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With its large, inviting public spaces, varied food selection that feels tailor made for groups with diverse tastes and massive self-serve beer walls, the Golden Mill seems to largely be about …
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With its large, inviting public spaces, varied food selection that feels tailor made for groups with diverse tastes and massive self-serve beer walls, the Golden Mill seems to largely be about everything the past 13 months have not.
Which is perhaps why the opening of the long-awaited food hall and sipping spot couldn’t have come at a better time as an increasling number of newly-vaccinated Goldenites start to think about enjoying the types of leisurely lunches and group hangouts that that so many have avoided during the pandemic.
The Mill, which combines the food hall concept that has become increasingly ubiquitous around Denver boasts an upstairs patio and downstairs plaza that offer “only-in Golden” views of Clear Creek and Castle Rock.
But while the whole place seems made for summertime, when those sitting upstairs will be treated to views of the tubers floating by below, partner Mark Shaker said its already been drawing interest from Goldenites eager to step inside the space they have been watching take shape for the past several months.
“It’s basically been people walking by and word of mouth as we make sure everything’s good to go,” said Shaker, of how the first few days have gone since the hall quietly opened its doors at the start of the month. “But it’s been pretty busy, we had a really busy weekend, and reaction has been pretty favorable.”
Sushi, history and plenty of beer
So what should fun-seeking Goldenites know about their cities new hot spot? The first thing is that you might not even recognize the place as the old Golden Mill feed store if not for the presence of the familiar blue painted sign on the outside.
That’s because the exterior of the building has been painted black and now features a large glass stairway structure that is meant to mimic the old mill race (the water wheel that powered the original mill). Inside there other nods to the history of the redone space, includes several photographs showing the various iterations of the building from its past.
Anyone coming to The Golden Mill should also plan to come both hungry and thirsty as the space includes five vendors serving everything from Korean fried chicken sandwiches to tacos to New Zealand-style ice cream.
Three of those vendor spots are the brainchild of Denver chef Jesus Silva, who perhaps best known for his sushi restaurants. His latest sushi spot is Sushi Sora, which is upstairs at Golden Mill and produces plates he says should be as beautiful to look at as they are to eat.
“Sushi is food for your eye’s first and then your mouth,” said Silva of his approach.
Another thing to know, particularly if you are still a little leery about venturing out to a food hall, is that the Golden Mill is considerably more high tech than your typical food court.
That’s because the whole hall runs on a system of cards that allow for contactless payments at both the food vendors and the drink wall, where customers can fill up a glass with as much or little of each of the beers, wines and cocktails as they want.
Such a system has several advantages, Shaker said, including allowing drinkers to try several drinks before choosing one and allowing the mill to save on labor costs which can be passed on to the customer.
“Also, what’s really worked out well is it becomes a communal hub where you want to talk to your neighbors about what you like instead of a bartender that is giving a really complex explanation of what each drink is,” he said. “So it becomes a social sort of component.”
But while Shaker and the Mill’s other partners are excited to share their creation with everyone who comes through the doors, they say there is one visitor they are particularly eager to welcome.
That’s John Boyle, who owned the Golden Mill feed store since 2003 and worked there since 1978.
“We are really excited to have him come back from Florida and be our guest,” said Susan Ganter, another partner in the Mill, of Boyle who already blessed the concept for the hall in what Ganter called “something really meaningful.”
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