DENVER — There are certainly more storefronts available than in 2019, but after a rough year, a buzz has returned to downtown Denver just in time for All-Star weekend.
Lower Downtown and the Ballpark District will welcome thousands of visitors during multiple days of events. This is great news for the bars and restaurants near Coors Field, which have been hit hard by months of COVID-19 restrictions.
Even if you don’t have tickets to the game or really know that much about baseball (honestly, same), this weekend is as good of an excuse as any to revisit downtown and experience the energy that comes with a big event. Here’s a look at what to do around Coors Field and the Ballpark, regardless of whether or not you actually have tickets to any events.
This is part of the weekly 9Neighborhoods series. Have a place we should check out next? Email email@example.com.
Start by taking the train into Union Station
There’s a reason why some of the cast members in “The Real World: Denver” arrived by train: Union Station really has become one of the coolest parts of downtown, and it’s an easy walk to the ballpark and Larimer Square.
Pro tip: it also has a very nice public restroom.
From Union Station, be sure to check out Wynkoop Brewing Company (which was founded by now-Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) and the Cruise Room at the Oxford Hotel, an art-deco cocktail bar so cool that Jack White once put it in a music video.
Check out Larimer Square
Larimer Square knows how to celebrate big events, and the All-Star Game is no exception.
The restaurants still have larger outdoor patios thanks to COVID, and there are beautiful displays of greenery along what was once a car-friendly road.
An MLB-themed mural is also coming to the area, and on July 13 -- the day of the All-Star game -- this historic street will host a block party.
Click here for details.
Learn some history
Lower Downtown Denver has had quite a transformation over the years. It first came to be in 1858, with the discovery of gold. Over the years, everything from a bustling cowboy town like the Wild West to a "skid row" of abandoned warehouses.
Historic preservation in the 1980s and then the construction of Coors Field in the 1990s helped this stretch of downtown become the hub for bars, restaurants and shops it is now.
To learn the full history of Lower Downtown, take a walking tour. Here's one option from the City of Denver, and here's another for the Historic LoDo District.
Do the obvious, and eat (and drink)!
LoDo is famous for its restaurants and bars. It's home to multiple bars, restaurants and the Denver Central Market. Start with the Dairy Block at 18th and Wazee streets.
If your style involves video games, snag a reasonably-priced drink at the 1UP Arcade Bar and be sure to pour one out for the Falling Rock Taphouse next door, which closed after more than two decades in business on June 24. El Chapultepec, another neighborhood mainstay, also closed for good in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Of course, LoDo and the Ballpark District is home to numerous bars and restaurants, from the row of venues along Market Street (find live music at Herb's) to famous locations for baseball fans like Jackson's and the Viewhouse (it's not a house, but it does have a view).
As for craft beer (since this is Denver), Jagged Mountain, Wynkoop, Great Divide and the Chophouse all make their own beer and are within walking distance of the Ballpark. Meanwhile, RiNo is just a short scooter ride away.
This is one of the most pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods in the city, so walk around, explore and find your own favorite.
If you haven't been to LoDo in a while (because of the whole pandemic thing), check-in out in the gallery below:
PHOTOS: Revisiting LoDo before the All-Star game
SUGGESTED VIDEOS: All-Star Week in Denver