Glenarm Patio brings communal outdoor dining to downtown Denver amid coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 7:15 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 01:07:31-04

DENVER -- The new Glenarm Patio is a little different than what you're probably used to seeing. Four restaurants in one shared space form the first communal outdoor seating situation in town and are a welcome sight for restaurant owners here.

“We have not been open since COVID happened because we’re on the third floor. We could do the takeout, couldn’t do the delivery,” Lime restaurant owner Curt Sims said.

The view wasn't so good at the top for the past three months, but with the changing of the rules, the Pavilions and their restaurants knew something needed to be done. All it took was a little vision.

“So they came up (with an idea) that went to the city and the city -- I’ve never seen such a cooperation so quickly,” Sims said

So thanks to a lifeline the view is getting a lot better.

“This was the reason I’m opening. There wasn’t any other reason,” Sims said. “We’ll tweak it as people start coming up, but we have to start downstairs move up here and hopefully people will want to come see us."

Although one tweak for Lime is using bar space downstairs to serve the street.

“So we do the food runner down on carts and that’s a lot easier and then the liquor comes out of there which is fantastic,” he added.

The city says this may not be the only communal dining area we see this summer. There are dozens of restaurants begging for expanded patios.

“If they have a neighbor close to them who is also applying, we reached out to see if they want to explore that,” Executive Director for Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, Ashley Kilroy, said.

Success here could turn this plan into a summer tradition.

“We are open to keeping an eye on it and see how it goes and monitor and track the outcomes, and consider extending it if that seems like the right direction to go in,” she said.

The right direction right now is about getting these restaurants help and getting them open.

“Just to see them come together so quickly for us, that was unbelievable and I’m very appreciative,” Sims said.

There are some rules still. If you come here with a group of friends, you can't order from different restaurants. So pick where you want to order from before you sit down. Wednesday is the first night, but it goes thru Labor Day.