Posts Tagged ‘Denver’

Colorado; much more than just Denver

Monday, July 9th, 2018

On a recent visit back to the Colorado, we were able to enjoy a variety of restaurants, not just in Denver.

 

First stop was over at The Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette – this is a North Carolina/Southern themed brewery and menu that has found a home in this Boulder suburb. We started with the Fried Chicken Skins with Pinto Bean & Green Chile Hummus which was a novel use of the chicken skin and play on the appetizer plate. Next, we enjoyed their amazing 1/2 Roast Chicken that had been brined over night and served with an Arugula Salad, Pickled Cauliflower & Red Onions – very tasty and a perfect pairing with a Stem Hibiscus Cider – made locally in Colorado.

 

Next stop was up to the mountains for a visit to Vail, usually known for its Winter pleasures of skiing, but plenty enjoyable during the Summer Season.

 

We had found DeliZioso Deli, which is a casual spot to drop in and pick up specialty items, goods and snacks. They’re known for their variety of sandwiches, including being extremely friendly to those with allergies, especially gluten.

 

Later in the evening, we had to make a pilgrimage to The Red Lion which is a true Vail Classic that serves as the defacto ‘clubhouse’ of town and a gathering place for all ages. Serving Mountain fare and local favorites, the Lion is nothing fancy but plenty tasty.

 

The next day, in search of a late lunch with a patio right on the river, we headed to the Mountain Standard which serves Upscale cuisine in a modern setting. There we enjoyed their Crispy Cheesy Polenta Rotisserie Chicken with Yucca Frita and Caramelized Banana Mole.

 

For dinner in the evening, we weren’t after a full meal but needed a nice place for a glass of wine in a relaxing setting, which we found at Lancelot Steakhouse right in Vail Village. They are known for their Prime Rib, but since we didn’t need a huge meal, we settled on their Blackened Prime Rib Caesar Salad which was an extremely pleasant surprise and so much better than expected for a simple meal.

 

Prior to departing Vail, we stopped into Bully Ranch at the Sonenalp for some patio dining. Bully Ranch is known for their burger selection, however healthy cuisine was on the menu for the day, choosing a delicious healthy salad of Power Greens, Quinoa, Strawberries, Blueberries and Seared Chicken.

 

Heading back down from the mountains, dinner that night was back in Lafayette, checking out another one of the recent additions to their dining scene, Community. These guys are doing a lot right in terms of decor, design, beverage program and more, but the food didn’t fully match up to the sizzle. However, their Roasted Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese were a very tasty appetizer to share and start the meal.

 

Prior to departing Colorado, we had to stop back in Denver for a visit to Root Down in the Highlands, a personal favorite meal, always uber local on ingredients and extremely aware of allergies. They continue to do a great job overall, even with their growth of adding other restaurants in the area and success. We had a variety of items, including Avocado Toast with Sunflower Seeds and Sesame Seeds with Beet Salad, Gluten Free Pancakes with Yogurt Parfait and a Shrimp & Sweet Potato Hash with a sunny side up local Egg, all paired with Bottomless Blood Orange Mimosas. Yet another delicious meal there!

 

Once again, Colorado as a whole, proved that their dining scene is on fire currently and not just in Denver; you can find outstanding culinary experiences throughout the Centennial State.

 

 

Denver, Colorado – 5,280 is Hot, Hot, Hot!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

 

On a recent visit back to the ever growing and hot, hot, hot city of Denver, we witnessed the burgeoning food and restaurant scene which has come with the population growth.  Colorado as a whole continues to have an endless stream of new residents moving to the state and restaurants are helping to keep them well fed and libated.

 

One such neighborhood is the RiNo (River North), which is adjacent to downtown, but was a former warehouse district.  It continues to grow and develop with a range of restaurants, bars, breweries, a winery (yes, really!) and so much more. The Denver Central Market is the Food Hall for this neighborhood with a variety of restaurants for diners enjoyment, a bakery, a chocolatier, local coffee shop and more.  They are doing a wonderful job acting as the Living Room for the local community.

 

From the owners of the extremely popular Work & Class, is the just opened SuperMegaBien at The Ramble Hotel.  Yes, that’s really the name of this funky Latin Dim Sum concept that is vibrant, fun and a restaurant who just wants to welcome you to the dining experience.  It’s casual, but sophisticated while providing really great service with a welcoming feel – definitely worth going by!

