Good Article: “Case Studies in Placemaking: Stapleton, RiNo, and LoHi”

2014 April 10
by David Schlichter
Little Man Ice Cream The Good Life Denver

Little Man Ice Cream in LoHi

Eric Peterson has another Good article on Confluence Denver; this one details three case studies in placemaking: Stapleton, RiNo, and LoHi.

Placemaking is leveraging a community’s or location’s resources and combining that with innovation and vision to draw people in and help the area–and the people within it–flourish.  Peterson discusses how Forest City put fruit trees and “harvest tables” in common spaces in Stapleton, which became gathering spaces for residents, especially during harvest season.  He cites Mickey Zeppelin’s TAXI project as creating the energy that fueled much of the latest development in Denver’s River North (RiNo) neighborhood (for my take on RiNo’s recent development and future potential, click here).  And he brings up lessons learned and taught by Paul Tamburello–the man behind much of the initial development in LoHi (not to mention Little Man Ice Cream).

The full article is definitely worth a read.  As someone who thrives on the rapid urban development taking place in Denver, I’m grateful to Eric for putting it together–but more importantly, to the visionaries with the guts to take risks and help make Denver an even better city.  Interested in seeing some of these neighborhoods in person?  Click here to see what’s for sale or contact David Schlichter for a personal tour!

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Good Denver Eatery, Bakery, and Market: Olive and Finch

2014 April 6
by David Schlichter

DF Hash at Olive and Finch The Good LIfe Denver

After just one visit, Olive and Finch quickly has become one of my favorite new go-to spots in Denver.  My wife Jessa and I went there for brunch earlier this week, and it was fantastic.  From the interior decor, to the banana bread that was being sampled by the register, to the baked goods ready to be purchased, to the meal we ate and the drinks we sipped, it was all awesome.

Billing itself as an “eatery, bakery, and market,” Olive and Finch opened late last year in the Uptown neighborhood, and it has quickly earned high praise.  Selected as one of the best new restaurants in Denver for 2013 by Westword and 5280, after just one visit it is easy to see why.  The menu has lots of great options from which to choose.  For breakfast, you can go sweet and get a “S’more” panini, with marshmallow, milk chocolate, and cinnamon spiced butter.   Or if you are feeling like you need something more savory, try one of the three “hashes” which come in a cast iron skillet.  I had the D.F. with two eggs, pulled pork, green chiles, chimichurri, cheese, potatoes & onions, and it was excellent.  There is also a mountain of baked goods to choose from in the front as you enter.  I sampled the banana bread, and it was divine.

To drink, you could have a mimosa or a freshly squeezed juice, made in-house.  The place also takes its coffee seriously, so you could also enjoy an espresso, served out of a $17,000 Strada machine.  Lunch includes a variety of sandwiches and soups, and dinner looks delicious too–as do the cocktails that come with it, featuring more juices squeezed in-house.

Baked Goods at Olive and Finch The Good LIfe Denver

A mountain of baked goods for sale at Olive and Finch

Olive and Finch is a great place to grab a drink, a bite to eat, or get some work done.  It is cozy, comfortable, and the food and drinks are delicious.  I encourage you to try it out, and if you do, be on the lookout for me.  I plan to be back quite often…

Olive and Finch is located on 17th Ave. between Humboldt and Franklin in the Uptown neighborhood.  To search homes for sale in Denver’s Uptown, City Park West, Whittier, and Capitol Hill neighborhoods, click here.

Olive & Finch on Urbanspoon

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Endorphin SOBO: Grand Opening, Free Yoga

2014 April 5
by David Schlichter

Endorphin Yoga South Broadway (SOBO) Denver EnglewoodIf you like yoga and pizza, tonight is your lucky night.

My colleague Chris Lindley, owner of the Endorphin fitness studios, is celebrating the grand opening of his newest yoga studio tonight on South Broadway in Englewood, and you are hereby invited.  From 5-6pm, come to a free yoga class taught by Christa Schwind and Briana Constance, and enjoy free pizza from the Atomic Cowboy and drinks after.

Learn more about Endorphin here, and RSVP for tonight’s event here!

