Denver: home of gorgeous ski slopes, cannabis connoisseurs, and—as of late—one of the fastest-growing restaurant scenes in the country. Thanks to a major wave of redevelopment and a big population increase, Denver is becoming one of the coolest cities to live in and visit—and a number of chefs are flocking to the newly minted food destination.
Thinking about setting up shop in the Mile High City? Check out these tips from some of the city’s biggest restaurant power players.
As a city, Denver is booming big time, and for lots of different reasons. The economy has remained relatively steady amidst dips across the rest of the country. The city is a relatively affordable market for living (meaning it is a less risky spot to open a restaurant). As Lon Symensma, chef of the Denver spot ChoLon says, “Instead of slogging it out in New York, you can open a restaurant and stick out more easily here.”
It’s becoming an enormous hub for tech start-ups—so much so that the city is now referred to as the “Silicon Mountains.” Plus, the quality of life has never been higher. “You can be golfing in the morning and up in the mountains in the afternoon,” Symensma says. “It’s like this secret gem—though lots of people are catching on now.”
And then, of course, there’s the fact that Colorado is one of the only states in the U.S. where recreational marijuana is legal, a move that “has drawn a lot of attention to the state and brought more people here,” according to Aileen Reilly, co-owner of Coperta and beast + bottle. “It put Denver on the map as a place people know about—20 years ago I would say I was from Denver, and people wouldn’t know what I was talking about.” [Read more…]