Does Federal Boulevard Have an Identity Crisis? A Trio of Name Changes

Mark Antonation
Tacos El Paisa looks a little tidier than previous restaurants in this location.
A new coat of paint and a new sign might not make a new restaurant -- unless it's on Federal Boulevard, where the food may not change much, but the names and bright colors shift like the oily surface of a bowl of menudo. On a recent trip up the strip, we spotted several new identity changes -- as well as the return of Santiago's.

See also: Pho De Opens in Spot Vacated by Lotus Vegetarian Restaurant

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PMG Wine Bar Now Pouring in Boulder

Mark Antonation
PMG, a new wine bar with full dinner service, opened in Boulder last Friday in the spot formerly occupied by the Beehive. New owner Emily Gold is hoping to give guests an affordable and approachable wine experience with food that complements the wine without overshadowing it.

See also: First Look: Spruce in the Hotel Boulderado Promises Farm and Fish

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Provisions Chophaus and Drinkery Closes After Only Eleven Days

Photo from Facebook
In a record-setting summer of Denver bar and restaurant openings, there was bound to be some fallout. But usually the shakeout starts six to twelve months down the road, when guests start to dwindle or bad business plans become exposed. Unfortunately for the management and staff at Provisions Chophaus and Drinkery, eleven days was all it took before the place went dark. The restaurant's Facebook page indicates that ownership strife is to blame.

See also: Over Forty New Spots Join the Denver Dining Scene: Our Restaurant Roll Call for July

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Cooper Lounge Is Now Pouring in Union Station

Two weeks after Union Station held its grand opening for the public, Cooper Lounge has hopped on board. The bar is on the mezzanine level of the station, which has gotten a stunning facelift, with restored windows and fixtures, some new fixtures, and three coats of white paint. The Cooper opened to the public at 4 p.m. today, after serving Crawford Hotel guests and a few private parties over the past few days.

See also: Photos of the Restaurants of Union Station

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Dae Gee Will Soon Open Second Spot in Denver

Here's a welcome sign: Dae Gee will soon its second location, this one in central Denver, at the former home of 4G's Mexican Restaurant at 827 Colorado Boulevard. The original Dae Gee in Westminster won our Best Korean Restaurant award in the Best of Denver 2014 -- and yes, there was plenty of competition in that category.

See also: Best Korean Restaurant -- Dae Gee

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Spruce Now Open in Hotel Boulderado

The Hotel Boulderado opened on New Year's Day 1909. Since then, restaurants have operated almost continuously in the Boulder landmark, including a few that became landmarks themselves -- like Q's, which Dave Query opened there almost twenty years ago. But in an ongoing effort to update the hotel, Q's closed for a facelift last month; today the space reopens as Spruce.

See also: Q's in the Hotel Boulderado closes, making way for Spruce

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Photos: Denver Beer Co Cranks Up Huge New Production Brewery and Canning Line

Each can is printed with one of 24 different GPS coordinates.
Just three years after opening in a former garage on Platte Street, Denver Beer Co has just tapped a huge new production facility in the Sunnyside neighborhood, making the brewery a perfect symbol for the rapid rise of craft brewing's third wave.

Denver Beer Co's Canworks in located inside a cavernous 11,000-square-foot warehouse, at 4455 Jason Street, and includes a thirty-barrel brewing system -- making it the fourth largest in Denver -- and four sixty-barrel fermenters. It also boasts a large canning line from Boulder's Wild Goose Engineering, which the brewery will use to package six-packs of Graham Cracker Porter, Incredible Pedal IPA and other beers.

See also: DMNS and Denver Beer Co team up on science, fun and a Maya-inspired beer

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Photos: Biker Jim's Opens in Highlands Ranch Today

Danielle Lirette
Biker Jim's opened its second brick-and-mortar spot, this one in Highlands Ranch, at 11 a.m. today. Although the hours might not be as expansive in suburbia as they are at the original in the Ballpark neighborhood (where Biker Jim's stays open until 3 a.m. on weekends), the menu is just as big...and as meaty. "For any of you Highlands Ranchers that had made the drive to our Larimer store...I feel your pain," says founder Jim Pittenger. "That is a drive, isn't it?" Photographer Danielle Lirette made the drive to visit with Biker Jim on the eve of the opening; keep reading for a taste of the new place.

See also: Chef and Tell with "Biker Jim" Pittenger

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What Does Twelve's Closing Say About Denver's Dining Scene?

Twelve will serve its last dinner -- in this location -- on August 23.
More than forty restaurants opened in July, with dozens more the month before. But amidst the boom comes news of a significant closing: twelve, which celebrated its fifth anniversary with a grand soiree last fall, will serve its last seasonally-inspired supper on August 23.

When a place like twelve closes, it's important to ask why. Is the ever-changing-menu concept no longer viable? Is the chef-owner leaving town for greener pastures in another city, much as Lon Symensma (ChoLon) and Frank Jolley IV (Gozo) did when they left the coasts to stake their claims in Denver? Or is it a sign that after so much largesse, we're on the verge of a market correction?

See also:

Photos of Twelve's Five-Year Anniversary Dinner, One of the Best Feasts of the Year

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Zocalo Seized by the State for Back Taxes

At lunchtime today, there were a lot of disappointed people outside the locked doors of Zocalo Restaurant & Bar, the Mexican joint that some veteran employees of Benny's opened four years ago on East 11th Avenue. But no one was more disappointed than landlord Regas Christou, who'd stopped by to collect back rent.

That's because a sign on those locked doors pronounced that the restaurant had been seized for non-payment of taxes.

See Also: Fidel's Turning Into Zocalo

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