From Parking Lots to Patio
How The Denver Dining Scene is Transforming to Make Way for Outdoor Seating
Denver’s dining scene is in the middle of a big transition. COVID-19 has brought struggle and strife to many local businesses. So how are the ones staying open adapting to this changing world? We know from much of what the experts are saying that being outside may significantly lower the chances of COVID-19 transmission. And I don’t know too many Denver restaurant patios that can hold an entire restaurant’s worth of patrons! But, I have been seeing something pretty cool happen around the city: from parking lots to patios.
As time has marched on, I have ventured back out to restaurants leaning towards my favorite spots offering outdoor seating. And the restaurants are taking note as various restaurants are turning their massive parking lots into outdoor patio seating! I love this idea for a few reasons: first, there’s so much space, which means staying 6 feet from the tables around you is far easier. Second, it feels much safer to be dining outside, and with all this beautiful weather, what’s not to love about some spacious outdoor seating! Third, more tables! I’m so happy that some of my favorite restaurants are pivoting to stay in business and keep their servers employed! If I can safely eat outside, I’m happy to support our Denver dining scene!
Participating Restaurants: A Guide
Looking for some parking lot seating? Here are a few spots that are expanding their patios for your safety and leisure:
Austin Zucchini-Fowler Art
- Cherry Cricket: have you seen this place recently?? They’ve completely transformed the patio behind their restaurant. They have turf, decorations, and stunning murals painted on the ground for your enjoyment. Nothing sounds better than sitting under an umbrella and sipping a craft beer in the heart of Cherry Creek!
- Lowry Beer Garden: as if this spot didn’t have enough outdoor seating…. they’ve expanded into the parking lot as well! Lowry Beer Garden is a Denver staple. The food is amazing, the drinks are great, and now you can dine safely on their patio while confidently staying 6 feet apart from other diners.
- Larimer Square: I’m going to make this short: Larimer Street between 14th and 15th is completely closed down for outdoor dining. Endless possibilities. I see Osteria Marco in my future!
- Barolo Grill: they are taking over 6th Avenue! Well, not quite, but they’ve drastically expanded their outdoor seating along 6th and St. Paul. Great food and great views of the Congress Park neighborhood!
- Our Mutual Friend Brewery: OMF has expanded their outdoor seating as well. Head to RiNo, grab one of their spectacular brews, and relax. Safe sipping!
- Carboy Winery and Ivy on 7th: As much as I miss Lala’s and Governor’s Park Tavern, I have to say that Carboy and Ivy on 7th have really impressed me. Check out their expanded patio seating and peruse their expansive menus. These are 2 different restaurants, but Ivy on 7th is open only for breakfast and lunch. Visit Carboy in the evening and support local wine makers!
- The Pioneer: located on the outskirts of the Observatory Park neighborhood, the Pioneer is ready to serve you a margarita on their expanded parking lot patio.
- Stoic and Genuine: Union Station has a lot of space to share! Stoic and Genuine has expanded their outdoor seating the plaza. I might find myself over there soon…. Oysters sound delish!
These are just a few of my favorite spots that have expanded their patio seating. I’m so glad to see many of my favorite businesses gaining so much support from the community. I hope you enjoyed this list. Happy dining!
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