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JCC renamed Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center

In an effort to recognize the contributions real estate developer Michael Staenberg has made to support the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center (JCC Denver) over the last few years, the center has been renamed the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center. 

Staenberg contributions to the JCC include thousands of hours of support and millions of dollars. He has provided the JCC with guidance to create cost savings and has also offered a vision for the JCC to work toward, positioning it for a successful future in the Denver community.

“It is an honor to be included in the JCC’s new name and, particularly, to have my name alongside Bob Loup’s, who was such an integral part of the JCC’s success for the past 47 years,” Staenberg says. “It is my belief that giving money is one way to provide support for an organization, but being generous with your knowledge, time and vision, like I have been fortunate enough to provide, can make a real difference. I am proud to support the JCC in these ways.”

The JCC is currently finishing up renovations to the interior and exterior of the building at 350 Dahlia St. and in the parking lots.

Cucci's El Five restaurant opens for business

Justin Cucci’s much-anticipated El Five has finally opened on the fifth floor of the building behind his famed restaurant Linger.

El Five boasts spectacular, unobstructed views of the downtown Denver skyline, as well as a sprawling view of the Highland neighborhood and the mountains beyond.

“We found a unique challenge in trying to unify the view on all sides of the space and ultimately, we ended up finding a creative way to activate both sides for the guest,” Cucci says. “They are distinctly different. When the sun is setting, the mountainside will be stunning and the whole bar opens up, coming together as an amazing experience that marries city, nature and space.”

The restaurant is the fifth concept for Cucci, owner of Denver-based Edible Beats. In addition to Linger, El Five joins Root Down (both in LoHi and DIA), Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox and Vital Root.

The small menu is streamlined, with plates meant for sharing. Highlights include three different kinds of paella; lamb rib shawarma; tortilla espanola; and whole roasted fish. Finish off dinner with a flan or kunefe (shredded filo dough, pistachios and goat cheese ice cream.

The cocktail menu features signature cocktails like the Pineapple Mint Collins (vodka, sekanjabin, lime, pineapple, mint and soda); The Old Turk (whiskey, Turkish coffee bitters and raw sugar); and Fez Medina (Rye, amaro, Aperol, orange bitters, cedar and lemon oil). There’s also a selection of wines and beers, as well as exotic cocktails served in a traditional glass pitcher that are meant for sharing.

Milwaukee firm acquires Burkettdesign

Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) has expanded into the Rocky Mountain region with the acquisition of Denver-based architecture and interior design firm Burkettdesign.

Burkettdesign will change its name to BurkettEUA, and its entire 27-person staff will join EUA. Burkettdesign’s leadership team, including owner Rick Burkett and principals Catherine Quintero, Michele Pinicsan, Gillian Hallock Johnson and Kitty Yuen, will become shareholders in EUA. AssociatePrincipal Ben Niamthet also will join the other principals as a member of the core leadership team of BurkettEUA.

“Burkettdesign was founded in 1990 and has established itself as one of the region’s most accomplished and recognized firms by focusing on client service and delivering high-quality, personalized services,” says Burkett says. “Those core values and the team providing them will not change, but what will change is our ability to offer our clients even more specialized services with the added resources, expertise and support that comes from combining with EUA.”

EUA has more than 180 employees in three offices in Wisconsin and Iowa. Its clients include a range of private and public organizations, including GE Healthcare, Ascension, Baird, Northwestern Mutual and Johnson Controls.

Burkettdesign clients include Charter Communications, Vail Resorts, Holland & Hart, TIAA, Comcast, Janus Capital Group, Lockheed Martin, Children’s Hospital Colorado and Sierra Nevada Corp.

“I see this union with Eppstein Uhen Architects as a merger of like-minded firms,” Burkett says. “Our cultures, our high design standards and our service-first mentalities echo each other. We are now a bigger, stronger firm that still puts our clients’ needs first.”

