Dairy Block: Bringing The Good Life to Denver’s Alleys

2018 February 28
by Caitlin Clough

Development in Denver continues to move in bold new directions, and Dairy Block offers one of the latest examples of the new ways developers are approaching mixed use projects in an urban setting.

Dairy Block stretches across a city block in LoDo, between 18th and 19th, Wazee and Blake. The concept combines a hotel, restaurants, and the city’s first “activated” alley with shops, bars and restaurants. It is reminiscent of Stone Street in New York’s Financial District, Ankeny Alley in Portland and, with the lights strung above, Denver’s own Larimer Square.

The block was once home to Windsor Dairy, built in 1918. Cheese, milk and butter were processed in there until 1928, when Meadow Gold purchased the property. Today, the Maven Hotel and Kachina Southwestern Grill occupy the Northwest corner of the block, and the alleyway between Wazee and Blake will soon offer a unique pedestrian experience, with access turned in towards retail and restaurants.

Coined a “micro-district” in the heart of LoDo, Dairy Block will incorporate a storefront by Denver Flea for local Colorado retailers to sell their wares called “Free Market.” Also central to the plan is a food hall called “Milk Market,” overseen by renowned Denver restauranteur Frank Bonanno (of Mizuna, Osteria Marco, Green Russell, Bones, and more) with a whopping 15 original restaurant concepts. Poka Lola Social Club will serve cocktails alleyside, Engine Room Pizza will serve New York style pizza until 3am, and Lou’s Hot & Naked will serve Nashville-hot chicken. Mr. Pink, a live music lounge, will also occupy space in the mixed-use building.

Huckleberry Roasters, a Denver coffee shop, opened their second coffee shop location in the Dairy Block on January 31st. Other retailers leasing space include The Perfect Petal and Seven Grand, a Los-Angeles based whiskey bar. The developers are planning for around 20 vendors as long-term tenants but will also facilitate booth space for local artisans to rent out seasonally. On the Southeast corner, Run for the Roses, an Kentucky Derby-themed bar, will fill the space previously occupied by Delaney’s Bar and The Celtic.

Dairy Block is a collaborative effort by MCWHINNEY, Sage Hospitality and Grand American Inc.

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