The owners of Dio Mio are opening a new pizzeria on Larimer Street in 2021. Redeemer will be selling naturally leavened sourdough pizzas, hoagies, shared plates, and more. (Nikki A. Rae Photography, courtesy of Redeemer)

Can’t imagine the surprises in store for Denver and Front Range restaurants in 2021? To be honest, neither can we. But the future is still hopeful, at least for those 12 courses to open later this year.

Most are located near Denver, but we’ve also spotted a few making their way to Fort Collins, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. And we’ve already discovered some trends.

Pizza seems like a tough bet. The pandemic has shown Denver restaurants what people really want in times of need. The answer: cheese and bread, of course. (See also ice cream in the same category. Throw in tacos and tequila as well.)

We will notice more second locations of proven local concepts. (More on this below.) We are observing two trends: the attempted comeback of the members’ club model – a complicated idea to say the least during a pandemic – and the onslaught of alcohol-free rooms. The latter will likely be necessary in 2020, but time will tell.

Read on for a dozen newbies to the Colorado dining scene.

Redeemer

From the partners behind Dio Mio, a super cool pasta counter with small plates and wines picked from cherries, comes this sourdough pizza spot, also with shared plates, hoagies and a complete bar program. The owners Spencer White and Alex Figura call their style “New York 2.0” because the dough is made from naturally soured, long-fermented heirloom wheat sourdough. This combination, it is said, results in an “easily digestible pizza”. You can try the cakes in a handful of preview popups on January 16 and 30, and February 13 and 27.

redeemerpizza.com, RiNos Larimer Street (address shortly), spring 2021

A depiction of OAK Market, an all-day dining restaurant that can be seen at the Clayton Members Club & Hotel in Cherry Creek this spring. (Provided by Clayton)

The Clayton

Clayton is a new member club and hotel (think SoHo House in London, New York and beyond) that Cherry Creek is looking to make hip again. On the glamorous property you’ll find three new food and drink destinations, including a wood-burning Dinner Of A Kind, the all-day OAK market, and the Five Nines night bar and lounge. Former LA chef Brandon Duley – recently from Ardor at the West Hollywood Edition Hotel and Gjelina in Venice – heads the kitchen.

Claytondenver.com, 233 Clayton St., March 2021

Iced Coffee, a new coffee and ice cream parlor owned by the owners of High Point Creamery, arrives at the renovated 11th Avenue Hostel in Denver this spring. (Provided by Iced Coffee)

Iced coffee

The owners of the High Point Creamery, Erika Thomas and Chad Stutz, know all about ice cream. Your Denver parlors are filled with ever-changing flavors like Brown Sugar Cinnamon and Mint Chocolate Bark. Now the couple are combining one passion with another and opening iced coffee, named after the German coffee and ice cream cart of the same name. Aside from its signature bevvie, this candy store in the renovated 11th Avenue Hostel will sell more coffee drinks, more ice cream, and some takeaway food in the form of pastries and sandwiches.

11thavenuehostel.com, 1112 Broadway, Spring 2021

Jimadors Blade cocktail from Forget Me Not, a new bar opening in Cherry Creek this spring. (Provided by Forget Me Not)

Don’t forget me

This flower-inspired lounge is another nightlife destination towards Cherry Creek. It was built for the talent behind the bar, Nicole Lebedevitch, who moved from Boston. “She’s a jazz musician who trained at Berklee College of Music, and Forget Me Not is the beautiful, fun, and edgy stage we built for her to shine,” says co-owner Juan Padro. Cocktail menus are themed and the space is ample enough to match the drinks.

forgetmenotdenver.com, 227 Clayton St., Spring 2021

Golden mill

Golden’s second food hall in the old feed and supply building is almost complete, with a handful of food stalls, a back yard and a roof with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. “It will feel like you’re outside even when you’re inside,” said co-founder Susan Ganter. Expect sushi from longtime Denver chef Jesusio Silva, Happy Cones ice cream, and Rolling Smoke BBQ.

thegoldenmill.com, 1012 Ford St., Golden, March 2021

The original will be in the Ballpark neighborhood of Denver, located in the rally hotel on McGregor Square. Cronut sliders are one of the more original menu items. (Provided by the original)

