Tag Archives: Sloan’s Lake

The Edgewater Inn: Last of the Continuously-Operated/Owned by the Same Family Italian Restaurants in The (Near What Used to be Denver’s Little Italy) Hood

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[Some links have been removed or changed since The Edgewater’s website was changed – 2014]
Update 2014 – The Edge is now serving excellent, Sweet Potato Fries.

The Edgewater Inn
5302 W 25th Ave
Edgewater, CO 80214
(303) 237-3524

The Edgewater Inn
The Edgewater Inn

Every so often I have a need to drive across town to the soothing neighborhood of Edgewater across from *Sloan’s Lake. The lake was dredged some time back, and surrounded by (cleaned-up) verdant Sloan’s Lake Park, it’s a beautiful spot. The view across the lake, from Sheridan to the east, is one of the best views of Denver’s skyline. Most nights the reflections of downtown building lights paint the water – even though the lake is miles from downtown Denver. I know there’s an explanation for that phenomenon, something about bending light waves. Whatever the science, she’s drop-dead gorgeous.

Sloans's Lake at Edgewater, photo by radare
Sloans's Lake at Edgewater, photo by radare

When one first enters the City of Edgewater, the instant vibe is Mayberryesque, however, it’s changing fast.

At the extreme north-west end of the lake, at 25th Ave & Sheridan Boulevard, through the overhead sign (Edgewater) declaring its boundary, down a block and on the left, you’ll find a fairly plain building with green awnings and a HOWDY PAISANO sign on the east wall. This is The Edgewater Inn.

[Update 2014 – The Edgewater’s website has been changed, the following paragraph is from the old website. A link to the new website follows.]
“The Edgewater Inn is a small pizza tavern in the heart of Edgewater, and for many years been one of the highlights of the town. The Inn, most famous for its pizzas and family atmosphere, has graced the neighborhood for over fifty years. The owners, Ben and Josephine DiPietro started the business back in 1953. The Inn, now located on the southwest corner of 25th Avenue and Ames was initially located at the building due west of it’s present address. In 1957, the building next door went up for sale. The buildings previous occupant, the post office, moved into a newer quarters. Ben and Josephine purchased the lease and began their work. They realized they wanted to turn their 3.2 bar into a regular bar. To accomplish this task, many hours of hard work were required. Ben and Josephine had to petition everyone in the neighborhood, meaning they had to go to every household to ask the residents if they were or were no[sic] in favor of a bar going into the community. This amounted to a total of 96 blocks, this was no easy task. They did however succeed in getting enough signatures and community support to acquire a license.”

The Edge’s Official NEW Website

Interview with Brandon Bucci, general manager [A paragraph (here) was removed, it was part of the old website.]

The main dining area of The Edgewater Inn
The main dining area of The Edgewater Inn

Close, but never quite in the heart of Denver’s Little Italy, The Edgewater was a bit too far west. The Bonnie Brae Tavern (DU area), Romano’s in Littleton and several others around Denver are good restaurants, just not in the epicenter of Denver’s Little Italy, which pretty much hugged the area bounded by 32nd Avenue to 46th Avenue and Broadway to Zuni streets. There were a half-dozen-plus red-sauce places within a mere 2-mile stretch along 38th Avenue, and down connecting side streets of the Little Italy area, many within just a few blocks of each other. Longo’s Subway Tavern (shuttered in 2012,) Gaetano’s (new corporate owner) and Carl’s Pizza (new owners) were on 38th Avenue. R. Carbone’s Pizza (now Lechuga’s – For Sale in 2014) and The Alpine Inn (John “Skip” LaGuardia’s tavern – long closed) shared Tejon Street with Gaetano’s. Patsy’s Inn is still on 35th and Navajo (family-member of the founder is the current owner, however, there have been non-family owners.) Little Pepina’s was at 34th and Osage St (the building stands – soon to be an Asian restaurant,) Pagliacci’s was at 33rd and Osage (raised last year.) Three Sons was located at 44th and Federal ( 3-sons moved to Arvada,) Ernie’s Pizza Bar was at 44th and Elliot (new corporate owners,) and Carbone’s Sausage Market and Deli (closed) was catty-corner to the Subway, across 38th. I’m getting dizzytized.

Perhaps by default, The Edgewater has worked it’s way up the list and is the last of it’s kind left standing. To the folks from the neighborhood, The Edge is an institution. The Edgewater Inn, The Subway Tavern and The Bonnie Brae Tavern were the three premiere Denver pizza joints for years – before NY Pizza came to town. In fact, Longo’s Subway Tavern boasted about installing the first pizza oven in Denver. Ernie’s Pizza Bar was in a quieter neighborhood.

