Denver’s Appeal to Millennials? Jobs, Mountains and, Yes, Weed

Article by John Hanc, New York Times


On Pecos Street in the Lower Highlands section, known as LoHi, Avanti Food & Beverage has transformed an old 11,000-square-foot factory and auto repair shop into a sort of food court for the Uber generation.

Seated cafeteria-style in the main dining area one recent night, a young crowd, many in hoodies and yoga pants, were sampling dishes from seven local start-up restaurants. Udon noodles, tortas (Mexican sandwiches) and Venezuelan-style flatbreads were among the choices offered by entrepreneurial restaurateurs, most of them food-truck vendors hoping to make the leap to brick and mortar.Nothing cost more than $15.

“It’s good, solid cuisine at affordable prices,” said Avanti’s co-owner, Patrick O’Neill. “That goes a long way with millennials.”The youthful party continues on many nights around the renovated Union Station in the trendy Lower Downtown district, known locally as LoDo, and along Larimer Street in River North, or RiNo. It was unclear on a recent evening whether there were more bars than signs supporting Bernie Sanders, but both were plentiful. Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub, Los Chingones’ rooftop bar and the Wynkoop Brewing Company (one of 65 microbreweries here, according to the Colorado Brewers Guild) were all doing a brisk business.

As for the Vermont senator, so popular with millennials, he was depicted on a two-story painted wall mural — like something you’d see in Los Angeles or Belfast celebrating heroes — with a fist raised and the slogan “Rise Together!”

This is also an apt slogan for this city, which has risen from economic stagnation and urban irrelevance to become a millennial magnet.

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