being persuaded to leave New York City to join the chef on his dumpling and noodle bar endeavor. And, word on the street is the dim sum at YumCha will be next level.

The Ponti in the Denver Art MuseumPhoto by Eric Stephenson

The Ponti in the Denver Art Museum

Address: 100 W 14th Avenue Parkway, Golden Triangle
Opening date: October
Acclaimed chef Jennifer Jasinski is spearheading the opening of The Ponti, the newest dining option within the Denver Art Museum. The space will offer both indoor and outdoor dining, including an expansive terrace, and will cover approximately 3,715 square feet upon completion. Jasinski, a James Beard Award winner known for her exceptional, elevated fare at her other restaurants Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Stoic & Genuine, and Ultreia, will be crafting a locally sourced and artisanal menu to combine art and dining while maintaining a focus on seasonal rotations and sustainability. The restaurant will be open for lunch service daily to both museum visitors and the public.

Root & Sprig

Address: TBD
Opening date: Late-fall
James Beard Award-winning and celebrity chef Tom Colicchio is bringing his fast-casual eatery, Root & Sprig, to two new US locations this fall, Denver included. The health-centric menu boasts an array of breakfast toasts, salads, sandwiches, and hearty plates that will fit in well with Denver’s heavily dietary-friendly food scene, and a coffee and tea menu catered to caffeine drinkers. The Root & Sprig concept finds its home in healthcare spaces, offering an elevated menu to workers, patients, and visitors. Chef Colicchio is simultaneously working on a Root & Sprig location in Philadelphia, making for a total of three locations nationwide.

Five Nines at Clayton Members Club & HotelFive Nines at Clayton Members Club & Hotel | Photo by David Lauer

Five Nines at Clayton Members Club & Hotel

Address: 233 Clayton Street, Cherry Creek
Opening date: October
The Clayton Members Club & Hotel already has Denver absolutely buzzing, so to say its cocktail lounge, Five Nines, is highly anticipated is a bit of an understatement. Guests can expect innovative, high-class mixology and atmosphere and a menu featuring top-shelf spirits, curated ingredients, and small bites for snacking. In true speakeasy fashion, an intimate stage will showcase live and low-key performances. Visit the “sexy and secretive” lounge between Wednesday and Saturday, with Thursday nights being dedicated to Clayton Club members only—no secret handshakes or code words required.

Saison Cellar at Zeppelin Station

Address: ​​3501 Wazee Street, RiNo
Opening Date: Mid-fall
Saison Cellar will be joining the lineup of vendors at Zeppelin Station food and retail hall this season, a concept from top San Francisco sommelier (and Michelin-rated restaurant Saison) Mark Bright. The stall will offer a combination of California wines, including those crafted at Bright’s own Santa Cruz winery, as well as a curated selection of bottles and labels from Bright’s favorite producers across the globe. Wine lovers can get a taste of some of the rarest and most exciting wines available, with exclusive tastings, education, and winemaker events planned for the future. Bright will be opening a Saison Cellar location in downtown Houston this fall, as well.

​​Three Saints Revival

Address: 1801 Wewatta Street, LoDo
Opening Date: Mid-fall
Revival indeed—Robert Thompson, former CEO of Punch Bowl Social, breathes new life into the space connected to Hotel Indigo this fall, turning the space that was once the popular Hearth & Dram into a dream-inspired, Mediterannean tapas restaurant by the name of Three Saints Revival. Taking a holistic approach to Mediterannean food, Thompson plans to have the menu include cuisine from Spain, Greece, Egypt, and Israel for a well-rounded tapas experience with all dishes—arising from the culinary program created by Sheamus Feeley—intended to be shared, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch. Wine and craft cocktails à la Patrick Williams will be available alongside the menu and thoughtful, dreamlike design in an attempt to create the ultimate socializing atmosphere. Thompson’s curiosity about the world of dreams and their meaning are sure to have a few motifs scattered (or hidden) throughout the space.

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Erica Buehler is a Thrillist contributor.

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