Skip to content

303 Day, Domo, new Lakewood liquor laws, and other Denver food news

BY PEYTON GARCIA | @CityCastDenver


Hello and happy 303 Day! In case you’re new around here (or simply unaware), it is Denver’s unofficial we-love-Denver holiday. Aptly celebrated on 3/03, today is called 303 Day because for some inexplicable reason we hold an intense amount of pride in our area code. (Shoutout to those of you who managed to avoid getting demoted to 720 in the last two decades.)

Aside from rubbing your super retro phone number in the faces of your out-of-state friends, there are lots of perks to be had on 303 Day. First and foremost, there’s the annual 303 Day concert hosted by local radio station Indie 102.3 and 303 Magazine. This year’s concert will take place at Number 38 in RiNo where local stars N3ptune, SF1, and MLady will take the stage. And, of course, there will be on-site bites and bevs to enjoy. 

You can also nab holiday specials at restaurants and businesses across the city if you know where to look — like unique 303 Day cocktails at Tamayo, Toro, and Kachina Cantina; a limited-time 303 Green Chile Relleno Burger at The Cherry Cricket; or ice cream sundaes, beers, and coffees ringing up at a cheeky and affordable $3.03 at various places around town.

Something else that caught my attention this week — Lakewood city council OK’d common consumption for designated areas, like shopping centers and entertainment districts, which allows patrons to openly carry alcoholic beverages from one bar or restaurant to another. Lakewood’s Belmar Shopping District plans to apply for common consumption status next month.  (Incidentally, Denver anticipated high participation from local businesses when it approved common consumption licenses last May, but nine months later there’s still none in Denver proper.)

On the topic of imbibing, Molson Coors Beverage Company announced this week that it will begin phasing out plastic packaging rings on its six-packs of beer and start transitioning to “fully recyclable and sustainably sourced cardboard wrappers.” (And on the topic of beer packaging, check out this episode of City Cast Denver from last week when we talked with Denver Business Journal reporter Ed Sealover about the battle over aluminum between Ball Corp. and craft brewers.)

Wondering what’s up with Domo? The hidden Japanese food gem serving Denver diners for 25 years has experienced its fair share of pandemic-related turbulence these last couple years, including going viral on Tik Tok last summer, which chef/owner Gaku Homma characterized as more or less a nightmare. The restaurant is currently closed because Homma shut the doors in January in response to the omicron spike. But some recent rumors left loyal patrons concerned that Domo wasn’t planning to reopen at all.

This week, Homma took to Facebook to clarify: a) He does plan to reopen Domo soon (albeit with restricted hours) b) he IS, in fact, having discussions with a potential buyer for the space, but c) if/when Domo does close, he’ll make sure he sends it out in style. 

And I saved the most delicious news for last: Teocalli Cocina has opened a second location in Arvada! I’m not at all surprised that this ultra popular Lafayette-based restaurant serving elevated and modern takes on Mexican flavors is expanding to bless the appetites of even more metro Denverites. Do yourself a favor, check it out and don’t sleep on the esquites, the house marg, or the birria taco. (And for what it’s worth, my Ma says the pozole tastes like her grandma’s.)

Stay hungry, Denver ✌️


How An Obscure Zoning Board Got Reformed (And Why It Matters)

Last May, we brought you the story of Shawn and Ben Johnson, a Sunnyside couple who wanted to build an ADU, or accessory dwelling unit, in their backyard so Shawn’s disabled mom could live close. The Johnsons were stymied by an obscure body called the Board of Adjustment for Zoning Appeals (BOA), which is in charge of approving any exceptions to the zoning code and which the Johnsons came to see as discriminatory. Now, after a year of throwing themselves against the bureaucracy, the Johnsons have helped to make a change: Denver City Council recently voted to reform the BOA.

We called up Kathryn White, the Denver North Star reporter who alerted us to the Johnsons’ situation in the first place, to unpack the reform and its possible citywide impacts. Plus, we checked in with the Johnsons to hear if this means they can finally build their ADU.


⚾ Opening Day is officially canceled: After 13 negotiation sessions and nine days of bargaining over a labor dispute, Major League Baseball players rejected the MLB’s “best and final” offer on Tuesday. As a result, the league has canceled Opening Day — which is basically a holiday here in Denver. [Denver Post]

  • 💬 “The fans are hurt the most and I feel for them,” Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon told the Denver Post. 
  • What’s next? Well, the first two series of the season have been canceled (for the Rockies, that was a three-game series against the LA Dodgers and a three-game series at San Diego). Hopefully we’ll see a Dodgers home-opener on April 8 at Coors Field. 🤞

🗳️ Kendra Black won’t be back: Denver city council member Kendra Black, who represents Denver’s southeastern District 4, has announced she will not be running for reelection for what would have been her third and final term. Her current term will expire in July 2023. “I just think eight years is a good long time to be in this kind of job,” Black told BusinessDen. [BusinessDen]

🔎 Still no Independent Monitor in sight: It’s been 14 months since Nick Mitchell left his role as Denver’s Independent Monitor, which serves as a sort of “law enforcement watchdog.” Despite recently narrowing the search down to three finalists, the Citizen Oversight Board tasked with appointing Mitchell’s replacement has announced that it will be starting over. Ultimately, none of the contenders really fit the bill, the board said, and the search will continue. [Westword]

🏆 Takes a G.O.A.T to know a G.O.A.T: Denver football darling Peyton Manning has just been tapped by The History Channel to host and executive produce a new show titled “History’s Greatest of All-Time with Peyton Manning.” [Denver Post]

Become a better Denverite.
Subscribe today.