The Mile High's Newest Marketplace
Denver Milk Market in LoDo features 16 culinary concepts in a beautifully designed space
If there’s one trend that’s defined Denver’s burgeoning dining scene as of late, it’s food halls. We’ve seen a resurgence of the age-old concept in the past five years, beginning with The Source in 2013, followed by Avanti Food & Beverage, The Denver Central Market, Stanley Marketplace, and Zeppelin Station. They’re cropping up for good reason: The hubs offer a variety of choices to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, and provide a laid-back atmosphere that’s conducive to casual happy hours and group gatherings. And unlike other tired food trends (read: bacon-flavored everything and the comeback of the childhood underdog, Brussels sprouts), food halls offer enough choices to keep them novel and satiate our foodie culture.
Photo by Ryan Dearth
The newest addition debuted on Friday, June 1, 2018, in the bustling Dairy Block micro-district of LoDo. Dubbed Denver Milk Market, the marketplace stands out among its predecessors as the first to be led by just one culinary maestro. Chef Frank Bonanno is at the helm of the space’s 16 walk-about eateries that serve up a range of thoughtful cuisines, from bao buns to hand-rolled pastas to craft cocktails to fresh poke to sweet and savory crepes. Each concept is inspired by Bonanno’s travels, family members or established restaurants (he’s the mastermind behind Mizuna, Osteria Marco, Luca and many other Denver favorites).
All of the food offerings are accompanied by a feast for the eyes. Designed by Cynthia Steinbrecher of Davis Partnership Architects and Jacqueline Bonanno, creative director of Bonanno Concepts as well as Frank’s wife, the 18,000-square-foot space is vibrant and airy, with a circular flow that unveils walk-up countertops with each turn. Each restaurant has its own vibe distinguished by unique flooring and accessories, while modern finishes and contemporary art tie the space together as one entity. Personal touches abound, and guests will have to visit a handful of times to notice every clever design detail.
“Because each concept is rooted in a family member, a favorite trip or a dining experience, it was impossible to not approach the physical embodiment of each without a lot of love and care,” Jacqueline says. “The design is not only meant to be engaging and fun for the guest, but it is also a love note to every memory that each space represents.”
Here’s a first look at the market’s dizzying food options and playful design details.