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Good Denver Tacos: Los Chingones

2014 April 1
by David Schlichter

Los Chingones Denver The Good Life Denver

Denver already has lots of Good taco restaurants, but I’m glad that didn’t stop Troy Guard from opening a new taco restaurant in RiNo a few months ago.

Called Los Chingones and next to Amergio Delicatus and Sugarmill, Chef Guard’s newest restaurant is serving up tasty tacos with choices including octopus, lamb neck, skirt steak, shrimp, butternut squash, beef tongue, and more.  The menu is great–the pig ear nachos, for example, just won “Best Specialty Nachos” from Westword for 2014–but don’t let the menu stop you; you can request an off-the-menu burrito called “the precious,” a deep-fried burrito with a pork tamale stuffed inside of it and topped with green chili, which may have to be the next thing I put inside my body…

Los Chingones has a Good happy hour with $2 tacos, and the tacquitos are a happy hour must-order.  They are fantastic!  The ambiance at Los Chingones, like the rest of the restaurants in the TAG dynasty, is excellent, and when the weather is warm it features a rooftop bar and patio.

As development pushes northeast from downtown Denver, I am excited by the potential of RiNo.  The area is proving to beone of the hottest parts of Denver with its art galleries, microbreweries, urban wineries, coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, and more.  To learn more about RiNo, click here.  To search for homes for sale near Los Chingones in Denver, click here.

Los Chingones on Urbanspoon

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Good Gluten-Free Denver Brewery: Brewery Rickoli

2014 March 12
by David Schlichter

Beers on tap from Rickoli's (Source: Brewery Rickoli Facebook page)

One would think that gluten-free and beer are essentially incompatible terms.  And yet one of the best double IPAs I have had in Denver happened to be gluten-free.  Well, technically it was “gluten-reduced,” due to the rules about what can and can’t be called gluten-free, but with less than 5 parts per million of gluten, the beer is, for all intents and purposes, gluten-free, and is tolerable for people with Celiac Disorder.

My brother-in-law lives near Sloan’s Lake, so we’ve talked a lot about how much we both like Hogshead Brewery, which is only a few blocks from his house.  And we’ve both raved about Renegade Brewing Co. for its lineup of Good beers and the Elevation IPA in particular.  But when he had told me about how one of the brewers from Renegade started his own brewery called Brewery Rickoli, and that it was awesome, I knew that I had to try it.  When we were up in the mountains skiing one weekend last month, he brought some growlers from Rickoli’s, including the double IPA (called Disturbed Reflection).  It was phenomenal.  Incredibly hoppy, strong (at 9.7 ABV), and a perfect level of bitterness (in spite of a whopping 190 IBUs, the taste is quite balanced).  Disturbed Reflection is easily one of the best IPAs I’ve ever had–and it was gluten “reduced” (this is done by adding an enzyme during the brewing process that breaks down the gluten).

We returned to Rickoli’s last weekend for another round of growlers and skiing.  The brewery could not be more humbly located in a seemingly random strip mall at 44th and Wadsworth.  While in the brewery we tasted several of the brews, and everything we tasted was all delicious.  The Elke Brown Ale was quite tasty with a classic brown ale and caramel taste, the Social Lubricant Scotch Ale was similar but with a significantly more intense finish (this growler of this was almost entirely consumed during the four and a half hour ride up to get to Vail–alas, I was in the driver’s seat so I couldn’t partake).

Brewery Rickoli is definitely now on my short list of favorite microbreweries in Denver, and I definitely plan to be back soon (and often).  Even if you aren’t gluten-free, definitely give Rickoli’s a try.  Just be sure to bring a growler–at $13 per fill, you may even want to bring two.

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Good Denver Dessert Restaurant: Sugarmill

2014 March 3
by David Schlichter

My wife Jessa and I each took our first bites of the chocolate peanut butter tart from Sugarmill and instantly started laughing out loud.  It was silly just how Good it was, and we both agreed that it was one of the tastiest desserts we’d had in Denver. 

