Denver coffee lovers, we’re are sorry to be the bearer of bad news (especially on National Coffee Day), but a beloved Golden Triangle cafe announced it will close its doors. But before you allow your caffeine withdrawals to set in, read on to find out how to you celebrate with them one last time. Also this week, in true Denver fashion, one closing brings a slew of openings, including the introduction of a new RiNo brewery, second location announcements,  anniversary celebrations and more.

Rooster & Moon to Close

Rooster & Moon. Photos by Brittany Werges.

Rooster & Moon   Photos by Brittany Werges

After almost eight years serving the Golden Triangle neighborhood, Rooster & Moon has decided to call it quits. In an announcement on Facebook, the cafe owners detailed the heartwrenching decision to not renew their lease.

“It is [a] strange sensation when you find yourself in a moment that is both heartbreaking and thrilling at the same time. We find ourselves on the precipice of such a moment because, after much thought, meditation, tears, debate, and a fair amount of wine, we have decided not to renew our lease,” said the Facebook announcement.

The cafe, which was also an established community gathering space, was known for much more than their coffee and also offered an inviting hangout for imbibing beers and cocktails while enjoying a full-service menu. The cafe owners have not shared details on any plans for future projects or the fate of the building after their lease is up. Rooster & Moon will remain open until the end of September and will host a going away party this Friday at 2 p.m. Until then the cafe hours will be from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

10 Barrel Brewery Announces Opening

Rendering of 10 Barrel. Courtesy of 10 Barrel.

Rendering of 10 Barrel   Courtesy of 10 Barrel

Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood continues to reign as the hotspot for new breweries with the announcement of another opening. But just like Blue Moon, it seems that macro-breweries are the ones with their eyes set on the hip hood since the Oregon-based brewery was acquired by the beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2014. The new brewery’s Denver location took over the former Casselman’s Bar on 2620 Walnut Street and will have soft openings this weekend. The 10,000-square-foot space comes equipped with 20 taps, a rooftop and a fully functioning 20-barrel fermentation tank brewing facility. The new spot is also a brewpub and offers food made from “scratch” from an open kitchen where patrons can watch the cooking in action. The opening comes just days before the nation’s largest celebration of beer, Great American Beer Festival, descends on Denver.

[Update Monday, October 3 at 10:58 a.m.:  soft openings have been moved to the week of October 3]

5280 Magazine Announces Top 25 Restaurants


Hop Alley topped 5280’s best restaurant list for 2016. Photo by Noah Berg

5280 Magazine‘s perennial list of Denver’s Best Restaurants has returned once again and with it comes a few surprises. Because not only does the list feature several brand-new restaurants, it is lead by one. Hop Alley, a modern Chinese restaurant located in RiNo, topped the lineup this year — despite having open only 10 months ago. But it’s not surprising that Hop Alley is a showstopper since owner Tommy Lee and his partner Todd Somma are known for their ability to translate the complex flavors of Asian cuisine to an American audience with previous successes at Uncle — a ramen/Asian fusion joint in the Highlands neighborhood. There are many more changes on the list this year and don’t expect that to change anytime soon as this issue is also the last for the veteran Food editor Amanda Faison. Go here to see who else made the cut for 2016.

Denver Get its First Puerto Rican Restaurant

Despite the fair amount of Latin-American food one can find in the city of Denver, there has long been a gap for anyone hoping to get a taste of Puerto Rico. However, this week, El Coquí D’Aquí has decided to change that with the opening of their first brick-and-mortar restaurant on 2236 South Colorado Boulevard. Formerly a food truck, the new restaurant comes from husband and wife duo Alex and Diana Rivera. The menu features plenty of Puerto Rican staples including plantains, rice and beans and a plethora of pork, seafood and a Puerto Rican rendition of an empanada in the form of alcapurrias. The 28-seat dining room is now open from Tuesday through Sunday with hours of  noon to 7 p.m. every day except Sunday, when they’ll close at 5 p.m.

Dry Dock Expands

Dry Dock, Apricot Blonde

Dry Dock’s Apricot Blonde. Photo by Roman Tafoya

True to the spirit of the Colorado beer industry, two big names in brewing have collaborated to expand the reach of one of the Denver’s more popular breweries. Dry Dock announced this week that Durango’s Ska Brewing has partnered with them to help bring their famous brews to the seven counties in Southwestern Colorado.  

“We’re proud to partner with such a craft-savvy distributor,” said Dry Dock Brewing Company’s Director of Sales & Marketing George Allen. “We’re excited to offer our Colorado-only brand to even more Coloradoans.”

The lineup of beers includes all of Dry Dock’s Home Fleet including the company’s flagship Apricot Blonde as well as Hop Abomination IPA, Wheat Beer, Vanilla Porter, Amber Ale and Sour Apricot, all of which are now available in canned six-packs at Durango liquor stores.

“We have been friends with the folks at Dry Dock for a long time,” added Dave Thibodeau, Co-Founder and President of Ska Brewing. “They make some killer beers! We are excited to add them to our distribution portfolio and share their award-winning beers with Southwest Colorado.”

Black Shirt Brewing, Mondo Market Celebrate Anniversaries this Weekend

Photo courtesy of Black Shirt Brewing

Photo courtesy of Black Shirt Brewing

Two of the pioneers of the RiNo neighborhood are celebrating anniversaries this weekend. Mondo Market, located inside The Source, is celebrating its third anniversary while Black Shirt Brewing will honor its fourth. Mondo marked the occasion by celebrating its soon-to-open second location in the forthcoming Stanely Marketplace in Aurora, while Black Shirt Brewing will celebrate the anniversary with the release of a special beer— the Bourbon Barrel-Aged Quad. Brewed four years ago and aged for the last two and a half, the beer is on tap now through Sunday and will be tapped along with a special celebration on Sunday from 2 to 10 p.m. Make sure to also check out the event page for a full schedule of all the special tappings.

Charcoal Announces Second Location

Charcoal Bistro. Photos by Candace Peterson.

Charcoal Bistro   Photos by Candace Peterson

Golden Triangle favorite Charcoal Restaurant announced it will open a second location in Denver’s South Gaylord District at 1028 South Gaylord Street. The sister location of the contemporary European restaurant will be more casual and adds “bistro” to their name to signify the shift. Starting on October 3, the space will be open for lunch, brunch and dinner on the weekends. The menu offers seasonal dishes such as Boulder chicken with bomba rice and chanterelle mushrooms and a baked brie appetizer with golden raisin and chipotle compote.

“What makes Charcoal Bistro distinctive is that almost everything is prepared in-house. Our breads, pickles and mustards are all house-made. Meat and seafood is hand-cut in the kitchen,” said Josh Leiby, Chef de Cuisine of Charcoal Bistro.

The restaurant also offers a full bar and will even feature an ongoing Denver trend with fresh oysters at a raw bar. For more information on hours and for a look at the full menu, go to their website here.