I’ve been going to The Edgewater for years – mostly for an 18 oz.? goblet of beer. The original owner Ben DiPietro usually had a long cigar protruding from the corner of his mouth.

The late Ben Dipietro, sans cigar
The late Ben Dipietro, sans cigar

Recently, I had a decent house salad. The spaghetti is acceptable (other pastas on the menu,) a bargain for about $7.50 including salad and bread. The pizza and calzones (canolis) are unmistakably Colorado style – sort of a hard, crunchy crust. The calzone I had was different. I’m a NY Pizza fan, so… Also on the menu: appetizers, including fried-ravioli, wings and more, salads, and classic meatball and sausage sandwiches served with marinara.

OK, the food is Edgewater/Denver style. It’s not California cuisine or NY fine-dining, so get over it – this is bar food.  The Edgewater is still a good watering hole, reminiscent of a coastal bar. Well, it is sort of on the coast, the coast of Sloan’s Lake. There seems to be a new “feel” to the restaurant. Next time I’ll order something else to see if the food has been elevated.

In naming more of the good qualities of this restaurant, one would have to mention the cleanliness, the clever U-shaped bar, the copper Moscow Mule mugs hanging like relics from bar racks (The Edge offers premium Vodka Mules), and gracious, friendly and attractive waitresses. These women have perfected the art of public relations.

The restaurant/bar is one, in other words the restaurant tables surround the perimeter of the U-shaped bar. The exception being the new covered patio addition, which is a bit different. The main dining/bar area has a number of very cozy booths nestled up against quality, rich woods. The only thing I’d change is the worn, grey veneer of the lower bar. Wood matching the window trim would complete the interior.

From the Neighborhood Gazette
“As the reputation of the Edgewater Inn grew, it was rumored that high ranking Denver police officials would usher celebrities like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra into the Inn after hours. Frank was said to have proclaimed that the Edgewater Inn had the best pizza in Denver.” Read more…

I’m all for supporting this Edgewater/Denver institution.

Happy Hour specials! Customers can park across the street in The Edgewater’s lot.

*Doing research years ago I ran into some documents suggesting that the lake and park were simply called Sloan Lake and Sloan Lake Park, rather than Sloan’s.

The Edgewater Inn is a TrueItalianTable recomended authentic Italian restaurant.

10th Annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

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Colorado Dragon Boat Festival
July 24-25 at Sloan’s Lake Park in Denver
Story and photographs are from the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival’s Official Website
July 25 Full moon information at the bottom of this page.

Flag Catching Dragon Boat
Flag Catching Dragon Boat

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival:
Celebrating Colorado’s Asian Pacific American Communities for 10 Years

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (CDBF) has become, in 10 years, the most recognized and celebrated Asian American/Pacific Islander cultural event in the Rocky Mountain region. From an audience of 15,000 in its first year, 2001, the Festival has grown to over 100,000 spectators from throughout the region. Since inception, it has received many accolades and awards. For example, Westword anointed the Festival “Best New Festival” of 2001. The Rocky Mountain News called it the “Best City Festival” in 2003. And, in 2007, 5280 magazine describes Dragon Boat as “One of Colorado’s greatest festivals…”

Dragon Boat
Dragon Boat drummer

There have been other Asian Pacific American events in the Denver metro area, but none with the scope and scale of CDBF. The Aurora Asian/Pacific Community Partnership with partners Denver Film Society and the City of Aurora hosted the Aurora Asian Film Festival, a showcase for recent theatrical films with Asian themes for many years. The film festival is currently on hiatus. The Asian Pacific Development Center mounted Passport to Asia which included Asian American entertainments and vendors. At its peak, Passport to Asia drew 10,000 The Cherry Blossom Festival at Sakura Square has been a Denver tradition for over 35 years. Sponsored by Tri-State/Denver Buddhist Temple, the still-thriving Cherry Blossom Festival draws 25,000 spectators to celebrate Japanese-American culture, food, music, dance, arts and crafts.