Cherry Creek gets new event space

Venue 221, Cherry Creek North’s premier event space, is launching the 2017 event season with special hourly rates, an invitation to preview the venue and a non-profit program dubbed The Great Giveback.

Venue 221 will donate the space to a non-profit organization quarterly. For more information about applying for the space visit Venue 221’s website

Venue 221 also is offering an hourly rate of $400 that includes tables, chairs, lounge furniture, in-house audio/visual and media wall.

Designed by Denver architect Michael Knorr, the 1,500-square-foot mid-century modern event space at 221 Detroit can accommodate receptions of up to 150 guests and seated dinners of up to 120 people. 

The modern decor offers warm walnut woods, artisitic wall coverings in a neutral palette, period-inspired lighting and state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. The first floor Ashlar room features a built-in club-style bar adjacent to a cozy lounge area adorned with mid-mod furniture and a stone fireplace.

Venue 221 is hosting an open house at the venue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 20.

Denver Public Art Tours are back with new sites

Denver Public Art tours are back for 2017 with new sites, additional architectural focuses and more tours offered than ever before. 

New tour sites include Union Station, Denver International Airport and the Denver Public Library/Denver Art Museum campus. 

“We are excited to have widened our scope in terms of the variety of public art tours we’re offering this season,” says Brendan Picker, administrator of the Denver Public Art Program. “Thanks to our dedicated docents, both new and returning, we have about 14 different tours this year, from the classic Cherry Creek Mural and the Downtown Denver Bicycle tours, to the newly added Union Station History and Public Art Tour. 

The DIA tours are at noon on June 2, July 7 and Aug. 4. They will highlight some of the insider secrets and behind-the-scenes stories of the airport’s art collection, one of the largest in the country.

The Union Station tours are at 10 a.m. June 10 and 24; July 8 and 22 and Aug. 12 and 26. The tour explores the art in Union Station and some of the history of the building and its surrounding area. 

The Denver Art Museum and Denver Public Library Campus Public Art and Architecture tours will be held at 10 a.m. June 11 and 25; July 9 and 23; and Aug. 13 and 27. The tours will cover a broad array of artworks near the Denver Public Library main branch and Denver Art Museum. 

Two bicycle tours also are available: Cherry Creek Trail Urban Arts Fund Bike Tour at 3 p.m. July 16, Aug. 13 and Sept. 10; and Downtown Denver Public Art Bike Tour at 10 a.m. June 4 and Sept. 10.

Additional walking tours include:

• Colorado Convention Center Public Art Tour: Sundays, June 4 and 25, and July 16, 2 p.m.
• Burns Park Public Art Tour: Wednesday, July 12, 6 p.m.
• City Park Public Art Tour: Wednesdays, June 14 and July 19, 5:30 p.m.
• Commons Park Public Art Tour: Wednesday, June 21, 5:30 p.m.
• 14th Street Public Art Tour: Tuesdays, May 23, June 27, July 18, Aug. 22 and Sept. 12, 5:30 p.m.
• Civic Center Public Art and History Tour: Wednesday, June 21 and Thursday, Sept. 21, 6 p.m.
• Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Denver Performing Arts Complex Public Art Tour: Sunday, June 4, Saturday, Aug. 12, 10 a.m., and Sundays, July 9 and Sept. 10, 11 a.m.
• RiNo – A Tour of Creative Businesses, Public Art and Murals: Wednesday, Aug. 16, 6 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, 3
p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 19, 6 p.m.

Design center to offer one-stop shopping

When the IDC Building opens later this year, design professionals and homeowners will have access to one-stop-shopping for appliances, flooring, furniture, hardware, lighting, plumbing and tile.

The building at 590 Quivas St. will have 60,000 square feet of floor space and house up to 15 of the metro area’s top home design showrooms.

“The traditional design center model is outdated,” says Al Castelo, head developer of IDC. “In recent years, people have strayed from the traditional mall-style setting, particularly when shopping for their next home  design project. They prefer their shopping experience to have interactive opportunities and a chance to visualize what designs will look and feel like in their own homes.”

