Restaurants may not offer indoor food, but they do serve many other tasty options.

On this weekend’s menu: free meals for laid-off food and beverage workers, take-away cocktails, DIY gift wrapping (no need to buy supplies), a Nordic cooking class, and the return of the ugly Christmas sweater.

Friday 18th December
Friends & Family Colorado nonprofit and podcast The Modern Eater work with local chefs to ensure restaurant staff on vacation get square meals at least a few days a week. On Wednesdays and Fridays from Friday, December 18, unemployed people can request a meal until further notice (register here) and then drop by 490 Decatur Street between 2 and 4 p.m. to pick up a meal set consisting of a main course and two side dishes, prepared by chefs like Troy Guard (TAG, Guard and Grace and others) and Jared Leonard (AJ’s Pit Bar-BQ, The Budlong Hot Chicken). Details about the event are spread across the internet like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumbs, but we’ve rounded them all up: you need to visit Modern Eater’s Facebook and Instagram pages as well as the website for full information. And when you find yourself in the enviable position of being able to give help instead of receiving it, donate to the GoFundMe Effort Campaign.

Holidays are just better with alcohol, whether you’re mixing cocktails to share joy (even if it’s just Zoom and FaceTime joy this year) or washing away the uncomfortable years your teen hated everything about Christmas except the unusual strong nog of your cool aunt. Englewood Grand, 3435 South Broadway, is sure to bow to the happy side, and although it’s closed for everyday drinks, the bar is shaking and stirring up something tasty to take home this Friday December 18th Sunday, 20th of December. Stop by on Friday 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., or Sunday 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for drinks Box with a plush blanket, two stone glasses, two bottle cocktails and an ornament for $ 100. Please see Englewood Grand’s Instagram post for more information. Your tipsy aunt with eggnog will thank you.

Saturday 19th December
Over the past few years we’ve lamented the persistence of the vacation trend that just won’t die: the ugly sweater party. But this year the annoying and passé custom seems downright curious compared to the new tradition we established in 2020 (no Christmas parties at all). What the hell – enjoy your ugly sweater party on Saturday, December 19 at Dry Dock Brewing Co. Both locations (15120 East Hampden Avenue and 2801 Tower Road, both in Aurora) invite you to an al fresco party (because they are) I know these polyester sweaters are toasted 11am to 9pm. Show yourself in your most volatile and receive a free gift with every beer purchase. Please visit Dry Dock’s Facebook page for more information.

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Number Thirty Eight’s outdoor deck, where gift wrapping is easy (as long as it’s not breezy).

Jon Solomon

Sunday 20th December
One thing hasn’t changed in 2020 (and only one thing): procrastinators will hesitate. Now that there are only five days to Christmas Day, middle-level procrastinators (those who have completed their gift purchases but haven’t started gift wrapping) can get an extra boost in motivation to take up the job at Number Thirty Eight To exit 3560 Chestnut Place on Sunday December 20th. From 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the room offers all the packaging materials you need to dress your presents, as well as festive Christmas carols. And of course, you can get tacos, ramen, french fries, and bao rolls, as well as loads of alcohol, from the bar’s selection across Colorado. Reservations are required; Do them on the venue website. Pro-level procrastinators (those who haven’t even started shopping), you are on your own.

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If the only Scandinavian food you’ve had was in a furniture store, you’re missing out. Learn how to make Swedish meatballs that don’t taste like cardboard in Cook Street’s Nordic Cooking Class on Sunday December 20th. Sign up for $ 50 and get an ingredient kit, two hours of lessons (6pm to 8pm) and the skills to make meatballs in a wheat farro sauce, and pancakes with hearty pine nuts and cranberry compote. Log into the Cook Street website.

Wednesday December 23rd
Dos Luces Brewery, 1236 South Broadway, will serve a take-away beer in conjunction with Four Directions Cuisine on Wednesday, December 23rd. The completely gluten-free meal can also be prepared vegan and comprises three courses: a winter pumpkin salad; Quinoa “Bibimbop” bowl with vegetables, quinoa, pumpkin, heirloom corn and beans and a pickled egg with salsa verde; and fingerprint cookies. Each class includes a bottle of Chica, Pulque, and Hard Agua Fresca for $ 40. You can add a bottle of Aged Imperial Chicha with Pomegranate for an additional $ 20. Order by Monday 21 December on the Dos Luces website and collect your meal on 23 December between 4pm and 6pm

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