ELGL is headed to the Rocky Mountains for the CPBB Conference from August 5 to 7 in Denver, Colorado. We are co-sponsoring the conference with NLC, ICMA, AFI, TIG, SRB, and SAN. OK, maybe, we made up the last three acroymns.
Unfortunately, this scene from “Dumb and Dumber is all we know about Colorado.
It’s important to admit ignorance first, which is why we enlisted a number of ELGL friends to plan our itinerary. We have compiled their suggestions into a mini-Yelp guide for Denver. Should you trust these “ELGL friends?” Who the heck are these ELGL friends? They are:
Chris Gallegos, Clackamas County Communications Specialist and former Dumb Friends League Public Relations Manager in Denver, CO
Evan Fransted, City of Lake Oswego, OR Associate Planner
Heather Geyer, City of Wheat Ridge Administrative Services
Kirsten Silveira, City of Baltimore (MD) Budget Analyst and Colorado State University graduate
Kitty Wooley, Senior Fellows and Friends, Colorado Springs, CO
Nathan Mosley, City of Wheat Ridge, Assistant the City Manager
Paul Piccard, McAfee, Senior Director
Should you take their suggestions and get food poisoning, bit by a rabid liger, get concussed (our favorite word) by a foul ball, or dance to much at the Lady Gaga show, our ELGL friends are not liable.
ELGL Conference Notes
First of all, ELGL has you taken care of on Tuesday night. We are co-hosting with CPBB an event at one of the nearby watering holes. Details to be released this week.
Also, before you read the below suggestions and get all jacked up to incorporate them into your itinerary, you should note that ELGL is presenting a unique session on Wednesday, August 6 at 1:15 p.m. Our team will present a rapid-fire session on “40 Items for Improving Your Organization.” (Note: Not to worry, there is not an 100 slide PowerPoint accompanying our presentation, only bad jokes, tank tops, and nervous laughter.)
A few other things to know about ELGL and Colorado can be gleaned from these profiles: Heather Geyer, Wheat Ridge (CO), Administrative Services, Tim Gagen, Breckenridge Town Manager, Robb Kolstad, Management and Budget Director, City of Thornton, and The Deputy with Jeff Mihelich, City of Fort Collins
Leave us your suggestions in the comment box.
The Celtic Tavern – fun bar to hang out at.
The Corner Office – restaurant and martini bar
Euclid Hall – American tavern focuses on high quality and innovative pub food from around the world including housemade sausages, po’ boys, poutine and schnitzels. An extensive beer selection and creative cocktails drive the beverage program.
Falling Rock Tap House – beer lover’s paradise, with a revolving door of beers arranged by region and weight.
Great Divide Brewery (2201 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80205) – They are all about the Denver brew!
Katie Mullen’s Irish Pub – across from the hotel, fun atmosphere.
The Park Avenue Grill – established in 1988 as a traditional San Francisco style neighborhood restaurant. The restaurant décor is reminiscent of the supper clubs of the 30’s and 40’s with its impressive vintage bar and crisp white tablecloths.
Snooze – yummy breakfast and bruch! Usually a wait so be prepared for one.
The Source – an artisan food market, this is a must see! Cab ride away from the hotel. Acorn has awesome food! ***You will probably need reservations for dinner.
Tamayo – upscale Mexican restaurant
Wynkoop (1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202) – The brewery opened by current CO governor John Hickenlooper when he was just a local business guy. Awesome local brews, as well.
Yard House – great bar near the Sheridan.
Amato’s Ale House– Great patio and food! Wonderful view of the Denver skyline
Denver Beer Co –great place if you are into craft beer.
Little Man Ice Cream – best ice cream in Denver. Try their salted oreo!
My Brother’s Bar (2376 15th St, Denver, CO 80202) – Oldest bar and best burger in Denver! Great chill place with good food. Located in LoHi (lower highlands) owned by brothers who are now in their late 80s. Over near the REI Flagship store in the Confluence Park neighborhood. Quick cab ride away from the Sheraton or you could take the 16th Street shuttle and then walk.
Racine’s – great spot for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner & late night place. Located between the Cherry Creek shopping district and downtown Denver.
Root Down Restaurant – A converted filling station is an artful, high-energy venue for creative American small plates.
Squeaky Bean is really good!
Williams & Graham – speakeasy inspired bar! If you like a stiff drink you can definitely get one here. This would be a cab ride but a fun time.
