The Old West in Denver

Denver’s history may be short, but it is certainly colorful. In 1857, not a single person was living in the Colorado Territory at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. Then gold was discovered. In just three years, more than 100,000 men and women passed through the boom town called Denver, seeking their fortune in the great “Pikes Peak or Bust” gold rush.

The railroads came next. In the 2,000 miles of wilderness between St. Louis and California, the two most opulent railroad stops became Denver and San Francisco.

In this golden age, Denver was a city of dreams filled with cattle barons and overnight gold-rich millionaires – the “Queen City of the Plains.” The wealth of the mountains was poured into parks filled with lakes and flower gardens and linked by 17 tree-lined boulevards. Colorado marble and granite was used to construct banks, hotels, and mansions and Denver boasted the highest building and the first elevator west of the Mississippi River.

Today, at nearly the same pace of the gold rush, these wonderful old structures are being restored or transformed into hip breweries, chef-owned restaurants, bakeries, cafes, museums, and trendy boutiques.

Here’s where to take a new look at the Old West in Denver.

Where to Taste The Old West

The Buckhorn Exchange has been serving Old West fare since 1893 and is the oldest saloon in Colorado. The walls are covered with some 575 taxidermy specimens, including big horn sheep, moose, buffalo, jackalope and even a two-headed calf. Hanging beside them are 125 historic guns and Western mementoes, including a sword once owned by George Armstrong Custer that was presented to the restaurant by Chief Sitting Bull.

The historic dining spot was founded by Henry H. “Shorty Scout” Zietz, a lifelong friend of Buffalo Bill Cody. The menu includes buffalo prime rib, elk, salmon, quail hen, and baby-back pork ribs, and of course has appetizers like alligator tips and Rocky Mountain Oysters.

Over the years, five presidents and countless Hollywood legends have dined on the red-checkered table clothes or had a drink at the bar that was built in 1857 and imported from Germany. The restaurant is easily reached from downtown by taking light rail to the Osage stop.

The Fort is an authentic re-creation of Bent’s Old Fort on the Santa Fe Trail and is made with more than 80,000 adobe bricks of mud and straw, each brick weighing 40 pounds. The original fort was an important fur trading post in 1833. The new fort opened in 1963 and today serves more than 80,000 buffalo entrees a year.


Diners enter through the fort’s gates into a courtyard, to be greeted by a roaring fire, mountain men and a trading post in a tipi. The menu features a selection of new and early West dishes including beef, buffalo, game and seafood. Try roasted buffalo marrow bones (Julia Child’s favorite), braised bison tongue or wild boar sausage.

The “Hailstorm” was the first Colorado cocktail when it was served in 1833 and is still The Fort’s signature drink. President Bill Clinton selected The Fort for dinner for the world’s top leaders when the Summit of the Eight met in Denver in 1997.

Where to Sleep in The Old West

Brown-Palace-Exterior_galleryThe Brown Palace Hotel opened on Aug. 12, 1892 and has remained open and welcomed guests every minute since. The doors have never been locked. Every U.S. president has visited The Brown Palace since Teddy Roosevelt (1905), with the exception of Calvin Coolidge.

When the Brown Palace opened, every room had a fireplace and none of the rooms had bathrooms. Today, it is one of the most luxurious hotels in the West. High tea is offered every day in the spectacular eight-story atrium, which is topped with a stained-glass ceiling.

The walls contain 12,400 surface feet of onyx, a semiprecious variety of quartz. At the time the hotel was constructed, it was the most onyx ever used in a single building.

The hotel’s original artesian well is located 720 feet deep beneath the Ship Tavern floor and still provides water to every faucet in the hotel. President Eisenhower often stayed at the hotel for extended periods, making it the “The Western White House.” Historic tours of the hotel include a visit to the Eisenhower Suite.

The Oxford Hotel is Denver’s oldest grand hotel and was originally constructed in 1891 across the street from Union Station. Colorado’s leading architect, Frank E. Edbrooke, designed this five-story brick structure the year before he designed the Brown Palace. Antique oak furniture, marble and carpet floors, frescoed walls, silver chandeliers and stained glass decorated the hotel, which had its own dining rooms, barber shop, stables and a splendid saloon.

