Denver Restaurant Week 2017

The 2017 Denver Restaurant Week is almost here!

For years, many restaurants around Denver offered a special menu during Restaurant Week that both showed off each restaurant’s specialties, plus offered a great deal. Originally, over a decade ago, the deal was $52.80 for a couple, usually including a drink. The price was a symbol of Denver itself, and it’s 5280 feet (one mile) elevation.

But, times change, and inflation marches on, and restaurant’s had a harder and harder time coming up with the kind of menus they wanted for that price. So, cool symbolism has been abandoned. Instead, restaurants are now slated to offer meals on a price schedule reminiscent of the old 59, 79, 99 cent menus at Taco Bell. (If you remember those days, you might be a 40-something 🙂

denver restaurant week 2017 menus

The 2017 Denver Restaurant Week menus will come in three varieties, $25, $35, or $45. Some restaurants may offer all three menus, while others may stick to the top of the range. These will be per person prices, instead of the old couples pricing.

The dates for 2017 Denver Restaurant Week have been announced as February 24 through March 5th.

The first menu postings are scheduled for January 25th, so just one more week until you can start drooling over your favorite menus. Although a look at individual restaurants may give you a sneak peak. For example, I found a Coohills Restaurant Week 2017 menu. Looks like they have targeted the $35 price point, with several optional “supplements” if you are looking to go all out.

Super savvy diners who already know which restaurants they want to hit may want to start making reservations now. Many Denver area restaurants take reservations online via OpenTable, so start there.

Several restaurants have traditionally pulled out all the stops for Denver Restaurant Week in the past. I’m looking forward to checking out menus from Guard and Grace, Mizuna, Tag (fingers crossed for meatloaf and duck fat fries) among others.

What restaurants are you looking forward to checking out?

Denver Pavilions in Downtown Denver

Denver-Pavilions-downtown-denver Shopping Downtown at the Pavilions

On the eastern end of the 16th Street Mall is the Denver Pavilions, an outdoor mall within the mall. The Pavilions has numerous shopping opportunities including a two-story Barnes & Noble, Gap, Banana Republic, Nike Town, Bath & Body Works, and a Victoria’s Secret store. The Pavilions also houses smaller local stores and boutiques ranging from nail salons to tobacco shops.

Downtown Denver Pavilions Restaurants

Pavilions restaurants offers a variety of dining eateries ranging from restaurant chains to local favorites. Maggiano’s Little Italy is a popular family style Italian restaurant. That means that you should order the half-order unless you plan to share, because the portion are huge. On weekend evenings, the wait can be long, so grab a reservation earlier in the week, or show up before 6:00 P.M. to avoid a long wait in the bar.

There is also the Hard Rock Cafe Denver,  Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and local lunch favorite, Corner Bakery Cafe which serves sandwiches, hot Panini’s, soups, and bakery creations.

Denver Pavilions Nightlife in Downtown Denver

When it’s time to have some fun in Downtown Denver, the Pavilions has plenty of options for daytime fun as well as hot spots for those looking for fun nightlife. Jazz @ Jack’s offers, as you might guess, live Jazz music and drinks. Jack’s has live music 7 days a week, including Sundays. The house band, Dotsero, has been playing together for 18 years! The core members of the group are all University of Colorado (CU) alumni.

So, whether you flew in on Sunday for a business meeting, or are tourists in Denver with the family, or are locals out for the Denver’s nightlife downtown, you can always drop by Jack’s for some music.

If you are looking for something a little louder and flashier, consider Coyote Ugly Saloon, as franchised offshoot of the real Coyote Ugly bar in New York City made popular by the Coyote Ugly movie starring Piper Perabo and Maria Bello.

Look for the free weekly newspaper, Westword Magazine, in sidewalk displays and in the entryways of many shops and restaurants around the city. Many of Denver’s nightclubs, bars, and other hot spots run ads in the back of the paper. The ads in Westword often list bands that are playing all over town, including in the Pavilions, as well as any drink specials or special theme nights or parties. Ladies nights, in particular, can be very generous in downtown Denver.

Downtown Bowling at Lucky Strikes

If that weren’t enough, there is also bowling. That’s right, I said bowling.

Lucky Strike Lanes takes the stogy, smoke-filled, bowling alleys of suburbia and turns the idea on its head with a hip way to hang out with friends, enjoy music, and have a couple of cocktails. As one patron put it, how much more fun can you have than getting drunk and throwing stuff. (Perhaps this is why darts is so popular?) Flashy lighting, and cocktail waitresses round out the ambiance as this nightclub slash bowling alley combination in Downtown Denver.

Denver Pavilions Movie Theater

If you are looking for entertainment downtown that doesn’t involve food or drinks, the 14 screen multiplex at United Artists Theaters on the third floor of the Pavilions shows hit movies and fan favorites. The movie theater offers validated parking in the Pavilions parking garage for customers who buy a movie ticket. Take your parking ticket from the garage into the theatre with you to have it validated. Just look for the validation machine on the wall to the right of the doors (as you face the entrance/exit). Validation is only good for three hours. That time starts when you drive into the parking garage, not when your movie starts.

Denver Pavilions Location on 16th Street Mall

The Denver Pavilions is on the eastern end of the 16th Street Mall. If you are staying in a Denver hotel on the west end of town, or are finishing up seeing some of Denver’s tourist attractions, like the Denver Aquarium, don’t worry about getting a cab or driving your car. The free 16th Street shuttle will take you across downtown along the mall for free.

Parking downtown is at on street parking meters, or in the Pavilions parking garage.