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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

See Urban Reinvention in Denver


5. Oddball Day

Infinite Monkey Theorem is a sprawling urban winery in the burgeoning River North Arts District.  

Spend a day exploring the past, present, and future of the city’s various neighborhoods. Start off downtown with a late, untraditional breakfast of wild-boar hot dogs ($6) at Biker Jim’s, a new brick-and-mortar spinoff of the popular food truck. From here, rent a bike ($8) at B-Cycle, the country’s oldest citywide bike-sharing program, and follow the scenic Platte River Trail up to RiNo (short for River North), a vibrant art district made up of abandoned warehouses, raw industrial spaces, and mixed-use studios. Spend a few hours exploring the area’s impressive collection of galleries, including the sculpture garden at Ironton Studios, the twenty artist studios and ten ceramic studios at Dry Ice Factory, and the sprawling Laundry on Lawrence complex, which contains a yoga studio, rotating photography and art exhibits, and a black box theater. For lunch, head to the Source, a new European-style indoor food market opening this summer in a former iron foundry; one of the vendors will be Mexican street-food eatery Comida—another food-truck spinoff—which makes juicy pork tacos ($3) and queso fundido with chorizo ($9). Then request a tour ($25 per person) at Infinite Monkey Theorem, an impressive 30,000-square-foot urban winery that oversees every stage of a wine’s production from grape to bottle (the adjacent tasting room vends cans of sparkling muscato wine out of a re-jiggered soda machine). Afterward, make your way back along the river, stopping at the Riversie Cemetary to explore the city’s oldest still-operational burial site. Then drop your bike off and walk around the iconic, 1914-built Beaux Arts Union Station, which is in the midst of a major renovation project that’s set to add a new boutique hotel and, eventually, a rail line out to Denver International Airport. Have dinner at the Kitchen, where exposed-brick walls and salvaged wooden table décor complement farm-fresh dishes like burrata with grilled radicchio ($9) and Moroccan sausages with rose water ($12). End the day at the landmark D&F clock tower in Lower Downtown, which gets taken over by Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret for Off the Clock, a weekly burlesque show ($25) every Saturday night at 11 p.m.

Published on May 16, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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