The Kitchen Next Door joins the train gang -- with a historic sign on board

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The newly renovated Union Station isn't hosting its official grand reopening until July 26, but it's already seeing plenty of looky-loos - and there's plenty for them to look at, including more than 600 pieces of art. For our money, though the real masterpiece is the historic sign that just went up in the Kitchen Next Door Union Station, which officially opened yesterday in the southwest wing of the building. For more than forty years, the green-and-red Union Station Restaurant sign pointing the neon way to the Continental Room and the Caboose Lounge hung on the outside of the station -- and now it's above the Kitchen's bar.

See also: Stoic & Genuine now open in Union Station, Snooze and Kitchen Next Door coming soon.

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Steve Horner renews the fight against ladies' night, targeting Brewski's

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Steve Horner is on the right.
He's back! It's seemed so quiet since Steve Horner, the anti-ladies'-night crusader, left town. A half-dozen years ago, he kept bars and restaurants around town hopping as he filed complaints with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, charging that their ladies'-night deals were discriminatory, since men cannot enjoy the same deals -- even though they can enjoy the women attracted to places that have ladies' night deals. He also filed claims against Westword, arguing that publishing advertisements for establishments with ladies' nights is discriminatory. We won that fight in court, but not before Horner called a local judge a weasel and civil-rights officials "wimps."

See also: Rosa Parks didn't surrender to discrimination and take a different bus. So why should Steve Horner go to a different bar?

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The Wynkoop is now 25 -- but what would Denver look like if it had never been born?

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Scott Lentz
The Wynkoop Brewing Company celebrated its 25th anniversary Saturday night. For a decade, Westword's offices were right across the street from the Wynkoop, and we spent many an afternoon, and evening, and night, um, "working" in the bar. If the Wynkoop hadn't been there, we would have saved a lot of money. But we would have missed a lot of memories, too -- and that got us thinking about what Denver would like like if the Wynkoop, Colorado's first brewpub, had never been born. With apologies to Stewart, here's our version of "It's a Wynderful Life."

See also: Slide show of Wynkoop's 25th anniversary party

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Aviano Coffee will begin pouring this morning

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Third time could be a charm for Aviano Coffee. The local shop that got its start in the Beauvallon and then moved to Cherry Creek in 2010 had to move again last month -- with two weeks' notice. Fortunately, owner Doug Naiman already had his eye on a nearby spot, where they built "a temporary style bar at the very front side of the space," he explains, while working on a bigger build-out in the back.

Now that front portion is finished and has all the proper permits, so the coffee will be on this morning at the new Aviano.

See also:
- Aviano Coffee could be pouring soon
- Aviano Coffee delivers on promise to take coffee to a whole new level
- Aviano Coffee's grand opening in Cherry Creek


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Reader: Tom Colicchio probably hasn't so much as microwaved a burrito in years

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Jorel Pierce out on Top Chef? We never sausage a thing!
Three Colorado chefs started out on the season premiere ofTop Chef Seattle last week, and two moved on. But Euclid Hall's Jorel Pierce was out, booted by Tom Colicchio. And how did that feel?

"While the pressure was intense and intimidating," Pierce says, "I know now that I learned a lot about myself and why I do what I do, and it's an experience that's helped me to recenter my purpose in cooking and my goals and motives in the kitchen -- to be progressive and thoughtful and playful and to inspire people both on my staff and the people who walk in the doors expecting something different. For me, it's about the thought-provoking aspect of cooking, and it was kind of frustrating for me that I couldn't be thoughtful or playful with the tasks that Tom gave me -- I couldn't create. Instead, he asked me to do a routine thing -- cutting a chicken -- that I do my way, and he does his way. That said, I don't know who died and made him the fucking be-all and end-all of butchering chickens..."

See also:
- Euclid Hal's Jorel Pierce on being booted from
Top Chef Seattle
- Chef and Tell: Euclid Hall's Jorel Pierce
- Tyler Wiard meets Tom Colicchio, his "celebrity chef who needs to shut up"


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Reader: Cafe Options has a great chicken cutlet sandwich

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Chef Craig Dixon at Cafe Options: Where's the chicken sandwich?
Politics aside -- if you can set politics aside -- Chick-Fil-A has lots of fans of its sandwiches. For those who are boycotting the chain for its anti-gay-marriage stance, yesterday Jonathan Shikes served up five chicken-sandwich options in town.

Turns out we missed one: at Cafe Options, a terrific downtown spot that not only serves good food, but serves the greater good by training people for careers in the food industry.

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Cool jobs: From the Colorado Legislature to Red Mango

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Katie Reinisch managed to keep her cool through four years at the Colorado Legislature, when she was communications director for the Senate Democrats, so it's not surprising that she's having a blast running her own frozen-yogurt spot. "It's so fun, and I'm learning so much," she says. "I'm actually creating jobs, when before we would just talk about it."

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Gustavo Arellano on Chubby's, Tom Tancredo and Den-Mex

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Gustavo Arellano, author of Ask a Mexican, returned to the Su Teatro stage last night, where eighteen months ago he'd discussed immigration with Tom Tancredo. Before that debate, Tancredo and Arellano had met across the street for dinner at El Noa Noa. And no matter how he feels about Mexicans, "Tancredo likes those tamales," Arellano told the crowd.

But then, who doesn't? For his third book -- the first was a compilation of his columns, the second a personal history of Orange County, where he grew up and is now the editor of the OC Weekly -- Arellano researched Mexican food across the country, chronicling how it spread throughout all fifty states. The result? Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, which was released last month to rave reviews.


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Smashburger will roll out its SmashCart May 7 on the mall

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Smashburger's store on the 16th Street Mall will be taking burgers to the street.
Here's an idea that sounds like a definite smash: Smashburger, the homegrown chain, will introduce its first-ever SmashCart next Tuesday on the 16th Street Mall, one of the first physical signs of the extra effort that the Downtown Denver Partnership is putting into its mall vendor program.

Smashburger already has a store on the mall -- one that features late hours and inventive cocktails -- but with this cart, it will be taking its burgers to the streets.

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Guess where I'm eating a taco?

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Think this is a taco from some taqueria on Federal? You're all wet.

Can you guess where I'm eating?

Special bonus: Anyone who gives the first correct answer to the week's Guess Where posts is entered into a pool -- and every Monday, we select one lucky winner who'll receive an EatDenver dining deck, worth up to $520 in discounts at independent restaurants. Read all about EatDenver dining decks here.



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