Denver’s restaurant and brewery scene keeps finding new appreciation for beautiful, high-art murals. These establishments dedicate a lot of time to curating local and world renowned urban contemporary artists. The obvious benefit of a mural for a business is that it is eye catching. People are sick of the same old brick walls. Art draws them in and makes them ask questions, it creates a dialogue with the business. Another amazing and recent advantage to street-art is the social media and sharing aspect. Not just instagramers but models and couture publications such as 303 Magazine want to be photographed in front of these colorful murals. Thanks to the connectivity of the internet, people are able to find pieces in their own backyard that they never knew existed.
Businesses boast the art in many forms. The Broadway Triangle Art Wall as well as establishment Little Man Ice Cream have created ways to rotate murals on their walls. Other spots like Crema Coffee House and City O City keep them as a permanent installations. Here are a few of my favorite Denver restaurant/breweries that proudly display the commissioned work on their walls:
I can’t talk about restaurant/brewery art endeavors without mentioning Session Kitchen. The main reason I love this spot: It is the artists wet dream. From the mind of Wynkoop/Breckenridge Brewery creative director Lisa Ruskaup, Jeff Schaich Creative, Tom Horne of BlackBook Gallery and Jonathan Lamb of Like Minded Production’s to curate the worldwide artists ensemble, this space has seriously upped the game for every restaurant in the state. The constant flux of the interior is reflected in their entire “Session” concept. Each room in the space evokes drastically different emotions. The progressive, ever changing menu of food and drink all add to its dynamic nature.
There are aesthetics surprises on the outside and the inside of the building, literally around every corner. I have mentioned the work of Fin Dac, Angelina Christina, Ben Eine, and Jenny Lewin Studios, Lumigeek and Bldg Light Sculpture in the past on Concrete Canvas. Here I will feature more of the 13 brilliant collab artists to be found in Session Kitchen, beginning with the highest cost of all the art on the exterior of the space by Mear One.
Mear One is best known for his other-worldly work in London (his home) and his work can be found in street-art havens such as New York, San Francisco, and all over Europe. This spot near Platte Park is not a typical street-art location and the city approval was absolutely crucial. Mear One could be the most famous artist, next to David Choe, Fin Dac or Ben Eine, to ever visit our city. I only wish he had painted in another spot. Please, praise this work and more worldwide artists will fly to Denver to sign our concrete.
I was obsessed with another new discovery called the Shakespeare Stairs by Bldg Collective. The understated yet exceptional metal work is found on the stairs leading up to the session pipe photo above the bar. It is this perfectionist attention to detail in architecture that makes Session Kitchen stand out among the sea of new establishments.
Don’t forget to look up. I was pleasantly surprised to see this brilliant ceiling-chandelier like piece by artist Little Brown Bird. It is one that I had yet to even notice and really appreciate. The overarching theme here is that I had an entirely different experience during my second visit to Session Kitchen. Not just on the palette, but on the artistic and visceral imagination.
Black Sky Brewery
This brand new local brewery is almost 360 degrees of street-art appreciation. They didn’t paint over the existing works, but instead saved them and added even more murals to their walls.
Located in the Art District off 5th and Santa Fe, Black Sky Brewery boasts beautiful pieces of original, brightly colored local art. The wall is a collaborative piece by different Denver artist crews including Dread (Colorado Crush), Mark Romero, KD, X-Men, Saten, Zepol and more.
This piece is a stand out among the murals. Zepol uses amazing, surreal color elements and the emotion of this portrait has brought this wall to life. Along with newer work like this piece, pre-existing work can be found on the South facing wall. I personally had never seen this piece by favorite Concrete Canvas featured artist Gamma Acosta. The wide range of art here, from signature tags to portraits to animated characters, makes it a truly unique street-art experience.
Thanks to the fresh and older pieces decking the entire brewery, this building is a beautiful explosion of color that begins a long stretch of street-art love in the Art District. Go to Black Sky Brewery and enjoy a beer while you admire the art on their outdoor patio.
Colorado Plus Brewery Supernova by PJ Sierra
This ridiculously cool Colorado-pride mural sets the bar high for local love and 303 appreciation. Our Colorado flag has been transformed into an outer-space worthy super nova on the outside of this local brewery.
PJ Sierra painted this badass Colorado Pride mural on the wall of Wheatridge Microbrewery Colorado Plus. Sierra is most well known for portrait work and his surreal use of outer-space as imaginative backdrops. You can find more work from PJ Sierra under the name StaleArt on Instagram and Facebook.