The Mile High City

Denver city view

Exploring Our Favorite Local Spots in Denver

In this 8-part series, we are shining a light on small businesses in the cities where we currently operate. With so many communities struggling today, we’re inviting you to join us in standing by local establishments you know and love. Each week we’ll feature a different city, highlighting five gems submitted by our riders and employees, and give away $1,000 worth of gift cards to these spots on our Instagram account.

It’s not your imagination; the sky really is bluer in Denver. Due to the high elevation, there’s less water vapor in the air, and that leads to a more radiant shade of blue. Couple that with the surprising fact that the Mile High City averages 300 sunny days a year, more than either San Diego or Miami Beach, and you’ve got a good thing going.

Blue skies and sunshine lend themselves well to being outdoors and enjoying the 14,000 acres of mountain parks and 2,500 acres of natural areas in the region. They also lend themselves well to exploring Denver’s 78 neighborhoods, and frequenting the small businesses therein.

Denver is such an attractive location that Elvis Presley once flew his private jet from Memphis solely for a Fool’s Gold Loaf sandwich (peanut butter, grape jelly, and bacon). He traveled 1,047 miles out of his way for a specialty item sold by a small business. We encourage you to exhibit this same kind of dedication and gusto for all things local.

To get you started, here are five of our favorite spots in the Mile High City. Thank you to our riders and employees for your submissions, along with personal anecdotes.

Denver Beer Co: Charlie is a 5th-generation Coloradan who, prior to opening Denver Beer Co, trained with the best at Doeman’s Brewing Academy in Munich. Patrick is a former physicist and Lockheed Martin engineer. He was an award-winning home-brewer before joining forces with Charlie. The pair opened Denver Beer Co. in 2011 and emphasized top-notch ales and lagers, environmental sustainability, and community. Joe B appreciates their green approach, “They do cool stuff,” he said. “Like using a hot water recycling system to conserve energy and donating spent grains to local farmers. Little things like this matter to me. I definitely recommend DBC!” You can place to-go orders from their taprooms and purchase merch and gift cards by visiting their website. Photos courtesy of Denver Beer Co.

Denver Central Market: 11 gourmet vendors, 14,000 sq ft space, hip neighborhood, full bar — are you sold yet? In 2016, Ken Wolf and Jeff Osaka had a vision to bring a foodie’s oasis to River North Arts District (RiNo), and they succeeded. Libby P can attest to it, “Denver Central Market is awesome because it has such a great atmosphere. It has a unique feel, as well as amazing vendors. Such a cool vibe all around!” For delivery, pickup, and gift cards, visit their website. Photos courtesy of Denver Central Market.

Uncle Ramen: Tommy Lee, owner of Uncle Ramen, blends traditional recipes with new ideas, and he takes his time to get things just right. It took him eight months, as an example, to perfect a new dish, the Tokyo shoyu, made with a light chicken and fish broth, pork belly, arugula, scallion, and ajitama egg. In addition to delicious food, Uncle also gives back to the community; 50¢ from each pork bun goes to a local charity. Jacqui is a frequent patron and proclaims that “They have the best ramen in Denver!” Try it out for yourself by visiting their website for pickup, delivery, and gift cards. Photos courtesy of Uncle Ramen.

Coperta: Siblings Paul and Aileen Reilly traveled through Southern Italy together in the summer of 2015. They discovered amazing food and comforting hospitality, which inspired them to recreate some of the magic back home in Denver. At Coperta, you can start with mozzarella, shipped fresh from Campania and served with De Carlo olive oil, and finish with chocolatey grispelle covered with Marsala caramel, while sipping a Scacciadiavoli dessert wine. Maggie C knows this culinary journey well. “Walking into Coperta, you can just feel the warmth and sense of community,” she said. “The food is absolutely incredible, and the staff feels like family.” Coperta is open for takeout and delivery. You can also support them by purchasing a gift card (call 720–749–4666) or contributing to their Fundly page. Photos courtesy of Coperta.

There’s an obscure law in Denver prohibiting the lending of a vacuum to a neighbor. At Spin, we’re big on following the rules, so in lieu of offering up your hoover to a community member in need, we invite you to support your fellow Denverites in another way — by buying from local businesses at a time when they need us most!

We’ll see you next week when we land in Orlando to spotlight more small businesses, for our final post of the series.

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