ZENGO – great place for latin-asian tapas, yummy drinks! Walkable with a ride on the mall shuttle
Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs Restaurant – Distinctive dogs (rattlesnake, reindeer) & toppings, microbrews, a biker vibe & late weekend hours.
Cherry Cricket – From Mary Zimmerman’s trucker bar of the 1950’s to famed Bernard Duffy’s prime rib and neon icon of the 1960’s to Eli McGuire’s beer and burger joint of the 1990’s, this place has changed hands often but never wavered. During his Wynkoop Brewing Company days, our Governor, John Hickenlooper, was an owner.
Colorado Plus (Wheat Ridge, about a 15 minute drive from downtown Denver)
Colt & Gray – if you really really like food this is a great option but definitely pricey.
Fuel Café – if you are a foodie we highly recommend Fuel. The food is always awesome here! Short cab ride from downtown
Highland Tap and Burger – Nestled in the Lower Highlands, Highland Tap and Burger is a great place to grab a local craft brew and gourmet burger
Linger – former Mortuary, owner has embraced its history by darkening the first letter of Olinger’s prominent neon sign to name his place, and changing the word “mortuaries” to “eatuaries.’ The body of Buffalo Bill reportedly spent six months in the space in 1917.
Pinche Taqueria – Innovative street-style tacos (such as tongue & pork belly) & cocktails in a packed setting.
Steuben’s– great food! It’s your go to for comfort food (friend chicken etc) and great cocktails.
Work & Class – square meal, stiff drink, and fair price.
One of our contributors added,
“the coolest part of Denver right now is River North Art District (RiNo), which is more intimate and a little edgier than the Art District on Santa Fe listed on the conference hotel site. The Source is RiNo’s foodie hangout, but there are numerous other interesting things and people there. Browse these sites: River North Art District and Denver Neighborhoods.
If you have time to venture south to Washington Park, there is a wonderful little place on the east side called Fooducopia that’s open for breakfast and brunch.
If you’re interested in apps, right now I like these two: Visit Denver and CO Roots.”
Big Blue Bear outside of the Convention Center for art folks.
Denver Art Museum (DAM) – a cab ride away. DAM has terrific collections and a good store.
Denver B cycle program: If you need a way to get around but don’t want to drive, try the bikeshare program — very inexpensive and fun! The hubs are located around the city!
Denver Botanic Gardens (1007 York St, Denver, CO 80206) has a really great Chihuly exhibit right now! Driving here takes you through one of the swankiest neighborhoods in town, Senate Park. And it’s a really beautiful garden. It’s an exceptional oasis of calm, really lovely.
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks at Invesco Field: a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl.
Denver Center for Performing Arts – check for any shows not sure of what is out right now
Denver Pavilions – Shopping area
Museum of Contemporary Art – explores the art and culture of our time through rotating exhibitions and public educational programs.
Pepsi Center – check for any concerts looks like Lady Gaga is in town.
Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater – Foster the People (August 6) and Ray LaMontagne (August 7)
Rockies Game @ Coor’s Field (playing the Cubs both nights) – One of the most gorgeous stadiums in the country. And SUPER inexpensive to attend games — something like $8 if you’re only there for the beer and baseball. Around $20 if you want to be closer. Also located in what use to be called Skid Row — now LoDo and was the first major successful urban renewal projects in Colorado (Skyline Renewal Project).
Tour of Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey. It’s a short cab ride from downtown.
Union Station – historic train station at 17th and Wynkoop in the LoDo district.
Kirsten says if you get a chance to travel to Fort Collins (about 45 mins and TOTALLY WORTH IT).
In Fort Collins, the traditional draws are Colorado State University and Horsetooth Reservoir, but people have been opening microbreweries the past couple of decades. Visit Fort Collins Breweries for more information. There are some tours, as well as beer and good food.
O’dells Brewing (800 E Lincoln Ave, Fort Collins, CO 80524) – My ALL TIME favorite brewery on earth. Recommend the St. Luplin if its on tap.
New Belgium Brewery (500 Linden St) Double recommended by Kirsten and Heather– Free 90 minute tour including lots of free beer. Usually an awesome food truck outside too!
Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewery(5 Old Town Square, Fort Collins, CO 80524) – Killer burgers and awesome brew you can only get there!
The 415 (415 Mason St) Farm to Table. Lunch is superior to the dinner selection.