City, O' City is doing seriously well these days -- and comedy helps
It's easy being green these days, thanks to City, O' City and WaterCourse Foods, which are already off to a big year. "Business is really good," reports owner Dan Landes. "We're seeing newer and newer faces." But that doesn't mean they're younger faces: The biggest demographic growth has been in men over fifty, who've been told by their doctors that they need to eat healthier, perhaps even go on a vegan diet, Landes reports.
And to go with its expanded, renovated space, City, O' City introduced a new menu last week. "It's not a total overhaul," Landes says. "About 30 percent is new."
- Best Vegetarian Restaurant 2012: WaterCourse Foods
- Best Waffle 2012: City, O' City
- City, O' City's new patio is now open
What else is new at City, O' City? The continued success of the Deer Pile, the community space upstairs that hosts comics, storytellers, musicians and other activities almost every night. "We were responding to a demand that we didn't necessarily know how to articulate," Landes says. "And people respond well to the Deer Pile -- you never know what to expect."
He particularly appreciates the comics who have found a home there, and is heading to Boston to be part of the live audience when Ben Kronberg films a show in that city on March 1. In advance of his trip, Landes started searching for vegan restaurants, and found that the one-two punch of City, O' City and WaterCourse is pretty rare. "What we have created in Denver is special," he says. "I thought there would be more things going on around the nation."
The artistic community upstairs spills over into City, O' City, which features some of the best bathroom graffiti in the city, as well as a facade dense with tags. "There's a certain artistry to it," Landes says. "It's starting to take on a life of its own. It's an organic form of art that I appreciate."
He did not, however, appreciate the vandals who stripped a piece of decorative tile from the side of the '20s-era building, a stencil of MCA from the Beastie Boys. "Someone jacked the tile to get the stencil that was created by local artist Derek Keenan, not fucking Banksy," he says. "The ironic part is that next to the image of MCA, it says, 'Love and respect until the end.'"
A version of this story appeared in Cafe Bites, our weekly electronic newsletter dedicated to drinking and dining in Denver that appears in e-mail boxes every Wednesday. Find out how to subscribe to Cafe Bites here.