There is a flurry of new and upcoming venues that have been announced in the Denver metropolitan area, Longmont and Fort Collins that are worthy of mention because they are distinct. There isn’t a cookie-cutter, you’ll-find-it-elsewhere space in the bunch!
Fort Collins Old Town Churn Ice Cream, the latest retail concept by Denver-based Little Man Ice Cream Company, has opened in downtown Fort Collins. Housed in a 26-foot-tall ice cream churn crafted from fir wood and accented with a 2,000-pound hand crank, Old Town Churn pays tribute to the agricultural roots upon which Fort Collins was built. The shop serves a rotating lineup of Little Man’s handcrafted ice cream as well as shakes, malts, sundaes, banana splits and ice cream sandwiches. Old Town Churn serves as the flagship anchor for The Exchange, originally the site of a livestock exchange and now a new retail, restaurant and entertainment destination built around a community plaza. The plaza hosts a range of seasonal celebrations and family-friendly events and is available to groups.
Longmont Dry Land Distillers, located in downtown Longmont, hosted a grand opening weekend in October 2018 to showcase its historic building location at 471 Main St. and release its new Pure Cane Rum. The building also is home to a New Orleans French Quarter-style café, La Vita Bella, and a live music venue that holds more than 200 guests.
Located in the up-and-coming Arapahoe Park area adjacent to RiNo, Asterisk plans to launch in spring 2019 to serve groups of up to 1,500 for a reception-style gathering and more than 800 for dining in the main hall. Smaller groups also can be accommodated and not feel lost in a large venue due to a pre-function area and specific places for catering stations, dancing and stage presentations. In addition, there is a 1,700-square-foot rooftop and a second-floor boardroom.
A new 12,000-square-foot patio more than doubles the customer area of Improper City, which has a specialty coffee shop on one side of its 8,000-square-foot interior and a 46-tap bar serving craft beer, wines and draft cocktails on the other. It’s a perfect place in RiNo for groups to relax outdoors, gather around four fire pits and play bocce ball and corn hole. Four to six food trucks are available in two shifts on peak days, while two trucks are in residence other days.
From Lakewood, mindSpark Learning not only reaches educators on a global scale, the company rents its 11,000 square feet of meeting space to encourage creativity, collaboration and innovation. The East Room holds groups of up to 40, while the West Room hosts 80 to 100. Reduced rates are available to schools and nonprofits.