QUICK TRIP TO DENVER
Five ways to get creative in the River North Art District.
THE RAMBLE HOTEL
The River North Art District (RiNo) is home to over 30 galleries, 475 artists and the country’s highest concentration of craft breweries, but how hip can a ’hood be without a boutique hotel to call its own? Enter local developer Ryan Diggins, who opened this stately new build last April. Its 50 guest rooms are tricked out with thoughtful touches straight off a frequent flyer’s wish list: spacious, well-lit bathroom vanities, windows that actually open, versatile storage to satisfy both unpackers and out-of-a-suitcase types, and real coffee (with a French press to boot!). Influential New York cocktail masters Death & Co. run the Ramble’s lobby, which morphs from a quiet café in the morning to a reservations-recommended happy-hour hot spot by 3 p.m.
Walk RiNo’s polychromatic alleys and you’re likely to find yourself in front of a massive, mustachioed lucha libre character or a six-metre-tall fanged panda. Each September, the Crush Walls street-art festival gives the neighbourhood a fresh coat of murals, thanks to local and international artists like Detour and Shepard Fairey. Montreal’s Station 16 co-produced last year’s event, which saw the introduction of tours led by festival founder Robin Munro.
Occasional Montrealer Kyle Zeppelin had commuters in mind when he opened a food hall and market place at the Blake and
38th stop of the University of Colorado A Line (five minutes from Union Station). Customers can globe-trot before they trainhop, partaking in low-ABV cocktails, Aloha Poke Co.’s fresh bowls, Indian street snacks from Namkeen and even smoked meat at Au Feu. Skeptics beware: That’s wagyu beef between the rye.
MILLERS & ROSSI
After walking into this contemporary art gallery, home to 10 eclectic Denver artists, sneak through the rear door (masquerading as a framed print). You’ll find yourself in a 1920s-style speakeasy, done up in brick, copper, soft lighting and low couches – in stark contrast to the bright, clinical space out front. Enjoy a smoked old fashioned as Bob Ross’ Joy of Painting hypnotizes you from above the central bar.
Andrea Frizzi, a Milaneseborn bundle of energy, joined the herd in RiNo in 2017 when he moved his decade-old northern Italian eatery into this soaring space. Make like every other table and start with the burrata, then follow up with housemade pasta – he cribbed that pork and marjoram ragù from his mom – or risotto with torched fontina. Ask for a table on the mezzanine for views of downtown (and to watch Frizzi buzz about on the floor below).
Location It’s a 37-minute train ride from Denver International Airport to Union Station, downtown’s very bustling terminal, which underwent a $54-million renovation in 2014.
Now you know The city receives 10,000 new residents annually. (Could be the mountains, could be the sunshine – it’s sunny 300 days a year – or could be the legal marijuana.)