All aboard! After years of development, Denver’s Union Station has finally opened its doors. Well, technically it opened its doors over 120 years ago, but the newly renovated dining and nightlife hot spot has re-opened as a cultural center for residents of the Mile High City. And a few high-profile chefs have come along for the ride.
First announced in 2012, Union Station is the crowning achievement of Denver real estate developers Walter Isenberg, Jeff Hermanson and Chad McWhinney. The opening marks a milestone in the economic and cultural development of the city, which has been slowly digging itself out of economic woes that stem from the middle 1980s.
But those troubles seem far behind now, with the Station in full swing since it opened last month. Sporting multiple high-end restaurants from some of the city’s top culinary superstars, (and, oh yeah, a working train station) it’s hard to imagine that the location was only recently a husk of its former glory.
Restaurants like the popular breakfast joint Snooze (opening its ninth location), Hugo Matheson’s The Kitchen Next Door, and JBF award winner Jennifer Janinski’s Stoic & Genuine are making a splash on the local dining scene. Rounding out the full-scale dining options is Mercantile Dining and Provisions, from Food and Wine Best New Chef 2010 Alex Seidel, set to open over Labor Day weekend.
For less formal eats, the Station also features Milkbox Ice Creamery, Acme Burger and Brat Corp., Pigtrain Coffee, The Cooper Lounge and the Terminal Bar. There are three small boutiques — Bloom, Tattered Cover and 5 Green Boxes — available for shopping.
With a focus on rebuilding a community that has been having a hard time for nearly three decades, while keeping an eye on the city’s history, it looks like Union Station will mark a turning point for locals looking forward to a bright future. Whether or not the Station really can help revitalize Denver as a food and culture center for the country remains to be seen, but with culinary talent like this at the helm, it’s off to a good start.