Another novelty, a “vertical railway” or elevator, carried guests to the upper stories. Notorious Western gunslingers Bat Masterson and Doc Holliday knew the hotel well. With the decline of the railroads, the hotel fell into disuse. But in 1983, after a $12 million restoration, it reopened as one of Denver’s historic gems.

Highlights today include the plush lobby filled with Western paintings and a wood-burning fireplace; and the famous Art Deco Cruise Room bar, which is on the National Historic Register.


The Crawford Hotel will be a brand new hotel when it opens in July 2014, but it will be built in Denver’s historic Union Station. This high-end, independent 112-room hotel will be affiliated with the existing 80-room Oxford Hotel, located across the street.

The hotel is named after local developer and preservationist Dana Crawford, who in 1969 was responsible for preserving Larimer Square and transforming the block of brick and stone Victorian buildings into one of the city’s hippest shopping, dining and entertainment centers.

Union Station, designed in the Beaux Arts style, was completed in 1914. The restored Union Station will incorporate dozens of details from the “Golden Age” of railroading and have eight new restaurants and retail shopping.

The old waiting room will be re-christened “The Great Hall”. With its soaring arched windows and architectural details, this grand room will be open to the public 24-7. The old ticket windows are being turned into The Terminal Bar, which will feature more than 30 Colorado craft beers.

The hotel will come with three styles of rooms. The “Pullman” rooms on the second floor are modeled after the luxury private sleeping cars of old. The “Classic” rooms on the third floor come with tall ceilings and large windows. The former attic area will host “Loft” rooms, featuring exposed wood timbers and vaulted ceilings.

Marriott Renaissance in the Colorado National Bank Building is another new 230-room hotel being constructed in a historic building and is scheduled to open in May 2014.

The original Colorado National Bank was constructed in 1915 with an interior and exterior of white marble that came from the same quarry as the marble used in the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The spectacular lobby is surrounded by huge, wall-size murals painted by local artist Allen Tupper True. Considered one of Colorado’s premier native-born artists, True focused his work on Western subjects. The murals in the bank building depict the lives of American Indians on the Plains before white people arrived. A lounge will overlook the lobby, which will also feature a signature restaurant and meeting rooms constructed in the old bank vaults.

The Capitol Hill Mansion Bed & Breakfast Inn is a historic 1891 ruby sandstone mansion built in the historic neighborhood of Capitol Hill. This area was once known as “Millionaires Row” because of the elaborate mansions built here by Denver notables, many of whom struck it rich gold mining, such as “Unsinkable Molly Brown,” who lived a block away. The mansion is a Denver and National Landmark and has been given historic designation from the Landmark Preservation Commission. Eight elegantly appointed rooms and suites offer turn-of-the-century opulence with modern day flair. Some rooms feature private balconies, gas fireplaces, and whirlpool tubs. It is short walk to the Colorado State Capitol and downtown.

Mothers Day SALE at Swoon!

 Mothers day is just around the corner. It can be tough to find a gift fit for the queen, thankfully Swoon Jewelry Studios has the answer; 20% off of $50 or more from their shop . Offer is good now through Saturday night at midnight- get shopping!swoon_logo_f_ol

You Deserve This Mama!
{Papas in case you forgot mother’s day is less than a month away and we want to make her day sparkle!}

soulglowdiamond-2T Mother’s Day, a chance to tell our Mothers how grateful we are for them. A chance to pamper ourselves and bask in our family. A day when we feel the loss of those that are no longer with us and allow their wisdom to soak in a little deeper. We believe in celebrating here at the studio, celebrating our motherhood and our mothers and you, our beautiful customers.

avaOur new Soul Glow necklace is fit for a queen and made for a mother. Simple lines and a diamond’s sparkle make not only your eyes light up but your soul glow.


How do you define a Mama? The truest friend, an anchor in any storm, a dream soother. For me, the only way to define a mama is love, pure love. That love is the catalyst of our ‘You Are My Sunshine’ Collection. With custom necklaces and mother daughter bracelets the connection is pure love.

