The Royal Now Serving Burgers on Tennyson Street

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
Josh Epps and Christina Smith, owners of the two Jelly Cafes in Denver (the original on Colfax Avenue and Jelly U near the University of Denver), live in the Berkeley neighborhood and wanted a family-friendly restaurant to take their kids for a reasonably priced dinner. The Solution? They decided to open their own own burger bar. Smith and Epps opened the Royal on Saturday on Tennyson Street, with regally named menu items and wall art that riffs on the royal theme (celebrity images include the Fresh Prince and Queen Latifah). The name of the burger bar was inspired by a theater in the Detroit neighborhood where Epps grew up, but the decor and menu offer a bright and fun experience for parents and their kids.

See also: Block & Larder Is Roasting on Tennyson Street

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Block & Larder Is Roasting on Tennyson Street

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
Block & Larder just opened on Tennyson Street, featuring a chophouse-style menu from chef Lucas Forgy, who owns the place along with his brothers Jason and Aaron. Although the three brothers also own beer mecca Freshcraft, Block & Larder focuses more on the food and on cocktails than on craft brews. "We wanted to do our take on a chophouse and mix it with New American dining," explains Jason Forgy. "Everyone knows we like beer, but we also really like meat." And if the attention to detail that the Forgys have put into bringing in some of the best beers in the country to Freshcraft are any indication, Block & Larder should be a hit with fans of house-butchered meats and more unusual cuts of meat.

See also: Mizu Pulls Out of LoHi, the Royal Set for Saturday Opening in Berkeley

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North County Brings a Taste of San Diego to Lowry

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
While the warm patio days of summer are just a distant memory this chilly December week, a new restaurant in the Hangar 2 development in Lowry wants to transport you to sunny and warm San Diego.North County, which opens today for dinner, has a menu that features Baja fish tacos in grilled and beer-battered varieties, street tacos, ceviches, tortas and other Southern California specialties. Joe Vostrejs, Pat McHenry and Rod Wagner of Larimer Associates have teamed with chef and partner Sterling Robinson of Billy's Inn to deliver a sleek and modern interpretation of a beach-style bar and grill with an emphasis on tequila and cocktails.

See also: Photos: Cafe Mercato Takes Off at Lowry

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Photos: Cats Galore at the Denver Cat Company

Categories: First Look, Photos

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Danielle Lirette
Denver Cat Company owner Sana Hamelin.
As soon as our photographers got news that the Denver Cat Company was open today, there was a rush to get some face time with the cuddly kitties. Danielle Lirette was there first, snapping shots of the friendly felines and equally personable owner, Sana Hamelin. Keep reading for more photos of the cafe, the customers and cats in their cushy new digs.

See also: Tengu Quietly Dishes Up Ramen in River North

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Tengu Quietly Dishes Up Ramen in River North

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
Tengu opened earlier this week with almost no advance notice, no website and not even a sign with the ramen shop's name on the outside of the building. Tucked into the back corner of the Industry development on Brighton Boulevard, it would be easy to mistake it for a loading dock entrance if not for the little plaque by the door reading "sake + ramen." The lack of signage and advertising didn't keep away the lunch crowd, though -- no doubt lured by the aromas of simmering pork and chicken stock -- when photopragher Danielle Lirette stopped by. With its brief menu of noodle dishes and a few Japanese appetizers, Tengu isn't a secret to RiNo hip kids or Industry business workers. Keep reading for more photos -- including a shot of the one-page menu.

See also: Mark Berzins Dishes on the Inspiration for Venezuelan Arepas at Will Call

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Stout Street Social Opens Today With Eclectic Menu for Downtown Crowd

Categories: First Look

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Mark Antonation
Ambitious downtown eatery Stout Street Social opened today, with an intentionally eclectic menu for an area that's thick with businesspeople, tourists, conventioneers and theater-goers but isn't necessarily known as a destination dining zone (unless you think Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is a great destination). Concept Restaurants, which operates a handful of other restaurants around town -- Humboldt and Ignite Burgers two of the more recent -- hopes to win over a wide audience with a small but diverse food lineup, a deep beer list and a range of specials, from happy hours with discount oysters to daily dinner deals to a theater supper package. And while out-of-towners may be a big part of the clientele, Stout Street Social is looking to appeal to Denverites with an ambiance grounded in rustic details and a big space that flows around a central bar to give diners and drinkers "build-your-own-adventure" choices, according to Sean Huggard, director of operations for Concept Restaurants.

See also: Ten Best Pre-Theater Restaurants in Denver

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Biju's Little Curry Shop Brings the Colors and Flavors of South India to RiNo

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
Biju's Little Curry Shop hums with color and spice, the result of owner and chef Biju Thomas's childhood in the state of Kerala, India. Biju's opened earlier this week, serving curries and other delights from southern India; Thomas says more unique dishes will be available starting next week when his tiny kitchen will start turning out daily specials in addition to the selection rice, biriyani, curries and chapati currently available. Photographer Danielle Lirette popped into the little shop to capture the look and feel of the space, which Thomas says is partially inspired by the street art of Mumbai.

See also: Tengu Now Serving Ramen in the Industry Building in River North

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Cafe|Bar Becomes Grey Cactus Cocina Bar

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
Dane Huguley closed Cafe|Bar a little over a month ago, but with a promise to reopen the neighborhood eatery with a new name and identity. His idea was an inexpensive, neighborhood taco joint with striking murals and simple food. Huguley's new restaurant, Grey Cactus Cocina Bar, is now open and serving margaritas, tacos and other Mexican fare from chef Chris Scott.

"If it doesn't fit in a food truck," states the owner, "it doesn't belong here. There's nothing over $10 on the menu."

See also: Blackbird Takes Flight Near Washington Park

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Hasu Asian Bistro & Sushi Opens In Cherry Creek North

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
When East Asia Garden closed earlier this year on South Broadway, we were saddened by the loss of one of the most unique and in-depth Chinese menus in town. Along with stellar barbecue duck and a standard range from the American-Chinese culinary canon, East Asia Garden had built a reputation for more obscure -- to the Western palate -- dishes like tofu with black eggs, cross bridge noodles and pig's ears with cucumber. A sign quickly went up though, announcing that the restaurant was actually moving and getting a new name. And now the new place, Hasu Asian Bistro & Sushi, is open in Cherry Creek North, in a lower-level space that has had its share of closings over the years.

See also: Ay Caramba! Closes in Cherry Creek North

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The Art District on Santa Fe Gets a New Coffee and Wine Bar with the Molecule Effect

Categories: First Look

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Danielle Lirette
The Art District on Santa Fe just got a little artier. The Molecule Effect, a coffee and wine bar owned by partners Megyn Rodgers and Mark Landman, is now open at the corner of West 12th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive, featuring local art on the walls, early morning coffee service starting at 6 a.m. on weekdays, a short list of beer and wine, and a variety of hot and cold sandwiches, panini and other cafe nibbles.

See also: Drinking buttered coffee at Mmm...Coffee Paleo Bistro

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