Courtesy of Dry Land Distillers

Boulder County Dining News – Spring 2024

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The Boulder County dining scene is constantly evolving—which is good news for diners, but means there’s a lot of news to keep up on.

 

Consider this your short cut. Here’s what’s new and notable about restaurants, bars and other venues in Boulder and beyond this spring.

The End of First Bite and First Sip

 

Say goodbye to First Bite, formerly Boulder County Restaurant Week. Savor Production, the company that puts on First Bite and sister event First Sip, has announced that it will no longer be organizing the two annual events.

 

“While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye after 18 incredible years, we’re embracing this opportunity for growth and evolution within our culinary community,” Savor Productions wrote on Facebook.

 

The company, helmed by Jessica Benjamin, decided to cancel First Bite and First Sip because the events took a lot of time and effort to organize, but weren’t necessarily meeting the needs of diners or restaurants.

 

“We’ve been closely listening to the pulse of our dining scene, engaging with restaurant owners and observing shifting diner habits,” according to the post. “It’s clear that we’re in a tumultuous moment, and we believe it’s time to hit pause on outdated models. We’re committed to crafting events that better align with the needs of our dining community as a whole.”

 

Savor Productions will continue to provide marketing support to local eateries and says this is “just the beginning of an exciting new chapter.” So, more to come on that later.

95a Bistro & Co. Announces Permanent Closure

 

95a Bistro & Co., a beloved Lafayette eatery, closed its doors permanently on April 9. The Kulura family cited “rising expenses and the current economic landscape in the hospitality industry.”

 

“In particular, the escalating costs of labor and food have been significant factors in our decision,” the family wrote in a Facebook post. “The constant battle against inflation, especially in terms of food costs, placed immense pressure on our margins. It has always been our commitment to providing quality food, beverage, and service at reasonable prices, and unfortunately, we reached a tipping point where the numbers no longer added up to meet that commitment.”

Dry Land Distillers Is Now Serving Food

 

Courtesy of Dry Land Distillers

 

Dry Land Distillers, located in downtown Longmont, is now serving food. In addition to craft cocktails made with Dry Land’s spirits, you can enjoy a variety of small bites from Wednesday through Saturday every week, with a special menu on Sundays.

 

Dry Land is also now partnering with the Times Collaborative, a coworking and events space in downtown Longmont. Dry Land will now be providing spirits, cocktails and bar services for public events at the Times Collaborative.

Longmont’s New Food Hall Has An Opening Date

 

The new food hall coming to Longmont, Parkway Food Hall, now officially has an opening date: Memorial Day. The venue also announced more vendors. In addition to Chile Con Quesadilla, Parkway will welcome a Japanese street-food stall called Baa Hachi, created by Patrick and Lisa Balcom of Niwot’s Farow restaurant. The Balcoms are also bringing their Neapolitan pizza concept, called Pie Dog, over to the food hall.

 

Parkway will also welcome H3sh3r, a food truck and catering company that specializes in whole-hog barbecue. Another newly announced vendor is Spice Fusion, from the team that owns Gurkhas on the Hill in Boulder; it will service Thai and Indian cuisine. Cleaver & Co. and Shawarma Shack, which already have stalls at Denver’s Junction Food & Drink, will both open their second locations at Parkway.

Boulder Swim Club Opens at Boulder Broker

 

The historic Boulder Broker Inn has a new dining venue: Boulder Swim Club. It’s serving coffee in the morning, Asian-inspired cuisine during the day and tiki cocktails, beer, wine and zero-proof beverages in the evenings. You can sit indoors, or outside by the pool—and the vibe is 1970’s Palm Springs.

High Country Will Open on Pearl Street

 

Courtesy of High Country

 

A new restaurant from the team behind Gemini will open later this month on Pearl Street. Called High Country, the new eatery will feature “elevated comfort fare with a laid back, mountain town vibe.” It’s scheduled to open on April 22 in the space that freed up when Hapa Sushi moved to a larger spot on Pearl Street earlier this year.

 

“We love the atmosphere and the energy on Pearl Street and jumped at the chance to build a second restaurant on the bricks,” says Michael Mehiel, managing partner. “We want High Country to build upon this fresh vibe we are witnessing on Pearl and offer an exciting gathering spot for our community.”

Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar Has a Fresh Look

 

In January, Boulder’s Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar got its first major makeover in decades. Crews moved the bar from the center of the restaurant to the east wall, which allowed them to add 14 more seats to the space. Jax, which is celebrating 30 years in business this year, also got new floors, chairs, lighting and artwork.