For all the mamas in your life that deserve a little lovin’ this Mother’s Day, enjoy 20% off your order of $50 or more through Saturday.

*Use code: couturemama at checkout
*code expires Saturday 4.19.14 at midnight, not valid on previous orders, offer may not be combined with any other offer or voucher

Top 10: Spring Brunch Must Haves

With Spring in bloom and Easter just around the corner, skip the lines and go for a DIY brunch! Besides the fun you can have decorating and prepping; having a big family style brunch with your nearest and dearest is all the more fun when you are in your domaine and the party can span on into the afternoon. Your guests will love the invitation and enjoy a carefree Sunday soaking up the sun and indulging in the tastiness of brunch. By hosting a brunch at home, you also open yourself up to a creative brunch menu. Here are our Top 10 brunch staples for you to look over and get as creative with at your brunch!

Spring Brunch Must Haves


1. Mimosas & Bloody Marys. Brunch is a time to celebrate, why not get a little boozy.

2. Quiche. It’s a delicious eggy staple and quick and easy to make!

3. Lox & Bagels. Maybe this is more east coast, but brunch just ain’t brunch if you don’t have a proper lox spread!

4. Pastries. A perk to going to brunch is knowing you are about to indulge. Plan ahead and never skip a fresh croissant.

5. Eggs Benedict. Thinking bigger then that? Rock the omelet station and prepare a bunch of precut veggies to add in and take individual orders.

6. Petit Fours. Total classic. When I think of any holiday in my family, I remember my grandmother and I sitting down at the table ordering them from the Figgi catalogue. This may have had something to do with my serious fondness of gift baskets now that I think of it!

7. Bacon or Canadian Ham. Bacon has become it’s own trend lately, one that we must oblige and now serve as much as able.

8. Prime Rib. I have an aunt whose eyes light up when prime rib is on the menu. My goal? To one day throw this brunch and make her day!

9. Fresh assorted fruit with yogurt & granola. You know when you go on vacation and there is always an insanely beautiful spread of fruit( omen which no matter how you try, you can never duplicate at home). Brunch is the perfect time to go all out and get in season delicious varieties.

10. Seafood. This is one of those “Go Big or Go Home” situations. Set up a great raw bar with cold crab, shrimp cocktail and oysters. Your guests will thank you.

{Image Credit to Avec Mallory}

Jungle Trip Shift Dress

Summer is just around the corner the party and wedding invites are starting to roll in. This is the perfect dress to stand out in the crowd.

This dress and cuff is available locally at Goldyn {LISTmember}.


Spotted: Gilded Mirrors

Mirror, Mirror on the wall. Which is the fairest of them all…

From a very early age, we see the importance of mirrors in our life. Sure it may have started out with Snow White, but even in our lives to date, a beautiful mirror in one’s home is comparable to a piece of art hanging on the wall. It is something that accents your room and gives you the very necessary availability of a quick mirror check before you run out the door. With anything you purchase, I am a big advocate for loving it and utilizing it. These mirrors are the gold standard in beauty and functionality!

An Evening of Pampering & Shopping at Francescas!

This Sunday April 13th, LISTmember & Personal Stylist Jill Carter will be hosting a shopping event at Francesca’s at 29th Street in Boulder from 6:00- 9:00pm. With wine, snacks and mini spa treatments ( mini massages?!), Jill will be giving out complimentary styling & shopping assistance along with 20% off your purchases through the night! Sounds like a fun way to spend a Sunday night!

jill carter


Image Credit to Francesca’s Collection’s

Level 3 Salon at The Four Seasons

As if the Four Seasons Hotel Denver couldn’t get any better, their spa just added a salon called Level 3 Salon. The COUTUREcolorado team tested the waters for you and it is fabulous! Even the chair you sit in to get you hair washed is remarkable…….. it massages you. I left feeling refreshed, relaxed, and pretty with my “salon ready” hair.

