If you live in Denver, chances are you have been to the renovated Union Station. An amazing transformation has taken place over the last few years, and now Denver’s Union Station offers an eclectic array of the city’s top restaurants, bars and shops.
The 120-year-old station’s $54 million transformation into a hotel, shops, restaurants and bars was to be a capstone in Denver’s march from a polluted, declining city to one of the nation’s fastest-growing urban areas. To the station’s east is the Lower Downtown historic district, with the lowest commercial vacancy rates and highest office rents in the city. To the west is the Central Platte Valley, now scene of nearly $1 billion in residential and commercial development and a new $500 million regional transit center.
It’s a far cry from the Denver of the 1980s, when the city was choking on a brown cloud of pollution and struggling with a decaying downtown and a sputtering economy. Downtown was in a depression with office vacancy rates of 30 percent and half the hotel rooms empty. Downtown Denver became a ghost town after 5pm. “Denver was able to use the crisis of the 1980s to experiment in doing business in new ways,” said Jennifer Bradley, of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program in Washington, D.C. “Just as the 1980s wasn’t Denver’s moment, now is Denver’s moment.”
Redevelopment is pushing north and east into areas dubbed Ballpark, Arapahoe Square and RiNo, boosting the value of property and diversifying the neighborhoods with a rich assortment of new restaurants, breweries, shopping areas, art galleries and more, all while keeping a firm balance to express the culture, history and authenticity each neighborhood holds.”These are neighborhoods that in some cases didn’t exist by names, because there wasn’t much there,” said Tami Door, president of the Downtown Denver Partnership.
Denver’s Union Station is not only the transportation hub of downtown, it also boasts a fine quality dining and shopping experience!
Acme Burger & Brat Corporation grills up handcrafted burgers from fresh-ground meat and locally made brats, both on custom buns from a local baker as well as hand-cut French fries. This easy access burger & brat bar makes it effortless for downtowners and travelers through Union Station to grab some yummy grub.
The Kitchen [Next Door] is a community pub that offers simple, quality favorites in a relaxed atmosphere. The Union Station location occupies a space in the south wing of Denver’s Union Station.
Pigtrain Coffee—named for the trains that carry truck trailers on flatbed rail cars—brews locally roasted coffees from Denver’s family-owned Novo Coffee. This coffee spot also offers pastries, fresh squeezed juice from local sources and adult coffee beverages, so guests can enjoy a real Irish coffee, or add Kahlua to their java, while enjoying the bustle of the Great Hall. The space features coffee bar seating and a large patio overlooking Wynkoop Plaza.
Denver homegrown Snooze an AM Eatery brings energy, creativity and delicious to the morning at Denver’s Historic Union Station. Iconic pancakes, artisan benedicts, AM cocktails, and evolving breakfast twists make this community driven restaurant a Denver institution. Located at the north wing with a huge patio to enjoy our new home.
Located in the former barbershop space adjacent to the Great Hall, Milkbox stocks sixteen flavors of Little Man Ice Cream—available as shakes, malts, sundaes, cones and cups. One of the most perfectly preserved spaces in the historic building, this charming shop features original large mirrors, Terrazzo floor and subway tiles.
Located in the historic ticketing office inside The Great Hall of Denver Union Station, Terminal Bar allows patrons the opportunity to step up to the old windows and instead of purchasing a train ticket, they can order a Colorado craft beer from the bar’s extensive draft beer collection.
The fabulously restored space is appointed with period-correct finishes from the building’s turn-of-the-century heyday and will offer a complete selection of spirits—many of which are distilled right here in Colorado. Guests can also enjoy an extensive list of carefully curated wines available by the glass or bottle. The Terminal Bar features a large patio that boasts views of Wynkoop Plaza and 17th Street down to Wazee Street where the original Terminal Bar was once located.
5 Green Boxes offers an eclectic mix of local crafts, jewelry, one of a kind furniture and worldly goods, with a focus on artsy gifts and hip items for travelers.
Established in 1971, Tattered Cover Book Store has grown into one of the premier indie bookstores in America, with several unique locations serving Metro-Denver’s readers. Each location—including the new Denver Union Station setting—offers personal service and a well-curated selection of books, periodicals and gift items.
Denver continues to grow, expand, and improve as a whole community working together, and the above quote really rings true; “Now is Denver’s moment.”
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