sidewalks, snow and better Broncos


Coloradans are a generous bunch, which should put most of us (with a few exceptions) on Santa’s “nice” list this year. But there are some things we need, some presents we’re not afraid to ask for — ones that would make living here even better than it already is.

Powder days? Of course that’s here. So is a seat at one of Casa Bonita’s tables. But there are a few you might not expect. This list, compiled by the staff of The Know, is now on its way to the North Pole. May your Christmas be merry and bright.

Crab stuffed with pasta from one of Frasca’s tasting menus. (Sarah Abell, provided by Frasca Food and Wine)

A Michelin-star restaurant

The famed Michelin Guide only reviews restaurants in four parts of the U.S.: New York, Illinois, Washington D.C. and California. That leaves just one time zone out of the picture. To remedy that situation, Michelin should come to Colorado and stay awhile. Restaurants here — like Beckon, Frasca, Sushi Den and The Wolf’s Tailor (which Bon Appétit named one of America’s 10 best restaurants in 2019) —  are on par with big city names and deserve a closer look.

A woman as mayor

Denver has boasted plenty of powerful women on the city council over the years, but the last time we elected a woman as mayor was, well, never. Voters got close in 2019 when the election came down to a runoff between incumbent Mayor Michael Hancock and Jamie Giellis, with Lisa Calderón giving them both a run for their money. The city’s voters should always elect the most qualified person for the job, and this time around there are several women running who have a real shot at winning.

Casa Bonita, the Lakewood restaurant, purchased ...

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

Casa Bonita, the Lakewood restaurant, purchased by the creators of “South Park” in 2021, is currently undergoing renovations in Lakewood, Colorado on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post)

A Casa Bonita opening date

It’s been nearly three years since Casa Bonita closed during the pandemic — shutting off our access to honeyed sopapillas and Black Bart’s Cave. And while we got good news when Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the University of Colorado grads who created “South Park,” bought the beloved eatertainment venue in 2021, Casa Bonita has remained a construction zone – one likened to a hellish episode of “Kitchen Nightmares.” So, word of an official date would make for a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year of mariachi, cliff diving and churros.


No matter which side of Denver’s new sidewalk-building ordinance (which voters approved in early November) you came down on, the fact remains that the city has 300 miles of missing sidewalks and 830 miles of sidewalks that are too narrow for wheelchairs. The new rule should fix that, but at current funding levels, it could take decades, according to the Denver Post’s Joe Rubino. In the meantime, keep your boots on and watch your step.

A waiter talks to patrons he ...

Rachel Ellis, The Denver Post

A waiter talks to patrons he is serving in the outdoor seating area of Corridor 44 in Larimer Square in downtown Denver on Friday, June 19, 2020. The square was closed to vehicles to facilitate outdoor, socially distanced dining.

Permanent outdoor seating

And speaking of walkable cities, one of the only good things to come out of the pandemic was the boost to Colorado’s vaunted year-round patio culture. This was due in large part to decisions by many municipalities to close streets and allow bars and restaurants in the heart of shopping and dining area to seat people outdoors, something that created a pedestrian-friendly vibe. Arvada and Idaho Springs have made a few of those changes permanent. Maybe other cities will follow suit.

People move through the south security checkpoint line at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado on Friday, November 11, 2022. (Eli Imadali/Special to The Denver Post)
People move through the south security checkpoint line at Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado on Friday, November 11, 2022. (Eli Imadali/Special to The Denver Post)

A construction-free DIA

You would be forgiven for your guffaws at this suggestion, considering what a mess Denver International Airport has been lately. And yet, is it really too much to ask for an aesthetically presentable, functional airport experience that isn’t regularly bisected by construction zones that cost hundreds of millions of dollars and never seem to end? Please, Santa.

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