Penny Parker column

Penny Parker
Posted 9/20/12

One of the metro area’s hidden suburban gems is the focus of an event that aims to bring the Wheat Ridge community and visitors together to …

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Penny Parker column


One of the metro area’s hidden suburban gems is the focus of an event that aims to bring the Wheat Ridge community and visitors together to celebrate the unveiling of Ridge at 38.

The newly branded district is home to a mix of businesses that offer neighborhood services alongside diverse shopping and restaurant destinations, on West 38th between Sheridan and Wadsworth Boulevards. Along with the city of Wheat Ridge, the district is hosting a family-friendly daylong event beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, on Wadsworth Boulevard and Reed Street.

The event begins at 1 p.m. and includes: kickoff and ribbon cutting with Mayor Jerry DiTullio followed by Celebrate Ridge at 38 Marketplace 1-6 p.m. with artisans markets, urban farming showcase and food swap, microbrew and local wine garden, vintage auto/cycle show, do-it-yourself workshops and a kids’ activity area.

Retro/Modern Double-Feature Movie on the Green is a double-feature movie, 6-11 p.m., featuring the classic version of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” followed by Tim Burton’s recent take on the original, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The movies begin at dusk.

For more information, go to or contact Britta Fisher with Wheat Ridge 2020 at 720-259-1030 or

Get ready to mangia!

Denver Restaurant Week(s), the most bang for the buck you can have at local eateries, is set next year for Feb. 23 through March 8. The event, where a couple can dine from a multicourse menu for $52.80 (singles for $26.40), features some of the metro area’s finest dining spots with real meal deals.

Registration for next year’s participation for restaurants begins this November, and restaurants and menus will be posted on the website early next year.

This year’s Denver Restaurant Week set a record of 339 participating eateries — the most in any restaurant week in the nation, according to organizer Visit Denver.

Based on surveys, a record 404,400 meals were served during DRW 2012, up 12 percent over the total meals served in 2011.

TV host opens hangout

Hotmixology Lounge, a new LoDo hangout from Dave Elger of Cooking Channel fame, opens Thursday, Sept. 20, at 2026 Larimer St., adjoining Scruffy Murphy’s. Elger, who founded Muchote Tequila with his twin brother, Will, will tape his weekly TV show from the new bar where guests will be invited along for the ride during the “tour de booze.”

“Hotmixology Lounge is guaranteed to make your spirits soar with great cocktails poured with premium ingredients the Hotmixology way,” Elger said. “We are bringing the TV show to life, and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the mix in LoDo.”

The historic 1,500-square-foot space holds a custom bar, chandeliers by Rocky Mountain Barrel Co., lounging areas and a revolving art exhibit curated by Fascination St. Fine Art owner Aaron LaPedis. The menu will focus on artisan snacks that change seasonally and use ingredients from local purveyors.

Hours are 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, with extended hours beginning at 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays, featuring a Bloody Mary bar. To see clips of the TV show, go to

Changing spaces

Embassy Suites Denver-Downtown/Convention Center has hired Ed Blair, former GM of The Oxford Hotel in Denver, as the new general manager.

Denver-based Sage Hospitality, co-owner of The Oxford, announced last month that it had acquired the management contract for the 403-room convention center hotel, and hired Blair to take over leadership of the property.

Blair is a member of Denver’s Road Home, the commission to end homelessness in Denver by 2015, and a member of the Business Advisory Council for Denver’s Road to Work.

Taking Blair’s place at the Oxford is Afsi Bird as GM for the historic 80-room hotel. Bird joins The Oxford from Hotel Terra Jackson Hole.

And in further hotel news, Beaver Creek’s The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa has hired Timothy H. Wolfe as general manager.

Wolfe has been a member of the Colorado Tourism Office Board of Directors since 2009 and recently began serving as CTO’s chairman of the board.

His other claims to fame include running 20 Boston marathons and adopting a girl from China, then starting a nonprofit to help other families going through the experience.

The seen

Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern seen wandering around Denver this week on his gastronomical quest for his show “Bizarre Foods.” He ate (God knows what) at El Taco de Mexico at 714 Santa Fe Drive. He told that Denver has an “obsession with testicles,” which is a reference to Rocky Mountain Oysters.

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Penny Parker’s “Mile High Life” column gives insights into the best events, restaurants, businesses, parties and people throughout the metro area. Parker also writes for She can be reached at or at 303-619-5209.


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