Red Cedar Bistro To Open in Longmont

 

Longmont will soon be getting a new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant called Red Cedar Bistro. Slated to open sometime this summer, the new restaurant will be located at 516 Main Street in downtown Longmont. It’s owned by Larry and Sandy Shore, and will be offering dishes like falafel flatbread wraps, chicken parmesan subs, lamb bolognese, peppercorn steak and vegan spanakopita, just to name a few.

 

The restaurant space will also double as an art gallery, where local artists can showcase their work. The first exhibition will be themed around “New Beginnings.”

 

Stay tuned for a confirmed opening date and more details.

Ironton Distillery Is Coming to Louisville

 

Denver’s Iron Distillery & Crafthouse will build a new state-of-the-art distillery and tasting room just east of downtown Louisville. Located on a two-acre plot at 1303 Empire Road, the facility is slated to open by the end of 2025. The building will feature a ground-level tasting room, a large rooftop dock, a big outdoor patio space and multiple private event spaces.

 

The family-friendly space will offer spirits and cocktails, as well as delicious meals made in its full-scratch kitchen. Guests will also be able to sip local guest beer, wine and non-alcoholic options.

 

Courtesy of Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse

 

Ironton first opened in 2018 in Denver’s River North Art District (RiNo), but recently decided to relocate to Boulder County so that it could bring all production and barrel-aging operations under one roof. The team will also be able to incorporate a wide array of sustainability features into the new building, including water retention/filtration, heat transfer technology, solar energy and spent waste reuse.

 

The company also plans to expand its distribution footprint into new markets, such as California and Kansas.

 

“We’ll always share a deep connection to Denver and the incredible community that helped get Ironton off the ground and thriving for the past six years,” says Kallyn Romero, co-founder of Ironton Distillery. “While we’re excited to start a new chapter in Louisville, Denver will always be special to us and we’re still exploring.”

Chameleon Japanese Opens At Rosetta Hall

 

At the end of March, a new concept opened inside Boulder’s Rosetta Hall: Chameleon Japanese. The eater will feature Izakaya-inspired dishes that combine hallmarks of traditional and modern Japanese cuisine. (Izakaya is a popular after-work dining style in Japan with a relaxed atmosphere and small, shareable plates.)

 

Menu items include Miso Glazed Eggplant, Tekkadon, Okonomi Fries, Tonkatsu Ramen, Beef Kushiyaki Skewers, Chicken Katsu Sandwich and Yakisoba Noodles.

 

Chameleon Japanese will be available through this fall.

Bucatino Trattoria Romana Opens in Lafayette

 

Lafayette’s newest restaurant is Bucatino Trattoria Romana, an authentic Roman Italian eatery serving up homemade pastas, mozarellas and more. It’s now open at 1265 South Public Road in the space formerly occupied by Chinese restaurant Ting’s Place.

 

You might recognize the team behind Bucatino Trattoria Romana: Chef Marco Monnanni also runs Sforno Trattoria Romana in Boulder and Caprese Trattoria in Longmont. Monnanni was born in Rome and specializes in the cuisine of the Lazio region.

 

The name comes from bucatini pasta, which is thicker than spaghetti and has a hollow center. The restaurant offers three bucatini dishes—bucatini bolognese, bucatini amatriciana and bucatini al forno—as well as multiple types of homemade ravioli, plus linguini, penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, lasagna, pappardelle and more. The menu also includes both pizza and pinsa, a special type of Roman pizza made with wheat, soy and rice flour.

C Bar and C Burger To Open in Boulder

 

Boulder restauranteur Bryan Dayton—who also owns Corrida, OAK at Fourteenth, Bellota and BriDer—is bringing two new concepts to Boulder this spring, both located at 921 Pearl Street. One is called C Bar and the other is called C Burger.

 

C Bar will be a contemporary cocktail bar opened in collaboration with master mixologist Diego Baud. The bar will have a retro-modern design that’s reminiscent of a “James Bond” film, with modern, playful drinks and a selection of snacks and small plates.

 

C Burger, meanwhile, is a partnership between Dayon and chef/partner Samuel McCandless. It first debuted as a kiosk at Sanitas Brewing Co.’s Englewood location. As the name suggests, the Boulder outpost will focus heavily on beef smashburgers made with regenerative, organic and local meat, but you’ll also find chicken sandwiches and salads on the menu.

Snooze Is Now Taking Reservations

 

As of February, Snooze is now taking reservations on weekdays for the first time ever. On Mondays through Fridays, you can make reservations for parties of up to four people via Yelp, Google or the Snooze website or mobile app. If your party is larger than that, you can make a reservation by calling the restaurant directly.

 

Though the new reservations are not available on weekends, Snooze still has a waitlist that you can join from home.

 

 

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