The 10 Denver Meals and Drink Tales That Devoured You The Most in 2020 – The Denver Publish

Heading into 2021, the Colorado hospitality industry is gearing up for another 10 months of makeshift alfresco dining, another six months of takeaway and delivery, and an endless winter that will require closings, reopenings, and competition for more paycheck protection.

Yes, things get revealing in Denver this winter as restaurant tenants anticipate rent payments due or leases expiring. Nearly 80% of restaurants across the state could close permanently by spring, according to the Colorado Restaurant Association. More than 60,000 people in the industry have already lost their jobs.

But even as we begin this final round of stimuli, we’re pretty confident about some of the other questions that are on your mind, the Denver news readers. In particular, we know that you are wondering how all of this could affect alcohol and your ability to find it; Alcohol and Your Means of Buying It; and also alcohol and how you might be consuming it right now. That’s right, after combing our food and drink stories for the past turbulent 12 months, we know that this topic has overwhelmingly dominated your brainwaves.

Without further ado, here are the stories of alcohol (and a few others) that you have read the most frequently this year.

1. After Denver liquor stores and pharmacies swarmed in panic, the mayor reversed the order to close both of them

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock changed course on the evening of the 23rd Big Mistake.

Hancock’s shift came just hours after mistaking liquor stores and recreational marijuana dispensaries as non-essential businesses as opposed to groceries, gas stations, and healthcare facilities.

“We didn’t list them as material,” Hancock had said of liquor stores. “As much as I think it’s important, it’s not important to everyone.” He suggested that Denver residents buy their alcohol on Monday night while they still could.

And the Denverites did just that by swarming their neighborhood liquor stores – in violation of social distancing requirements – with some stores forming a block just 15 minutes after the mayor’s press conference.

2. Governor Jared Polis closes Colorado bars again after coronavirus cases increase

Colorado stepped back on its reopening in late June when Governor Jared Polis ordered bars and nightclubs to close again amid rising coronavirus cases – just a week and a half after those companies were given the go-ahead to welcome customers again.

The decision was made when the COVID-19 infections increased two weeks in a row and increased especially among younger Coloradans. Public health officials attributed this increase in part to parties, protests and travel, while the governor also attributed the increase to bars and clubs – where social distancing can be difficult.

“Whether you go to bars in person or not, just understand that they are important to a lot of people in our state … our state,” Polis said. Bars that do not serve food have since been closed to guests.

3. On the day it reopens, a top Denver restaurant will close for good

When restaurants reopened for dinner after Memorial Day, one thing quickly became clear: which restaurants were not coming back at all.

Congress Park’s 3-year-old 12 @ Madison announced her shutdown immediately after the Denver coronavirus shutdown for 10 weeks. The 40-seat restaurant is too small to reopen under current guidelines, said owner Jeff Osaka.

After the closure of the small-plate restaurant, which many guests considered upscale, Osaka also wondered whether “the playing fields should perhaps be a little more balanced when it comes to food”.

“What could be left in the end (after the coronavirus) is your express service or fast food or a lot of people with deep pockets, your multi-unit operations,” he said. “And unfortunately the landscape is becoming a bit homogeneous or a bit boring, I’m afraid.”

4. Last call for alcohol in Denver restaurants, liquor stores have just changed again

In time for the holidays and the final boost in 2020, the city of Denver released revised guidelines for the final call for restaurants, bars, and liquor stores in early December. Once again.

The main effect of the city’s latest rules was to extend alcohol sales in both restaurants and liquor stores beyond 10 p.m., but only for drinking outside the building. Restaurants and bars that serve food could officially start serving alcohol again until 2 a.m., but only with late night delivery.

The last call for outdoor alcohol service (placing orders, delivering drinks to tables) in restaurants remained at 8 p.m., while liquor store sales and delivery were extended until midnight. Are you still following?

5. Denver restaurants that have closed permanently during the coronavirus pandemic

Our fear has come true: some of the longest running and most lauded restaurants in Denver have closed for good in 2020, at least in part due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Larimer Square market was one of the first to be in business in more than 42 years. Owner Mark Greenberg said the pandemic had sealed his decision to retire. “Life is so uncertain now,” said Greenberg, “and I want to have a few more moments (with family) … I close like a gentleman and feel good about some things and really desperate about others.”

