The dining scene in Denver is in a constant state of exciting evolution, as new chefs and restaurants find unique ways to cater to the city’s burgeoning population. And while that statement is especially true now, it could easily apply at any time during the Mile High City’s history.
Denver-based commercial photographer and travel writer Chad Chisholm wanted to explore the city’s culinary history as part of the Reedy Press series on dining in cities around the country. “Unique Eats and Eateries of Denver” is the result of that work.
“I feel like Denver has a unique atmosphere in that teamwork and ‘playing well in the sandbox’ together is an important aspect of success here,” Chisholm explained. “I also believe that’s an important aspect of translating restaurants or celebrity chefs from other markets to find success in Denver, adopting the Denver friendly approach and sense of community.”
We asked Chisholm some questions about the process, dining in Denver and more:
What kind of research went into writing the book?
Growing up in Colorado gave me unique insight to the local scene; I try to go to as many restaurants as possible when they open and had my upbringing in Colorado to draw upon for local knowledge. I curated a list of Denver restaurants I knew to have a unique story or background as well as unique spaces they inhabit.
What do you think would surprise people most about Denver’s culinary scene?
It’s not surprising for Denverites, but the friendly demeanor found here is impressive. The dedication to community and giving back is noteworthy and chefs often are found front of house as much as back of house.
What do you hope people who read your book come away with?
Some of the stories and saga of the Denver dining scene; whether a tidbit of history or heartwarming story that they hadn’t heard before. I hope readers have a deeper love of everything Denver has to offer and continues to nurture unique eats and eateries.
“Unique Eats and Eateries of Denver” is available online and at local bookshops. Chisholm will be doing presentations and book signings at the following dates and times: from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11 at C2 Studios; from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 at Barnes and Noble Glendale; from 4-6 p.m. on July 12 at Coohills Restaurant.
The Great Gig in Lone Tree
Lone Tree’s Classic Albums Live series is one of the most popular summer musical events in the south metro area, especially for those who remember when these albums were first released.
Pink Floyd’s seminal mind-bender of an album, “Dark Side of the Moon,” receives the Classic Albums Live treatment at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, at the Lone Tree Arts Center, 10075 Commons St.
These tribute concerts eschew makeup and gimmicks to make the performers look like those they’re honoring, and instead focus on re-creating the sound of their work as with as much validity as possible. In addition to the full album, the second set will feature some of Pink Floyd’s well-known cuts from other albums.
Visit www.lonetreeartscenter.org to get your tickets.
Performance Now does Sinatra its way
There’s a reason Frank Sinatra is one of the most beloved singers in American history, despite the fact that he had his peak 50 years ago. His voice, naturally, and his swinging demeanor also played key roles. But the man worked with some of the best songwriters to build an unassailable songbook.
Performance Now Theatre Company is honoring the legacy of Ol’ Blue Eyes with “My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra” at the Lakewood Cultural Center, 470 S. Allison Parkway. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, from June 14 through 30.
Directed and choreographed by Kelly Van Oosbree, this musical revue celebrates Sinatra’s evolution, from his start in swing bands in the 1940s to Las Vegas with the Rat Pack and beyond through timeless tunes like “That’s Life,” “I’ve Got the World on a String,” and “Fly Me to the Moon.”
Get tickets by calling 303-987-7845 or visit www.performancenow.org.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — David Gray at Ellie Caulkins
David Gray is one of those musicians that the bulk of contemporary audiences take for granted. The British singer-songwriter beautifully blends Van Morrison-esque troubadouring with the electronic and ambient impulses of Brian Eno. He dropped one bulletproof classic album in “White Ladder” at the turn of the 21st century and has continued to release reliably lovely albums in the ensuing 20 years.
Gray released his latest album, “Gold in a Brass Age” in March and will be performing at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Speer Boulevard and Arapahoe Street in Denver, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, June 17.
Tickets for the show can be purchased at www.axs.com.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.