Chef Noah French is doing great things at his three-month old dessert-focused restaurant.  From cookies, to tarts, to macaroons, to bourbon pecan caramel bars, and more, the desserts at Sugarmill are fantastic.  Whatever you get ends up being the perfect way to top off a night.  And while Sugarmill’s specialty is its desserts, French is also building up a customer base for his lunch and dinner offerings.  The dinner menu was just revamped this past week, and, though it is somewhat limited, it looks quite tasty, reasonably priced, and is earning rave reviews.

As I’ve mentioned repeatedly on this site, I believe as Denver continues to grow, development will move northeast from downtown into RiNo.  Located between Broadway and 25th on Larimer, Sugarmill is perfectly positioned, along with Amerigo Delicatus and Los Chingones, to help serve as a gateway for that expansion!

Sugar Mill on Urbanspoon
The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Good, Healthy, and Fresh: Modmarket

2014 February 21
by David Schlichter

The Thai chicken sandwich from Modmarket

I had the pleasure of attending a tasting today at the new Modmarket on the 16th St. Mall (at Champa), and I must say I was impressed.

Modmarket offers a farm-to-table approach to fast casual dining.  The company launched in 2009 with the goal of changing what a $10 fast dining experience looks and feels like: all meals at Modmarket are fresh and made from scratch, everything is gluten-free (except the bread/pizza crusts, which can be subbed out for gluten-free bread), all meats are hormone and antibiotic-free, and the menu changes seasonally.

The steak plate from Modmarket

The restaurant’s founders, Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan proclaim themselves not to be “restaurant guys,” but, rather, two busy working guys who wanted healthier eating options when out doing business.  Balancing quality, taste, health, and cost, they opened their first location in 2009 in Boulder.  Since then, they have grown to six locations, with six more scheduled to open this year in Colorado and Texas (including the one on the 16th St. Mall and another at the B concourse at DIA this spring).  In addition to the six that are scheduled to open this year, twelve locations are slated to open in 2015–so while Anthony and Rob not have started out as restaurant guys, their restaurant model seems to be one that consumers greatly appreciate.

The superfood salad from Modmarket

I had never eaten at Modmarket before, but I definitely enjoyed what I tried today.  I tasted two of the salads (the superfood and the farmer’s salad), the Thai chicken sandwich (on Udi’s ciabatta), the brick-oven pizza (featuring Polidori chorizo), the steak plate, and the sesame tofu plate.  The food at Modmarket is definitely Good (my favorite was the Thai chicken sandwich), and it is the kind of food I would look forward to eating in the middle of a busy day of work.

The sesame tofu plate from Modmarket

Healthy, satisfying, filling, and quick, Modmarket hits the spot–my only complaint: I only wish there were restaurants like Modmarket on every block!

Modmarket on Urbanspoon

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Trader Joe’s has Arrived in Denver (Photos)

2014 February 20
by David Schlichter

After all of the hype, excitement, and press, Trader Joe’s finally opened three stores in Denver, Greenwood Village, and Boulder, and we couldn’t help stopping by the 8th and Colorado location for a visit.

While (spoiler alert) our experience was overwhelmingly Good, I do feel obligated to point out that the first thing we noticed about Trader Joe’s at 8th and Colorado was the jam-packed parking lot.  The opening week fervor has not let up, and the surface-only parking lot was a definitely a zoo.  Given how congested Colorado Blvd. already was, this could contribute marginally to traffic problems in the area if the store remains highly popular (and I suspect it will).  After a bit of unfortunate parking chaos, though, we finally found a parking space and made our way inside the store.

Dried fruits, nuts, and other assorted packaged goods at Trader Joe's

Once we got inside the store, things calmed down enough that we were able to enjoy taking in the experience.  The store itself isn’t huge (about 14,000 square feet, not including the adjacent Trader Joe’s liquor store), but it manages to provide a little bit of everything, from produce, to deli meat, to packaged frozen goods, and even dog food.  This is central to the company’s business model: offering a limited selection of unique, privately-labeled products that mostly can’t be found anywhere else, all at very reasonable prices.

A bag of the mandarin orange chicken they were sampling may or may not have made it into our cart...