Other long-term business closings were Racines in July after more than 35 years of operation, Vesta and the Rialto Cafe after 23 years each, Zaidy’s Deli, Pasta Pasta Pasta, Pete’s Greek Town, Zolo Grill and The Zephyr Lounge, which existed 73 years later in East Colfax .

6. In-N-Out’s first two locations open in Colorado

Just before Thanksgiving, California burger brand In-N-Out announced the opening of their first two Colorado locations – Aurora and Colorado Springs.

Together with these restaurants, In-N-Out built a distribution center in Colorado Springs that can support around 50 stores in the area. The brand has planned additional locations in Denver, Lakewood, Castle Rock and Fort Collins.

You couldn’t get enough of this burger news, it seemed, and some of you even waited up to 14 hours in In-N-Out’s drive-thru line on the opening day of the Aurora store. Which leads us to the next headline that happened on Christmas Eve: In-N-Out reported a COVID-19 outbreak at its new Colorado stores, where 80 employees had tested positive for the virus.

7. How the new COVID restrictions affect restaurants in Colorado, last call

At the end of November, the Coloradans were introduced to a more colorful COVID-19 dial. The new restrictions on Level Red fell one step short of a complete shutdown that became … Level Purple.

According to Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, one of the main reasons behind creating the new tier was to keep the state and local economies as much as possible without further federal aid.

Under Level Red, Denver and other eligible counties could continue to serve takeaway, delivery and on their outdoor patios. Guests who wanted to eat on the terrace of restaurants could only do so with members of their household.

The last call for alcohol on site was postponed from 10:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., while to-go alcohol could still be offered until 10:00 p.m. Bars that do not serve food continued to be forgotten.

8. What the new Denver curfew means for restaurants and alcohol purchases

The word curfew was really set off for all of you in early November when city officials announced a “home at 10” order to avoid another stay at home order. This was an attempt to limit gatherings and nightly drinking by closing non-essential businesses at 10 p.m. each evening.

The new restrictions in Denver came when COVID-19 hospital admissions across Colorado surged previous highs in April and one in 100 Denverites was contagious with the disease, according to the state.

“Home by 10” followed an order issued at the end of October that restricted the seating capacity of restaurants in Denver County from 50 to 25 percent – with a maximum of 50 guests indoors – and moved the last call from 11pm to 10pm (see above for everything). otherwise that preceded and followed.)

9. Some Denver restaurants are restricting service while talks about a 14-day nationwide closure

As early as mid-March, the shutdown of restaurants and bars in Denver and across the country was still an imminent threat, following statements by the U.S. government’s leading disease expert on the COVID-19 pandemic.

In television interviews, Dr. Anthony Fauci on raising the Trump administration’s possibility of a 14-day national shutdown that could include food and drink venues.

“Personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant at the moment,” said Fauci at the time. “I just wouldn’t do it because I don’t want to be in a crowded place.”

Prior to a statewide, state, or citywide order, some Denver restaurants began preventive closings, along with other restaurants in cities across the country.

10. Colorado distilleries are moving to making hand sanitizer and giving it away for free

Just as restaurants were closing, distilleries across the country were mobilizing and producing hand sanitizer in an unprecedented time when stores were sold out and people were storing the valuable product for huge surcharges and then reselling it. (Never forget that one guy in Tennessee called Matt Colvin.)

The legality of the situation was still unclear at the time, as distillers must follow strict rules for alcoholic beverages set by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a branch of the US Treasury Department.

But local businesses could use their 191.8-proof, 100 percent ethyl alcohol grain-neutral spirits to make disinfectants and donate bottles to those in need – firefighters, medical workers, and small businesses.

“There is a need in the community and I am in a unique position to meet it,” said Seth Johnson, co-founder of Boulder’s J&L Distilling. “Who else should do that? You can’t get it at the grocery store and it is something I can do to make myself feel useful. It’s hard to feel useful when all of this happens. “

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