Life on Capitol Hill: August Business Matters

Posted 8/7/19

Business Matters is a monthly column on the changing landscape of business and development in north Denver. If there are any inquiries on new developments in your area, or if you are a local business …

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Life on Capitol Hill: August Business Matters


Business Matters is a monthly column on the changing landscape of business and development in north Denver. If there are any inquiries on new developments in your area, or if you are a local business wishing to highlight an upcoming milestone, email Kailyn Lamb at


Denver Botanic Gardens

The Denver Botanic Gardens held a topping-off ceremony for the new Freyer-Newman Center last month. Staff, donors and board members signed the final beam before it was placed onto the structure.

The Freyer-Newman Center is the final project of the capital campaign launched by the gardens in 2007. The center will add four new gallery spaces and six new classrooms to the gardens. It will also add parking and give staff lab space for advanced research.

The building project cost $42 million, which includes $4.5 million to renovate the Boettcher Memorial Hall. The groundbreaking for the center was in May 2018. Staff said the building is on schedule to open in June 2020.

For more information on the capital campaign, go to

Sports Castle

A new developer has set its sights on the Sports Castle property on Broadway. New plans for 1000 Broadway were submitted to the city last month by Shears Adkins Rockmore, a Denver architecture firm. The plans call for 13-story buildings on the north and east side of the original structure.

The plans are the first step before submitting formal designs to the city and may change.

Plans from a different developer were submitted earlier this year for 15-story buildings on those same parcels.

The Sports Castle building was built in the 1920s. In 1971, Garts Brothers Sporting Goods Co. opened in the building. The company merged with Sports Authority in 2003. Sports Authority closed the store in 2016. The space has been used to house events as well as temporary stores such as Spirit Halloween since then.



Lou’s Food Bar

Denver-chef Frank Bonanno is shaking up Grant Street, closing one of his restaurant concepts and replacing it with another. Bones, an Asian-noodle bar, closed in late June, and Lou’s Food Bar opened in its place at the end of July. The restaurant is located at 701 Grant St.

The restaurant offers Nashville-style hot chicken sandwiches. In the fall, Lou’s patio will connect with Bonanno’s neighboring restaurant, Vesper Lounge, according to a news release.

Bonanno operates 11 restaurant concepts throughout Denver. He first started selling Nashville-style sandwiches in the Milk Market food hall downtown.

Run for the Roses

The new cocktail bar opened in the lower level of the Dairy Block building downtown in early May. The bar offers 52 different classic cocktails on its menu, as well as rotating seasonal drinks. Run for the Roses also offers a small food menu.

The Dairy Block building is located at 1801 Blake St. and is home to the Milk Market food hall, which opened in June last year.


The Vermont-based snowboard brand recently leased space in the River North Neighborhood with plans to open a retail store in early 2020. The store is about 2,500 square feet and will be located at 2649 Walnut St.

The space will also have a showroom for clients and some office space for wholesale employees. Burton also operates a stand-alone store in Boulder. The brand also sells products to ski resorts in Colorado.

Although the brand is most known for its snowboarding equipment, Burton also sells apparel, luggage and other goods.


Nicolo’s Pizza

Nicolo’s Pizza closed last month in Capitol Hill. The business had been operating at 1209 E. 13th Ave. since 2010. Prior to that, the pizzeria was one door over at 1205 E. 13th Ave.

A sign on the door said the business is “closed until further notice.” Brown paper had been taped up on all the windows.

There are three other Nicolo’s Pizza shops in Longmont, Lakewood and Highlands Ranch. The businesses are independently owned franchises.

MoonDance Botanicals

MoonDance Botanicals closed its brick-and-mortar store at 601 Corona St. It now offers its selection of body care products online. The store offers delivery to the Denver metro area.

In addition to its online store, MoonDance offers pop-up events around Denver for customers to recycle and refill bottles from previous purchases. According to an email from the store, MoonDance offers a 40% discount for refilled bottles and 15% for recycled ones. The store provides refunds on delivery orders that use recycled or refilled bottles. For more information, go to


Chef Zorba’s Authentic Greek Cuisine

The Congress Park staple celebrated its 40th anniversary in May. The restaurant, at 2626 E. 12th Ave., held an anniversary celebration inviting guests to bring notes and memories for a time capsule that was buried on the property.

Over the years, the restaurant has changed hands a few times. Karen LuKanic bought the restaurant one year ago. LuKanic has largely kept the menu and appearance of Zorba’s the same, although she did expand the bar section of the menu.

No Cow

No Cow, a Denver-based brand of protein bars, started selling its products nationally in Kroger stores in June. In addition to being dairy-free, No Cow bars are low in sugar and use whey-based proteins.

“As a small company, this is a huge win for us, and we’re proud to call Colorado our home,” said No Cow founder Daniel Katz in a news release.

Katz founded the company in 2014 at 18 years old. He found out he had problems with dairy and began making his own protein bars in his mother’s kitchen, according to the news release.

Business Matters, Business, Growth, Development, Denver, Capitol Hill, Denver Botanic Gardens, restaurants, small business, shop local


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