The IDC Building is designed to keep pace with showroom advancements and investments being made in other major U.S. cities. The functional elements of the building were refined through conversations with some of the leading designers, builders and architects in Colorado. The conversations revealed a strong need for what became the IDC concept: a convenient, centrally located building with a collection of showrooms and products, where homeowners and designers can gather, shop and be inspired.

The layout, designed by Boulder architecture firm Hartronft Associates, will include views of downtown Denver and the Rocky Mountains, soaring ceilings and a grand staircase. The open-floor environment encourages visitors to speak with vendors, meet with trade professionals, organize their selections and visualize their designs.

Wiggins opens Cattivela in Stapleton

Award-winning Denver Chef Elise Wiggins has opened Cattivella, a wood-fired Italian restaurant, in the Stapleton neighborhood’s Eastbridge Town Center.

Located on the southwest corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Galena Street, Cattivella joins upcoming chef-driven restaurants from Troy Guard, Lon Symensma, and the Kitchen Next Door.

“This is my ’hood, and I can’t wait to welcome my neighbors and friends into Cattivella,” Wiggins says. “This project is a dream come true for me.”

Wiggins brings decades of experience to Cattivella, including a 12-year stint as executive chef of Panzano. Cattivella’s menu is influenced by Wiggins’ many trips to Italy.

The focus of attention is the exhibition kitchen featuring an Acunto wood-burning pizza oven and a wood-burning grill from J&R Manufacturing. There is seating at the pastificio (pasta table) section of the chef’s counter where all pastas are house-made. There also are views of the Butchers’ Corner.

The wine program lists more than a dozen Italian wines by the glass. Big Bottle Mondays will showcase magnum and larger bottles of specially selected wines poured by the glass. A Coravin dispensing system will allow guests to purchase a taste of highly rated Brunellos, Barbarescos, Super Tuscans and others that might be too pricey by the bottle.

Cattivella will be open daily for happy hour and dinner, as well as brunch on the weekends.

McWhinney starts two apartment projects

Developer McWhinney has broken ground on two multi-family projects in downtown Denver.

RIDE at RiNo, at 36th and Wynkoop in Denver’s RiNo district, will have 84 micro-loft apartments. Amenities include electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop deck, a fifth-floor clubhouse and on-site management. Car 2 Go will have two vehicles on site. A partnership with neighboring Helikon Gallery will provide a rotating display of artwork throughout the project.

Sova will have 211 apartments at the corner o 19th Avenue and Grant Street in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood. The majority of the units will be studios and one-bedrooms, with a sprinkling of two-bedrooms and a row of street-level townhome-style units. Amenities for the 12-story building include a golf simulator, a 24-hour fitness facility, co-working spaces, bike and ski repair, and a dog spa and bark park. The project also includes electric vehicle charging stations and a fourth-floor deck and fitness center.

McWhinney also has two other multi-family projects under development: Pinyon Pointe, a 166-unit apartment project in Loveland and the 405-unit Cycle Apartments in Fort Collins.
 

Paleo restaurant opens near 15th and Platte streets

Just BE Kitchen, a paleo, gluten-free and grain-free kitchen has opened at 2364 15th Street between Denver’s LoDo and LoHi neighborhoods.

Chef Carrie Baird has created a menu that features items from local purveyors like Neiman Ranch, Rocky Mountain Eggs, Frontier Natural and Red Bird Chicken. Menu items include the Meatzza featuring a sausage base rather than pizza dough. Breakfast is served all day and includes grain-free breads, cookies, and pastries made in-house, as well as a breakfast burrito wrapped in a house-made almond flour tortilla and filled with scrambled eggs. Menu entrees range from $8 to $13.

Just BE Kitchen’s coffee bar features coffee from Copper Door Roasters and Method Roasters.  A liquor menu complete with grain-free spirits is in the works and will launch later this spring.