The original

Once baseball is back, head to the baseball stadium to explore McGregor Square, along with the Rally Hotel and its redesigned American diner, The Original. On the menu: Bloody Marys, juicy milkshakes, cronut sliders (picture), bison pastrami Reubens and freshly made cakes.

therallyhotel.com, McGregor Square (across 20th Street from Coors Field) March 2021

awakening

This Jefferson Park Bar serves morning coffee beverages as well as rishi teas and yerba mates and has a selection of non-alcoholic beers, wines and spirits for sale (see brands like Grüvi Sour Weiss, Fre Sparkling Rosé and Ghia Aperitif) Awake’s non-alcoholic bar also opens in the spring, providing the neighborhood and Denver with “soul-inducing drinks” and “conscious conversation”.

awakedenver.com, 2240 N. Clay St., Spring 2021

A representation of the terrace in Perdida in Wash Park, which will include a converted Volkswagen as a private outdoor dining room. (Surround architecture, provided by Perdida)

Lost

The folks behind Denver’s Homegrown Tap & Dough, Park Burger and Birdcall are opening this new, party-themed Mexican coastal restaurant in Wash Park (see a converted Volkswagen bus to dine in small groups on the terrace). To eat: aguachile, yucca fries, chicken tinga tacos and more, as well as tequila and mezcal cocktails and chupitos.

perdidakitchen.com, 1066 S. Gaylord St., spring 2021

Foodhalla’s mobile food court will be on December 18, 2020 outside Ratio on Larimer Street in the RiNo district. The truck goes to various places to serve customers safely outdoors. (Rachel Ellis, the Denver Post)

Foodhalla

Friends and restaurant professionals Jesus Olaya, Nicole Zajac and Alan Berger hope to turn their “Mobile Food Court” Foodhalla into a small restaurant with eight to nine different cuisines, starting with Cuban bodega sandwiches and Korean Seoul Brothas barbecue. As in a shortened dining room, all menus come from a kitchen and are served through the car window and delivery. The idea sounds like a mashup consisting of a ghost kitchen, a drive-through and a food court – all in a relatively small space. You might not even bother to include seating.

foodhalla.co, TBD, summer 2021

CONNECTED: What will Denver food look like in 2021?

Dragon (Fort Collins)

Denver boss Bill Espiricueta is expanding his popular RiNo grill shop to include the Foothills Mall in Fort Collins. Expect smoked meats, from pork belly to spare ribs and salmon, per pound; Burnt end sandwiches; smoked hot wings; Chili cheese fries; Brisket tacos and more. A full bar offers kettle makers and frozen cocktails like the 18th and Vine with Kansas City whiskey and peach.

denversmok.com, The Foothills Mall, Fort Collins, Spring / Summer 2021

Wooden pita and hummus made from organic chickpeas, tahini, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, smoked allspice, and parsley in Ash’Kara Denver on December 14, 2018. (Hyoung Chang, Denver Post-File)

Ash’Kara (boulder)

Boulder’s former Pepper Noshery on Pearl Street is being transformed into the second location of Chef Daniel Asher’s Denver-based, Israel-inspired Ash’Kara restaurant. The new menu will feature some Denver favorites – homemade dips like hummus, muhammara, and baba ghanoush; and freshly baked pita made from old grains like spelled and teff. But there are also some dishes just for bouldering and an additional addition: Dahab Downstairs, a “beach bar and speakeasy-style lounge” in the basement of the restaurant.

ashkaradenver.com, 1043 Pearl St., Boulder, Spring 2021

Homa Cafe and Bar (Colorado Springs)

In a 40-room boutique hotel in the New South End of the Springs, this lobby-level restaurant is also located, serving cocktails, local beers, and coffee, as well as pies, sandwiches, and bowls. The hotel is billed as a mountain modern base for Colorado adventurers, while the cafe and bar are meant to serve as a hangout for locals and travelers alike.

kinshiplanding.com, 415 S. Nevada Ave., Colorado Springs, January / February 2021

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