CDBF Dancer
CDBF Dancer

Planning for a dragon boat festival began in 2000. Ding Wen Hsu, then president of the Chinese American Council of Colorado, had heard that John Chin, then president of the Denver Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, was working with Howie Solow, founder and chief instructor of the Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu Association, on developing a dragon boat festival in Denver. She contacted John Chin to discuss collaboration as she was interested in doing such a festival

When the three festival founders met, they found that they shared a common festival vision. All three believed that the festival should be a Pan-Asian event celebrating all of Colorado’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Moreover, they felt that the festival needed to be “community-owned” with local AAPI communities guiding the goals and direction of the festival. They also envisioned three key elements as fundamental to the success of the festival: dragon boat racing using traditional dragon boats; an entertainment stage featuring local Asian Pacific American groups; and a marketplace with the foods, crafts and other merchandise of local AAPI businesses. read more from the CDBF Official Website

CDBF Food Vendor
CDBF Food Vendor

One of the ongoing highlights of each year’s Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has been the opportunity to eat your way across Asia and the Pacific Islands — bite by bite. Over the years, Taste of Asia has featured vendors serving up the cuisines of China, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, India, Japan, Hawai’i, Laos, Thailand and oh yes, the good ol’ USA (and Mexico!).

2010 Colorado Dragon Boat Poster
2010 Colorado Dragon Boat Poster

Colorado Dragon Boat Festival’s Official Website
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The Moon will be 100% full on July 25th, 2010 at 6:37 PM Las Vegas, Nevada time.

What is Cool and Hot at the very same time?

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GB Fish and Chips
GB Fish and Chips

What is Cool and Hot at the very same time and just across the pond (the pond, in this instance, being Sloan’s Lake on Denver’s West End?) The GB Fish & Chips restaurant on Sheridan Blvd. might be the answer to Denver’s serious lack of ocean views. OK, so Sloan’s Lake ain’t an ocean, just a small park-lake in Edgewater (21st & Sheridan Blvd.) so…

On the night of the last full moon I was heading over to The Edgewater Inn (Howdy Paisano) for a Moscow Mule and saw the familiar GB Fish and Chips sign (I’ve been to the So. Broadway location several times) across the street from Sloan’s Lake. I made a mental note to return on another night, after taking in the view. A very full moon was rising over the city beyond the lake. The reflections of the downtown lights and skyline as well as the brilliant “Planting Moon” were shimmering in the water. Wow! No doubt one of the best summertime, night views the city of Denver has to offer.

The following night I returned, took a walk in the park, snapped a few photos then entered the restaurant. I basically knew what to expect. What I didn’t expect, after grabbing a beer and walking around to the side patio was the familiar feeling of being in a place I know – a restaurant on the beach in Hermosa Beach, CA. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s darn close. Denver is not exactly a beach town.

GB Fish and Chips
GB Fish and Chips

GB Fish & Chips is a English-style fish & chips restaurant with football (soccer) on the TVs, soccer jerseys on the walls, wooden picnic tables, booze, and for sure, Fish & Chips. Also on the menu, they offer: Bangers (Al La Carte, $5.95 – Meal, $8.45,) Shepherd’s Pie ($6.95 – $9.45,) Pork Pie ($4.15 – $6.65,) Pasties ($6.50 – $9.00,) Sides (Chips, Beans, Slaw, Potato Chips $1.50) and Soup (Clam Chowder $3.95 – $5.95.)

Back to the Swimmers, battered and deep fried: Cod, Tilapia, Prawns, Oysters, Squid, Scallops and Combinations: Half (Just Fish $5.50 to $7.65,) Half Meal ($8.00 to $10.15,) Full (Just Fish $9.95 to $14.25,) and Full (Meal $12.45 to $16.76.) View the complete menu on GB Fish and Chips Official Website

All meals include one side and a soft drink.

The meal I had on this particular night: Cod with baked beans and cole slaw was very tasty. The fish was light and golden. The sides were small, but adequate and the beer was cold. I’m not really a fish person but someone I know who is a fish person says it’s the best in town. ‘Nuff said!

The side patio (on the left in the photo) is a cozy little outdoor cave with wooden picnic tables and THE view. One can order stuff through a serving window without having to walk inside. Bartender, another beer please.

Not too many years ago the little grouping of businesses (in a several block area along Sheridan Blvd. where GB fish and Chips is located) was seedy at best. You can turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse. Maybe it’s not all that, but this area is blossoming like a rose bush in a back alley. Years ago there was an Italian restaurant on the block. The owner knew the value of that view, but the neighborhood finally brought him down. He gave up and moved on. I wonder if he’s seen the new block?

Speaking of Italian, in the context of this post, would you call GB Fish and Chips proprietor, Alex Stokeld “THE CODFATHER?”

Official Website of GB Fish & Chips including menus, locations, maps and more

Walk a half-block south to The Cooler

FYI – Yeah I know most people refer to the lake as “Sloan’s Lake,” so I did as well. I’ve read park signs and history articles that name the park pond “Sloan Lake,” but who’s count’n.

Entire post, including the word “CODFATHER” is protected under copyright [C.2010-LasVegasBuffetClub]