We originally went with the intention of checking out the store and perhaps picking up a few items, but by the time we were done shopping, our cart was almost full with lunch meats, assorted chips, frozen orange chicken, chicken sausage, frozen berries, olive tapenade, strawberry preserves, frozen pot stickers, spicy bean dip, and more.  I have to say that I was pretty impressed with what Trader Joe’s offered and the prices that it charged.  The Denver Post recently did a price comparison between Trader Joe’s, King Sooper’s, Safeway, Whole Foods, and Sprouts; Trader Joe’s offered the second-most competitive prices for everyday items.

While the selection at Trader Joe’s isn’t expansive enough to take care of all of our regular grocery shopping needs, we definitely will be back on a regular basis to stock up on specialty items.  Let’s just hope that the store can deal with parking/traffic and continue to keep up with demand–currently it needs three truckloads of food per day to replenish its supplies!

Interested in living near Trader Joe’s?  Click here to search homes for sale near the 8th and Colorado location.  Did you know a Trader Joe’s is also coming to the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Denver?  Click here to search Capitol Hill homes for sale.

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Good French Restaurant in Denver: Bistro Vendome

2014 February 19
by David Schlichter

Steak frites from Bistro Vendome

I have to give a shout-out to Bistro Vendome, which hosted us earlier this week for my wife Jessa’s birthday dinner.  Bistro Vendome is a French restaurant tucked away in a courtyard off of Larimer Square.  The menu is classic gourmet French fare, including items ranging from steak frites, to the delicious French onion soup, to duck confit, to pan-roasted scallops, and more.  The food is exceptional.

We started out with the mussels, which disappeared very quickly.  We had to ask for more bread so that we could soak up every last drop of the leftover garlic sauce in the bowl.  For main courses, we each ordered something different.  I had a steak special of the day, which was a grilled flat iron served atop Brussels sprouts risotto and a port rosemary cream sauce, garnished with chervil.  This was a flawless dish; the steak was perfectly cooked and tender, and the risotto was out of this world.  Some of the other dishes we had were the scallops, the trout, the mac and cheese, and the steak au poivre.  Nothing disappointed, it all was fabulous, and, at $17-24 per entree, I thought the prices were spot on.

While we were ever-so-tempted by the dessert menu, we already had cupcakes from Happy Cakes delivered courtesy of my brother (which proved to be a sweet finish to a great birthday dinner!).  We’ll have to come back soon, though, as it is exceedingly tough for me to turn down crème brûlée, chocolate mousse, French macarons, ice creams, and crepes…  Bon appétit!

Interested in living near Bistro Vendome?  Click here to see nearby homes for sale!

Bistro Vendome on Urbanspoon
The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700.

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Good Progress at Denver’s Union Station

2014 February 7
by David Schlichter

If you’ve been by Denver’s Union Station lately, you’ve seen the tremendous progress that is being made on its massive renovation project.  The new Union Station is scheduled to open this summer, and it will soon be the main transportation hub for downtown Denver, in addition to featuring several Good restaurants such as The Kitchen Next Door, Snooze, Stoic & Geuine Fish and Mercantile Dining & Provision and the new Crawford Hotel.

Construction progress at Denver's Union Station (Source: Denver Union Station Project Authority)

The project has been moving at amazing speed, and I’ve written repeatedly about how I believe Union Station will be a game-changer for downtown Denver (here, here, and here).  Rachel Kaufman, Managing Editor of Elevation DC, and Eric Peterson, Managing Editor of Confluence Denver, put together a great update on the project this week, discussing the status of the project and how it compares to the renovations of their Union Stations in cities across the country.  I encourage you to give it a read!

Meanwhile, if you’re interested in investing in residential real estate nearby, click here to see what is for sale.

The Good Life Denver is written by David Schlichter. To stay in the loop, like The Good Life Denver on Facebook and follow @thegoodlifeden on Twitter!

In addition to writing for The Good Life Denver, David works full-time as a Denver real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty Downtown, LLC. David helps his clients (ranging from first-time home buyers, to sellers, to seasoned investors) achieve their real estate goals. Contact David today for all of your Denver real estate needs. Direct: 7/440-2340, Office: 3/539-5700. (None of the above should be construed as investment advice.)

 

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