“We want everyone to feel nourished and cared for when they are here,” says Jennifer Peters, one of the restaurant’s operators. “We want our guests to be able to have a mindful moment at Just BE Kitchen and feel like they are doing something good for their minds and bodies. Food is the vessel for the experience we want to create because food is at the heart of well-being.”

Just BE Kitchen is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast and lunch. 

DAC starts $3 million improvement project

The Denver Athletic Club has started a $3 million renovation that will upgrade its fitness center, entry atrium, squash courts, locker rooms, and other spaces in an effort to boost its membership.

The work includes new flooring, lighting, paint, furniture, fixtures, and fitness equipment for the club, which was founded in 1884 and is one of the longest-standing private clubs in the nation.

Denver-based architecture firm Ohlson Lavoie Collaborative is spearheading the project for the member-owned club.

“We are highly confident in the ability of OLC to deliver a club that is not only beautiful, but also more functional and enjoyable to members,” says Jeff Dykes, president of The Denver Athletic Club. “The continued support and enjoyment of our members is our first priority, and we remain dedicated to merging rich tradition with best-in-class facilities.”

The Denver Athletic Club building was constructed in 1890. It is home to the first bowling alley west of the Mississippi River and its squash program is legendary. With 300,000 square feet of fitness facilities; full-service dining and banquet services; and organized social, business and athletic events, the club is accessible to members 24 hours a day. 

“We’re excited to kick off the renovation and to continue our club’s legacy of excellence,” says General Manager Mike Hestera. “Above all, The Denver Athletic Club is home to a vibrant community where members find a sense of belonging, both personally and professionally, and we’re certain the updates will only enhance their experience.”

Levitt Pavilion debuts with first concert July 20

Denver’s newest outdoor concert venue is gearing up for its grand opening on July 20.

The Levitt Pavilion Denver in Ruby Hill Park has announced the first wave of concerts for its inaugural summer concert season:
 
  • July 20: Slim Cessna’s Auto Club
  • July 23: The Stone Foxes
  • Aug. 3: The Suffers
  • Aug. 4: John Fulbright
  • Aug. 24: Gaby Moreno

“Levitt Pavilion Denver began as a dream five years ago,” says Chris Zacher, founder and executive director of the nonprofit behind the venue. “Since then, we’ve been working diligently to turn this dream into a reality. We’re incredibly excited to begin presenting free music to the community, ensuring access to high-quality performances for people of all ages and socio economic backgrounds.”

Furthering Levitt Pavilion Denver’s commitment to supporting Denver’s music scene, each concert will feature at least one Denver-based opening act, to be announced at a later date.

The public is invited to bring their picnic blankets and lawn chairs to the free concerts.

“We believe Colorado’s music scene is something special and deserves to be showcased, as well as cultivated,” Zacher says. 

Through a partnership with Emporium Presents, Levitt Pavilion Denver also will present a handful of ticketed shows, featuring artists like UB40 and 311.

Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 30 free concerts this year featuring Denver artists and award-winning regional and national talent in an array of music genres. Next year and thereafter, Levitt Pavilion Denver will present 50 free concerts annually. Additional concerts will be posted on a regular basis

Alex Seidel and other chefs launch artisan pastry company

A team of Denver chefs has launched a wholesale artisan pastry company that will stock restaurants and retailers throughout the metro area with a variety of fresh pastries.

Fudmill is the brainchild of chefs Alex Seidel and Matt Vawter of Mercantile and Fruition and Keegan Gerhard and Lisa Bailey of D Bar. They’ve set up a working bakery Denver’s Northeast Corridor near Swansea.

Fudmill recently signed an agreement with Whole Foods Market to bring 12 varieties of fresh pastries, including chocolate croissants, seasonal muffins and Danishes, scones, morning buns and pain aux raisins to customers at select Denver locations, including Cherry Creek, Washington Park, Colorado Boulevard and Tamarac.

“We are thrilled to offer exceptional pastries from some of Denver’s best culinary visionaries to our customers,” says Lauren Motley, Whole Foods Market Bakery associate coordinator. “Brunch, business meetings and holidays will be so much more decadent with these offerings — they’re truly world class.