Decorated in hues matching The Spa, in soothing colors of amber and caramel, the salon is destined to be a relaxing haven. A custom shampoo station offering shiatsu massage will enable the guest to fully unwind and savor the experience. A glamorous chandelier, gorgeous mirrors, and a wine bar add to the salon’s posh décor. There’s even a dressing area with a dedicated space to hang a wedding gown.

“I’m thrilled to offer this new component to our guests,” said Candis Ayers, Spa Director at Four Seasons Hotel Denver. “Hairstyling truly completes the look and is the perfect conclusion to spending a day at The Spa. Brides will love the convenience factor of getting ready for the wedding day from head-to-toe.”

The new four-station salon will exclusively offer blow-dry’s and hairstyling, from casual and curled blow-outs to chic chignons, braids, and formal up-dos. A “bombshell” menu of blow-dry styles provides the description for each look, such as “sleek and straight,” or “loose waves.” Extra services can be added on, such as a scalp massage or conditioning treatment. As an added benefit, anyone who reserves a hairstyling appointment is extended complimentary access to use The Spa’s facilities pre-or-post treatment, including the spacious fitness center featuring TechnoGym equipment, and the relaxation lounge including steam room and whirlpool.

Professional makeup application, eyelash application, and makeup lessons also will be offered by the team of talented hairstylists and estheticians.

So for your wedding or just a extra special date night, check out The Four Seasons for your hairstyling needs.



Blow-dry’s and styles will be offered for USD 65.00. Formal up-do’s start at USD 75.00 and makeup application is USD 65.00. For the opening month of January 2014 only, blow-dry’s and styles will be offered at the special introductory rate of 45.00, exclusive of gratuity. For appointments: 303-389-3020.

Photos by LISTmember Rachel Gomez

Interview: Wine & Whey

Wine & Whey:
3559 Larimer Street
Denver, CO 80205 | 303.325.3831 | web | facebook | twitter

I am thrilled to introduce you to Wine & Whey, a DIY wine and cheese shop. They provide the supplies and equipment to make your own wine and cheese at home. AND their calendar is packed full of engaging and educational classes on a variety of topics including: Mozzarella in 30 minutes, Beginner Wine Making, and Deluxe Cheese Courses.

The owners of Wine & Whey have kindly given COUTUREcolorado readers 15% off of any purchase online or in store. Use this code: CoutureCO 

Q & A with the founders of Wine & Whey (Katrina, Adam, Ron and Pamela)


Denver is a craft beer mecca, as a city we love our breweries. No doubt we have some good beer in this area but with such focus, we have neglected another celebrated libation, wine. At Wine & Whey we obliterate the pretentious, smug, and egocentric conception of wine by treating wine as what it is, a fantastic fermented beverage. Whether you are interested in a Beginner Wine, a Farmer’s Market Fruit Wine or our highly anticipated Colorado Crush course, we will tickle your wine fancy.


If you don’t love cheese, we can’t be friends. Kidding of course, but we love all things cheese at Wine & Whey. If you’re looking to make that quintessential stinky Bleu or gooey delicious Brie, we have the means and methods to take you to the promised land. Our veteran Cheese Maker knows all things curds. If you’re a newbie to this craft, no worries, we’ll start you off with our Mozzarella and Ricotta class. If you’re looking to take it to the next level, Cheddar is better. Our classes are always evolving; stay tuned and be vigilant in your cheese making adventure.

When and why did you start your business?

People are made to create, build and share. The energy and passion that we have towards sharing wine and cheese with others is apparent when you walk through our store. Having the means and ability to bring wine and cheese to Denver was enough to spark an idea to life.

Wine & Whey opened its doors in September of 2013. The shop was bare, there were hardly any wines in progress, but to us it looked like the Sistine Chapel. It was a blank canvas for us to mold and shape and we have. Six months later, it is full of atmosphere, wine and color. To us, wine and cheese are proof a higher power loves us.

How did you learn your craft?

As with most things, we learned our craft from a fellow teacher. Gi Claassen a professional wine and cheese maker from San Diego sparked the passion for Wine & Whey. Her mentorship and energy brought a hobby to a lifestyle and a lifestyle to a business.