 

There are also many Quick Serve restaurant concepts that have been developed in Denver over the recent few years, one of which is Modern Market.  This restaurant just gets in it in the Quick-Serve niche, offering healthy and local food (when possible), supporting farmers and vendors, providing calorie counts and ingredients on their menus and receipts, while making tasty and flavorful food.  We tip our hats to them as they continue to grow and develop.

 

Further South towards the suburbs of Denver, in the Centennial/Littleton area at the Denver Tech Center, there is a new development off of Holly and the I-25 that is bringing local restaurants from the city to the suburban diner.  Included in that is Los Chingones by the TAG Restaurant Group (original location was in the RiNo) which is a Modern Mexican Cantina with graffiti on the walls, a great soundtrack and a wonderful selection of salsas.

 

And, we can’t forget about the local area restaurant feel that has been brought to Denver International Airport over the last few years.  One of our favorites is Root Down, which is all about local ingredients when possible, worldly and creative food, and a very well curated beverage program.  If you have at least 30 minutes before flying out of the airport, make sure you stop by and enjoy at least a cocktail, glass of wine or a snack!

 

If you haven’t been to Denver lately or have never ventured to the city at 5,280 – go now!  It’s on a tremendous high (pun intended) and well worth checking it out for a long weekend or adventure.

 

‘The Giveback’ a.k.a. Pay it Forward

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

 

This is a topic that we have explored previously on here, however this is a specific example and our Director of Operations, Corey T. Nyman’s involvement in the University of Denver, LEAD Mentorship Program.  Corey is a proud Alumni of the School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver and serves on their Executive Advisory Board, returning to campus frequently for mentoring students, meetings, events and speaking engagements.

 

Corey’s current mentorship is with a current student who is a Sophomore majoring in Hospitality Management pursuing her Minor in Spanish and Business Analytics.  She is active working in Knoebel Events at the School’s Event’s Center, preparing for a Summer Internship with MGM International and then gearing up for a Fall Semester Abroad.  Corey has been able to conduct bi-weekly phone calls and video calls with this young woman, guiding her through various topics, including the below

 

  • Ability to review different generational challenges from hers to mine
  • Focus on gaining experience in the industry
    • Not specifying, but being open to various opportunities
  • Tricks & Secrets of Interviewing and meeting leaders in the industry
  • Relating Real Life Lessons with Industry Advancement
  • Ability to Network and get out of just a classroom mentality

 

As she continues to grow in the Hospitality industry, Corey will happily remain a mentor and guide to her, even once the LEAD program is completed, as that is our industry works.  We support our own.

 

 

 

How are you choosing to give back to the next generation of upcoming leaders in Hospitality and Pay it Forward?

No Vacancy Podcast – Denver, Colorado

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

While attending the 2017 NEWH Leadership Conference in Denver, Colorado a few weeks back, our Director of Operations, Corey T. Nyman had the chance to sit down with Glenn Haussman of the No Vacancy Podcast and President of Rouse Media.

 

Glenn and Corey chatted about a range of topics from the Hospitality Industry, from Restaurant Design to Labor Challenges, Food & Beverage trends to Service Standards and so much more.  It was a very lively and interactive conversation, with Corey already being asked back to participate in another podcast.

 

Check out the show by clicking play below – well worth a listen!

 

NEWH Conference

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Recently, our Director of Operations, Corey T. Nyman was invited to participate in a panel on Culinary Trends: Food and restaurant trends to watch in 2017 and beyond at the biennial NEWH Leadership Conference which was just held in Denver, Colorado – February 9th through 11th. NEWH is the premier networking resource for the hospitality industry, providing scholarships, education, leadership development, recognition of excellence, and business development opportunities.

 

Corey was able to share his perspective from an operational side, along with the panel moderator David Corsun, Ph.D., Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver, Tom Ricca of Ricca Design Studios who spoke on the Kitchen Design perspective and Brooke Taylor of Arcsine who shared from an Interior Design aspect.

 

The panel was the wrap up for the 3-day conference, sharing fresh perspectives from industry members tailored for designers, operators and those looking to be on the cutting edge of Hospitality in 2017 and beyond.