The team’s creation of Fudmill stems from a commitment to creating the highest quality, seasonally inspired baked goods in the region. The venture is focused on the art and craft of traditional pastry making.

“Pastry isn’t something that’s easy to do well in high-production kitchens due to space and logistics,” says Seidel. “Opening our own pastry kitchen provides the luxury of more time and space to explore the art, and we’re able to create much higher quality recipes and pastries that you can’t find anywhere else.”

Economic development in Denver strong in 2016

2016 was a good year for economic development in Denver.

There were 579 affordable housing units created throughout Denver, and two mixed-income condominium developments at separate transit-oriented development sites, according to the Denver Office of Economic Development’s (OED) annual report on job creation and capital investment.

OED also supported catalytic development in Arapahoe Square, which has been a priority for the city, by providing gap financing for the Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Network’s new headquarters and innovation center. 

The city’s various incentive, tax credit, loan and training assistance programs helped 85 companies expand in Denver, collectively creating 2,968 new jobs and making more than $111 million in capital investments.

“During this dynamic period of growth for Denver, we have maintained a laser focus on propelling the powerful momentum of our economy forward, supporting diverse commercial sectors, good jobs, strong neighborhoods and a fertile climate for entrepreneurship,” says Mayor Michael Hancock. 

Other highlights of the annual report include: 
 
  • Completion of a comprehensive economic analysis to support the creation of an agribusiness innovation area surrounding the National Western Center redevelopment.
  • Support of 36 separate neighborhood development projects designed to enhance neighborhood vitality.
  • Increased access to contracting opportunities by growing the city’s business certification programs, with a total of 1,278 small and minority/women-owned firms earning more than $105 million from the city’s construction, professional services and purchasing opportunities.
  • Serving more than 30,000 people with job search assistance through Denver Workforce Services.

How to get a deal at Denver's best coffee shops

If you’re a coffee junkie, the Fika Coffee Passport is your ticket to learning all about Denver’s vibrant coffee scene.

The $20 passport features 28 craft shops and roasters featuring two-for-one coffee specials per venue between April 1 and July 31. Some of the participating venues include Allegro Coffee Roasters, The Denver Bicycle Cafe, Huckleberry Roasters, Pablo’s Coffee and Pigtrain Coffee.

Why is it called Fika? Because a fika is a custom in Swedish culture that celebrates a break from work for a bit of play. The Passport Program folks liked the idea of getting out of the office to meet a friend for a chat over a cup of coffee.

The locations in the booklet were selected for both atmosphere and quality coffee and each offers a one-of-a-kind experience. You can share your coffee with a friend or enjoy both yourself. Each location has crafted a speciality beverage that best represents their shop or practices. You can also substitute any craft coffee drink for a drip coffee.

For every book sold, $1 will be donated to Colorado Public Radio.

First community announced for 2017 Parade of Homes

The first wave of home builders has committed to the 2017 Denver Parade of Homes.

Joining the Parade this year is the Whispering Pines community in southeast Aurora and a list of builders that includes Brookfield Residential, Cardel Homes, KB Home, Oakwood Homes, Shea Homes, Taylor Morrison, TRI Pointe Homes, William Lyon Homes and Wonderland Homes. 

“The Parade is a great way for potential home buyers and current home owners to tour some of the city’s best new homes and exciting new neighborhoods,” says Karna Pryor, 2017 chair of the Parade of Homes and marketing manager for TRI Pointe. “Attendees will also get amazing ideas on decorating trends and the latest in architectural design.”

The 2017 Denver Parade of Homes will be free and open to the public from Aug. 10 through Sept. 4. During this time, the Parade will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

This year, the Parade is expected to showcase more than 60 newly designed model homes, custom homes and luxury homes in neighborhoods throughout metro Denver. More new home builders, locations, price ranges and home styles will be announced in the coming months, as will more details about the 2017 Denver Parade of Homes.
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