Describe your classes and your approach to teaching

Small, engaged and, of course, informative. We intentionally limit class size to single digits for all of our classes. If we can’t have a conversation with everyone in the class, the experience is lost for both us and our students. To us the students’ engagement and experience is the measure of success.

What or who inspires you? 

The depth, culture and history behind both wine and cheese sustain the passion. For thousands of years people have been enjoying and crafting these fine components of our everyday life. When drinking a bottle of wine it is a direct connection to the joy that humans have been experiencing for centuries.

Modern technology and refined practices have made what we do at Wine & Whey so much easier. It is an inspiration that our ancestors were knowledgeable and capable of making these seemingly complex elements of happiness. We embrace the history but also bring a modern twist and to us, that is what this is all about.

Favorite gift ideas?

We love when families and friends come in to make wine and cheese together. The laughs and enthusiasm we see during the wine making journey continues to give. The gift of wine and cheese is definitely not one and done. We love giving the gift of wine and learning how to make it yourself.

Favorite Wine to make/drink?

Here at Wine & Whey we are an equal drinking enjoyer. If a red grape wants to grow up to be a full bodied Pinot Noir, we will gladly appreciate. If a red grape wants to grow up to be a White Zinfandel, we support that lifestyle.

Any chance you’ll be working with beer in the future?

All libations are on the table. Whether it is beer, fruit wine, or mead, we are willing to explore what each has to offer (which in all three cases is absolutely incredible).

Favorite Pairing?

Yes, please.

Advice for a novice wine or cheese maker

Be ready and willing to fail, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Every single one of us at Wine & Whey has ruined a batch of cheese or made an off wine. It’s part of the fun and the craft. Try and try again!

Meet the folks behind Wine & Whey:

Katrina & Adam: It’s your typical love story. Fly half way around the world, randomly run into a fellow American and sleep on his floor while finding an apartment. The ocean and beach took it from there. We ended up in Colorado, well because Wisconsin is cold and Cleveland is…. We love it here and have made a home in Denver.

Katrina spends her days and many nights teaching, designing, and taking care of our wine babies. While Adam primarily focuses on making sure the bills are paid, website is running and the art isn’t crooked.

Ron & Pamela: Our love story started with years of friendship to a devoted marriage, happy with children; 7 of them to be exact. We spent a dozen years traveling, Ron embracing the next great technology boom and Pamela expanding her skills as a professional chef. Oh yeah, and our many, many children? They all grew into fantastic adults. We found ourselves as empty nesters, on the beach in San Diego.

Pamela learned how to make cheese while giving her catering business a break.  She fell in love with the magical art of making cheese and has never looked back. Flash forward to our move to Denver, and Pamela making over 200 lbs of cheese each week, loving every minute of the cheese and the city.

Here at Wine & Whey, Pamela spends her days creating and sharing, while Ron, like Adam wiles away the time working for the man and devising the best way to share Wine & Whey with the world. All while maintaining the family atmosphere at home with plenty of love.

Check out their full schedule of classes and events. 


The owners of Wine & Whey have kindly given COUTUREcolorado readers 15% off of any purchase online or in store. Use this code: CoutureCO 

Top 10: Wardrobe Essentials

How many times have you been standing in your closet feeling like there is absolutely nothing to wear? We have all been there and it’s an awful feeling. Through years of shopping escapades I have learned the important lesson of creating a wardrobe with a set of essential staples that can make most outfits. When you have the tools within your closet that you know are constant go-to’s, the battle is already half over. The question is, what are those essential items worth their weight in gold? To make your day to day dressing that much easier, here are the Top 10 Wardrobe Essentials by Fashion Stylist Liz Finkelstein of Mile High Style. She is the master of curating your closet to custom fit your style and lifestyle, check out her advise on what to invest in now!

