First look: Mile High Italian Deli opens in Highland

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All photos by Lori Midson.

The concept behind Mile High Italian Deli, a small, 800-square-foot storefront in Highland, is sandwiches, panini, salads, and, on Saturday, pizzas, the latter of which is an extension of Mile High Pizza Pie, a pizza joint that rose -- and fell -- downtown, after the landlord threatened to raise the rent through the roof. That increase in dough resulted in owner Howard Ellis selling the spot in September of last year following a four-year run -- and inking a lease on the former In Season Local Market, which he operates with business partner Dino Marchig, whose grandmother owns the space, along with Cebiche next door.

See also: LYFE Kitchen -- where everything is under 600 calories -- opening in Park Meadows

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First look: Le Rendez Vous opens in Cherry Creek

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All photos by Lori Midson.

It's been fifteen years since Olga moved to Denver from Russia and began a career as an accountant. But the grind of crunching numbers all day, plus working for other people, she says, wasn't giving her the fulfillment she was looking for. "I was a CPA and working in the corporate world, but I dreamed of working for myself and doing something unique -- something that lent itself to spending time with friends and having a good time," she notes. And late last week, on Friday, that dream became a reality when she opened Le Rendez Vous, a restaurant and Champagne lounge in Cherry Creek.

See also: First look: A charming new Maria Empanada opens on South Broadway


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First look: A charming new Maria Empanada opens on South Broadway

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All photos by Lori Midson.

It's normal for a restaurant owner to be nervous on opening day -- even if it's not your first rodeo and you've assembled an experienced staff. There's often chaos, flared tempers and a general reaction of palpable fretfulness. But this morning, at the new Maria Empanada, the vibe was pure joy. Five minutes before opening the doors at 11 a.m., owner Lorena Cantarovici gathered her staff in a circle, wiped the tears from her eyes and quietly thanked her staff (more times than most of us get thanked in a week) for "creating a little bit of Argentina on South Broadway."

See also: Maria Empanada relocating to the former Buffalo Doughboy space


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Photos: Pizza Party at Denver Beer Co for Craft Brewers Conference

Categories: Photos

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All photos by Marissa Shevins
As part of the ongoing Craft Brewers Conference celebrations, Denver Beer Co hosted a pizza part at its Platte Street taproom. With live music, plenty of brews and two Denver pizza trucks, Basic Kneads and Brava! Pizzeria, parked outside, this was not a party to miss. We sent our photographer to capture the fun, and you can view the whole slideshow here.

See also: First look: Michael Bortz's City Bakery Cafe opens today

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First look: Michael Bortz's City Bakery Cafe opens today

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All photos by Lori Midson.

Despite the fact that it wasn't even open, zealous bread heads -- 250 of them to be exact -- rose to the occasion yesterday, forming long lines at master baker Michael Bortz's City Bakery Cafe, the restaurant-retail offshoot of City Bakery, Bortz's bread-baking emporium in north Denver, which supplies loaves of lovely bread to numerous local restaurants. The Golden Triangle cafe, located in the former home of Lenny's Sub Shop, spent the past few days doing trial runs -- and turning out sandwiches and baked goods for free to eager neighbors -- and today, at promptly 11 a.m., City Bakery Cafe opens to the public.

See also: Baker Michael Bortz opening City Bakery Cafe in the former Lenny's Sub Shop on Lincoln

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First look: Jamaican Grill opens on the fringe of the Santa Fe Arts District

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All photos by Lori Midson.

Denver lays claim to a lot of different cuisines, but the foods of the Caribbean, namely Jamaican, are woefully few and far between. But last week, in Lincoln Park, just on the fringe of the Santa Fe Arts District, a small storefront called Jamaican Grill opened on Eighth Avenue in a former weed dispensary. And while at least one woman who walked in while was there could have could have possibly been stoned, the space is now enchantingly permeated with the exotic spices that rub the jerk chicken, the sweet scent of caramelized plantains and the perfume of rum-spiked cocktails. The color-washed walls are devoted to Bob Marley memorabilia; a stunning, hand-painted mural of reggae musicians, including Queen Ifrica, surface nearly the entirety of one of those walls; and the chairs and tables are tinged a bright lime green. Reggae tunes pulsate from the speakers, and the back bar is as good a place as any to imagine yourself on an island with a parrot on your shoulder and hurricane in your hand. Jamaican Grill, which is family owned, is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner; happy hour goes from 5 to 8 p.m. daily.

Here's a first look at the quarters, the menu and the food.

See also: First look: Iain Chisholm's DADA Art Bar opens next Friday


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First look: Iain Chisholm's DADA Art Bar opens next Friday

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All photos by Lori Midson.

"The whole point of this is to be the neighborhood tree-house -- the go-to spot to hang out and have fun in a comfortable and entertaining environment," says Iain Chisholm. "This" refers to DADA Art Bar, the art gallery-coffeehouse-bar that Chisholm, the owner-chef of Amerigo, will open next Friday directly behind his neighborhood Italian restaurant.

See also: Amerigo's Iain Chisholm opening DADA Art Bar, a gallery, bar and java joint

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Photos: Babajoon's Kabobs now open in Westminster

Categories: Photos

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All photos by Ursula Romaine
The northern suburbs just got another ethnic option when Babajoon's Kabobs opened Westminster. We sent photographer Ursula Romaine to capture a taste of this fresh, fast-casual Middle Eastern food spot.

See also: First look: Mayan Manjar Yucateco opens in the former Maria Empanada space

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First look: Mayan Manjar Yucateco opens in the former Maria Empanada space

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Four partners -- Araceli Reynos, Ezzie Dominguez and brothers Isaias Poot and Juan Bootista, all of whom hail from the Yucat√°n Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico -- have joined together to open one of Denver's only Yucatanian restaurants: Mayan Manjar Yucateco, which unlocked its doors last Friday, taking over the space that formerly held Maria Empanada, which is relocating to the old Buffalo Doughboy digs on Broadway.

See also: Maria Empanada relocating to the former Buffalo Doughboy space

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First look: Inga's Alpine Lounge opens on Leetsdale

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All photos by Lori Midson.
Inga's Alpine Lounge, says owner Leigh Jones, "is our '60s and '70s version of a swinging kind of apres ski lounge, an over-the-top place where, if it were a lodge on a ski mountain, would have a fur bikini-clad female villain or vixen of the moment on the slopes skiing away from James Bond."

See also: Leigh Jones opening Inga's Alpine Lounge in late March

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