MobCraft Dee Tacko — a new venture combining the beer-making of Milwaukee-based MobCraft Beer and the Mexican food of Pueblo’s Dee Tacko — opened last week in the former Liberati Brewing space at 2403 Champa St. in Denver. The new brewpub already is gearing up to be a center of the beer universe during the Great American Beer Festival next month, announcing that it will host a spate of events from Oct. 5-9 with luminaries such as Chris Black, owner of the former Falling Rock Taphouse.
The restaurant, which is open from 3 to 10 p.m. daily and planning to expand for lunch soon, offers both indoor seating and a 5,000-square-foot dog-friendly patio with bocce courts. The interior is divided into a casual taproom with high tops and 25 draft lines and a sit-down dining area offering starters like queso and nachos, dessert such as cajeta cheesecake and a “choco loco” and tacos featuring fish, shrimp, carnitas, steak, chicken and portobello.
Kyle and Katy Foster — purveyors of Julep, the lauded Southern-cuisine restaurant that closed during the first year of the pandemic — are back with a new venture serving up po’boys, sandwiches, melts, house-made charcuterie and small plates. Pirate Alley Boucherie opened Thursday in the Ice House at 1801 Wynkoop St. in Denver and will operate from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.
The deli will specialize in sandwiches, including barbecue shrimp dip, grilled bologna, French club, roasted pork loin tonnato, a vegetarian sandwich with sweet potatoes and spicy sorghum slaw, a Cubano and po’boys with roast beef and/or creole shrimp. It also will offer gumbo, soup de jour, root veggies & sorghum, a radish & celery salad and a green salad.
La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal, which opened last year at 2233 Larimer St. in Denver, scored a notation as one of Bon Appétit magazine’s 50 Best New Restaurants of 2022. Celebrating the culture of chef Jose Avila’s birthplace in Mexico City, the restaurant specializes in pozole dishes but also offers a variety of tacos and a breakfast menu.
“You’ll find whole chewy kernels of imported hominy in the five pozoles on offer, each distinctly complex and served in kiddie-pool-size bowls,” the magazine wrote. “The food here is hearty and soulful, a blessing for anyone looking to balance their meal with the long, expertly curated list of mezcals and other agave spirits.”
Sober bar Awake, which closed its Jefferson Park location in August as part of a revamp, has hired former Bonanno Concepts beverage director Adam Hodak, who owns and operates the L on South Broadway, as the CEO of its new corporation, Awake Life PBC.
Hodak will oversee a newly launched seed-funding round that aims to raise $500,000 for the company, which, in addition to looking to open a new bar, now also will operate a hospitality and consulting business to support bars in adding and elevating alcohol-free options on their menus.
Awake, which gained national attention following its May 2021 opening, also will relaunch its franchising operation that co-founder Billy Wynne said has received interest from potential partners in several dozen states and the United Kingdom. And it soon will announce the location of its new flagship bar, which Wynne said in an email that he hopes to have open by Dry January.
Koko Ni, which serves 10-course omakase tasting meals and has operated in Zeppelin Station since its July 2021 debut, is relocating to the former Lea Jane’s space at 1441 26th St. in Denver and rolling out a new culinary and hospitality team.
In addition to restaurant consultant and curator Paul Qui, a James-Beard-Award-winning chef with eateries in Austin and Denver, the team features chef de cuisine James Gnizak, who has cooked at local hot spots like Rioja and Mercantile Dining and Provisions, and director of operations David Grossman, formerly of Hillstone Restaurant Group.
Koko Ni offers bites ranging from handmade pasta to a bouquet of garden greens to sustainably sourced lobster, changing nightly and served with beer and wine to an array of ‘90s hip-hop and R&B tunes.
The new iteration, which is expected to open sometime this fall and operate from Thursday through Monday, will source its produce exclusively from Colorado farms such as Croft Family Farms, Toohey & Sons Organic Farm and Aspen Moon Farms.
Chefs from across the U.S. will compete for a judging panel featuring Manny Barella of Bellota and Dana Rodriguez of Work & Class, and ticket buyers will get access to food tastings from other top Hispanic chefs along with wine, mezcal and tequila tasting.
The Hispanic Restaurant Association will host a Food Truck Festival from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 22 at 6200 S. Syracuse Way in Greenwood Village featuring mobile eateries Luchador, Mi Rey Social, Tula’s Tapas, Bits N Pieces, Cilantro & Perejil and The Road Runner.
It’s part of Hispanic Restaurant Week, running from Sept. 22 to Oct. 3, in which guests are asked to take a picture of any Hispanic food or drink they are enjoying, tag the restaurant on social media and tag/follow @hra_national and @coloradofoodmagazine.
Also, as part of Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the HRA will host its second annual Hispanic Top Chef on Oct. 15 at the CSU-Spur Terra Building at 4817 National Western Center Dr. in Denver.
Independent restaurant group EatDenver and food-access organization The GrowHaus are bringing back Harvest Week, a celebration of Colorado farmers, ranchers and artisanal food systems at Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse at 3636 Chestnut Place in Denver.
The celebration, which runs from Oct. 4-6 and for which tickets go on sale today, will feature three $150/person meals combining the efforts of multiple chefs with paired, locally produced beverages:
Southlands Wine Walk returns Thursday to the Southland shopping center at 6155 S. Main St. in Aurora.
For $25, participants can stroll outside between the shops sipping vino from California, Australia, Argentina, South America and other locales while listening to a concert and grabbing goods at sidewalk sales.
Four restaurants — Ted’s Montana Grill, Lost Cajun, Bad Daddy Burger Bar and Bent Barley Brewing Co. — also will participate this year, offering grab-and-go bags with small samplings of their top offerings for walkers to nosh on during the event. The center’s Wine Experience Café, which is providing most of the beverages, also will have small plates to pair with the drinks.
Do you know a young professional making big moves? If you or someone you know is under 40 years of age, a recognized business leader and an active participant in the community, nominate them for Denver’s most prestigious recognition of up-and-comers.
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