 

University of Denver – Speaking With Our Future

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

As some of you know, I attended the University of Denver’s Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management (formerly Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management) in the Daniels College of Business and take great pride in my university, including being a member of the school’s Executive Advisory Board. I am happy to dedicate my time and efforts to the further success of our program, students who are committed to hospitality and the university as a whole – giving back to what you are most passionate about is extremely important to me.

I was recently invited once again to speak with Dr. Cheri Young’s Restaurant Development class, which I had the pleasure to have done last year. This year, Dr. Young is teaching the class with a great restaurateur (also a former classmate and good friend of mine), Jon Schlegel, the founder of Snooze, an A.M. Eatery. I immediately committed to speak with the class and was all set to head to Denver on Tuesday morning, when a freak Spring snowstorm hit and changed my plans. However, we had modern technology on our side and Dr. Young suggested a call via Skype to connect me with the class – a great idea!

All of the students in the class were seniors, poised to graduate this June and head out into our amazing industry; so I wanted to make sure that I was supportive, informative and captivating of their attention. When you have a chance to speak with high school or college students, especially with the current generations, you must make every effort to keep their attention/keep them involved since they process information at such a fast rate with the technology, information and everything around them.

My conversation with these students was exactly that – I wasn’t speaking towards them, but rather with them. We kept a great back and forth going on the do’s and don’ts of restaurants, design elements, how to gather research/information and other elements of the business. I think I enjoyed the hour and a half Skype session as much as they did – these students are extremely bright, very engaging and forward thinking with the concepts that they are putting together. I look forward to having a chance to check out the 5 groups restaurant concepts at the end of their class and prior to their graduation.

I can’t thank Jon Schlegel and Dr. Young enough for this opportunity and look forward to the chance to speak with future classes at the school in the near future. My closing message to each of you is this – it’s not enough to follow your passion and embrace that passion; it is your task to SHARE your passion with others and support those who are just getting started in your industry. Take time, give back; the rewards you gain from that will be endless.

A chance to give back…

Monday, April 30th, 2012

On Wednesday, April 25th I had the pleasure to speak with the Restaurant/Bar Concept Development & Entrepreneurship class at my alma mater, the University of Denver, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. I am fortunate that I also sit on the Executive Advisory Board at the school and I take an extreme amount of pride in doing so. I try to take every opportunity to return to the school and share my expertise and when the invitation came to visit, I immediately jumped at the chance.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Cheri Young and Director, Operations Eric Lane are teaching a class on developing business plans and concept development, while working with a local entrepreneur to help him develop his gluten-free beer concept/brew pub. They asked me to give the students a consultant’s perspective, while helping to lead them in the right direction. What made this class special was that it only contained 8 students and all are seniors graduating in the next few months.

The professors let me know I would have the full 1 hour and 50 minutes of class to speak, conduct a question-and-answer session and true back & forth to engage the students, which I was extremely flattered by and definitely appreciated.

I tried to give the class a varied perspective overall, while guiding them through the process.  To start I shared with them my personal background and industry experience, including how important that the University of Denver was and remains to me.  Then, I had to give them a ‘reality check’ by driving home the point that passion will only get you so far, but focusing on ROI is a key with any concept and operation.  We then talked about the overall methodology of a business plan/concept statement, in broad terms and what was needed in this report.
The life of a consultant and what it means to be a consultant – this was an interesting conversation to have with 20-22 year old students soon to enter our industry.  This can sometimes be tough for people overall to grasp, since everyone believes that they can be a consultant.  On the value of experience – too many people call themselves consultants, however, few have the true time, knowledge and awareness of the industry to provide clients with an appropriate perspective and valued analysis.  Finally, I shared a case study by The Nyman Group of a former client of ours that showed the students the positives and negatives of the hospitality industry, along with a comprehension of how we do our job.
I finished speaking, talking about moving forward and their role in the hospitality industry upon graduation.  I let the students know that they could feel free to contact me directly and I would happily remain available to them should they have any questions that I could assist with.

I can’t wait to return to campus to visit with the students and more classes soon. Next trip will before our Spring EAB meeting, held the day before graduation and I will then have a chance to meet the graduating seniors and their families at the going away celebration. I’m thrilled I continue to have the chance to give back to the university and program that I love and care so deeply about. Don’t ever forget about the value your experience in your chosen industry has, especially for those who are just starting in the business – you have something to teach! Give back and share…