MHS top 10 clost

By Liz Finkelstein of Mile High Style {LISTmember}


1. Great Jeans- depending on which style fits you best, high quality jeans are my #1 wardrobe staple.


2. Clutch Bag- nighttime style requires the proper bag.


3. Nude Patent Heel- they go with any outfit, from jeans to a day dress, and work in every season.


4. Cute Sneakers- so often overlooked in the search for the perfect heel.


5. Navy Blazer- adds structure to a blousey top or dress, refinement to jeans and a tshirt, and is the ideal 3rd piece for any outfit.


6. Statement Jewelry- whether it’s a Woods necklace or a Carla Morrison cocktail ring, splurge on one or two statement-making pieces rather than 20 forgettable ones.


7. White T-shirt- if you’ve ever had something you didn’t know how to wear, one answer is always ‘with a white tshirt’.


8. Fabulous Coat- please don’t ruin an incredible outfit with Patagonia. Invest in the proper outerwear.


9. Chan Luu Scarf- this is the Rolls Royce of scarves. Lightweight, incredible body and available in every color under the sun.


10. Cocktail Dress- it doesn’t have to be little and it doesn’t have to be black, but every woman needs at least one cocktail dress.


Image Credit to LISTmember Chowen Photography via LISTmember Mile High Style

Pear & Aged Gouda Flatbread by Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg

This delicious flatbeard is perfect for an appetizer for entertaining guests or for a delicious lunch. Gourmet and yummy….. yes, please!

Pear & Aged Gouda Flatbread (serves 8)

1 For the Dough*

1 package active yeast½ teaspoon sugar
1¾ cups all-pur
pose flour
1 teaspoon kosher
 salt¾ cup war
m water
1 teaspoon extr
gin olive oil

In a standing mixer
 bowl, combine yeast, sugar
, flour
, and salt. With the mixer
unning, add war
m water
 slowly until a ball for
ms. (If sticky, add mor
e flour
 until it doesn’t stick and a ball for
ms. If too dr
y, add mor
e water
.) Knead ball until fir
m. Coat lar
ge bowl with oil and set dough ball inside. Cover
 with plastic wr
ap and allow to r
ise at r
oom temper
e for
 about 1 hour
. Dough should double in size. Tur
n dough out on a flour
ed sur
face and knead lightly into a
smooth ball.

*As an alter
native, you can use stor
e-bought dough. For
recipe, you’ll need 1 package.

2. For the Flatbread

5 ounces aged Gouda cheese
sliced 2 r
ipe pear
ed and thinly sliced leaves fr
om a few spr
igs of fr
esh thyme
1 tablespoon honey
1 ounce fr
esh ar
ugula leaves
juice of ½ lemon
acked black pepper
osciutto (optional)

eheat oven to 500°. Roll ball of dough into a thin cir
cle. Place on a war
med pizza stone or
 in a cast-ir
on pan. Top with sliced cheese, sliced pear
s, picked thyme leaves,
and a dr
izzle of honey. Bake in oven for
 about 6 to 8 minutes, or
 until edges of the dough ar
e dar
k br
own and edges of the pear
s ar
e showing color
. Remove fr
om oven and allow to r
est for
 about 2 minutes. Slice into wedges and top with ar
tossed in lemon juice, salt, and pepper
. If desir
ed, add pr
osciutto just befor
e ser



Recipe by Chef Hosea Rosenberg of Blackbelly Catering & Events {LISTmember on WEDDING} 

Blackbelly Catering & Events is a full-service catering and events company that offers private custom dining experience parallel to none.  From intimate multi-course wine dinners in your home, to outdoor farm dinners, to full-blown corporate events, farm dinners and weddings, our mission is to provide a perfect event experience. Thier services include unique catering experiences with custom menus prepared by celebrity chef Hosea Rosenberg, event planning, menu consultation, drop-off cuisine, and beyond. They specialize in ‘farm-to-table’ cuisine. In fact, they source all of our ingredients locally from the Blackbelly Farm where they raise our own Pigs, Lamb, Chickens, and Rabbits, and also tend to our greenhouse. What they can’t get from our own farm, they source from other local Colorado farms. Their menus are all very seasonal, so they are in constant communication with all the local farms to see what is growing well and at it’s peak when we design our menus.

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