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Colorado's Best Restaurant Design 2017: Hearth & Dram

Inside Colorado Restaurant Association's Industry Spotlight Awards

Photos courtesy of Hearth & Dram

The Colorado Restaurant Association’s Industry Spotlight Awards celebrates the restaurant industry and the top stars of hospitality. For the 2017 awards presentation event, Colorado Homes & Lifestyles magazine was tasked with the honor of choosing the winner of the second-annual Best Restaurant Design Award. (Curious about which restaurant won the inaugural award? See the 2016 Best Restaurant Design Award Winner.)

The award is selected based on how the restaurant design spatially and aesthetically suits service and function, as well as customer comfort and enjoyment.

Our editors worked tirelessly to visit numerous Colorado Restaurant Association members’ locations, looking for the best overall restaurant design. In the end, Colorado Home & Lifestyles Senior Editor Michelle Johnson and Digital Editor Vanessa Richetti could not ignore the contemporary take on Colorado's rich history seen in the design of Heart & Dram, a modern, "wood-fire saloon" located in Denver's thriving Union Station neighborhood, featuring over 350 whiskey varieties and rustic American fare.

"I love how Hearth & Dram mixes contemporary edge with elements form Colorado's past," says Johnson. "The wall of Gold Rush-era artifacts [displayed in built-in shelving above the pass] celebrate our history, while leather chairs and pendant lighting keep it current." 

Garron Gore of Hospitality Ventures Management Group is the concept creator behind Hearth & Dram, in partnership with Mark Zeff Design. The interior design, inspired by the look of a charred whiskey barrel, includes floor-to-ceiling windows, steel architecture, a wooden communal table and leather upholstery. Many furniture pieces have been sourced from Denver’s own Black Hound Design Company.

"There are so many interesting details—taxidermy pieces, whisky paraphernalia, industrial lighting," Richetti says, "but my favorite piece is the live-edge communal table [designed by Black Hound Design Company]."

The Best Restaurant Design Award, as well as many other restaurant industry awards, will be presented at the Colorado Restaurant Association’s 2017 Industry Spotlight Awards on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 from 6pm – 10pm at the Hangar at Stanley Marketplace. The evening will celebrate the industry and offer an opportunity to enjoy lavish food, beverages, entertainment, and a Silent Auction that supports Colorado ProStart. Learn more and purchase tickets here.



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