Beer garden on tap at Skyline Park.
The Skyline Beer Garden open on Aug. 19.
Beer garden brought to you by Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver BID.
Soon to be on tap at Skyline Park: a pop-up beer garden.
The Downtown Denver Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District unveiled plans on Wednesday for the Skyline Beer Garden.
The month-long venue will make its debut at 4 p.m. on Friday Aug. 19 in Skyline Park, on Arapahoe Street between 16th and 17th streets. It will run through Sept. 15.
The Skyline Beer Garden is the latest in a series of strategic initiatives to create diverse and attractive programming to downtown, according to the Partnership.
“The Downtown Denver Partnership is excited to bring forward a new and unique program to encourage residents, employees and visitors to gather in Downtown Denver in one of our most vibrant parks,” said John Desmond, executive vice president of downtown environment for the Downtown Denver Partnership.
“The Skyline Beer Garden builds on several initiatives to bring diverse and attractive programming to Skyline Park and support long-term strategies to create a premier outdoor Downtown that contributes to an economically thriving center city,” Desmond added.
The goal of the programs is to encourage a variety of cultural, leisure, entertainment and recreation activities in downtown Denver’s parks and public spaces.
The Skyline Beer Garden will feature 12 Colorado craft brews on tap. Cocktails and wines also will be sold.
Gourmet brats, a house-ground burger and garden burger, three salads and German pretzels with dipping sauces will be among the food available.
All food and beverages will be sold through a ticket system.
The Partnership is working with the team behind the Lowry Beer Garden at the Skyline Beer Garden.
The Lowry operation is now in its fourth year.
While hard to measure, he estimates the year-round Lowry center draws 250,000 people annually.
He said the Skyline Beer Garden is a pilot program, “both for the Partnership and the Denver Parks department. We will staff it, handle the food and beer and keep it organized and running.”
Vostrejs said he has long been an advocate of “activating” city parks with private operations.
“It’s not appropriate in every park, of course,” Vostrejs said. “We have seen little bit and pieces, in some parks.”
He pointed to food trucks at Civic Center Park as one stab at activating public spaces.
“That’s been a pretty big hit,” Vostrejs said.
“And, you know, if you look around the country, other cities are doing this. It can be as simple as putting a private merry-go-round in a park. And New York City has its famous Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. The Shake Shack has become a pretty iconic place and a big tourist draw.”
Some people may hear “beer” and worry that sloshed crowds will follow.
“The way we program them, they are pretty gentle,” Vostrejs said.
“By that, I mean our beer garden is not a raucous, bar-like environment. It is family friendly and super social.”
In fact, music can be a problem, because the biggest draw isn’t beer or food, but conversation among friends, he said.
“You don’t want the music too in your face, or people won’t be able to hear each other talk,” Vostrejs said.
One advantage a beer garden has over a typical restaurant is they can easily accommodate big crowds.
The Skyline Beer Garden is expected to be able to handle 350 or more.
“If 20 or 30 people walk into a beer garden, it’s no big deal. Even if 40 or 60 people walk in, it’s not a big deal. If that many people walked into a restaurant and you weren’t expecting them, it would create havoc,” said Vostrejs, a longtime retail and restaurant operator.
Because the size of the group barely matters, beer garden are great venues for last-minute gatherings of office workers or softball or soccer teams, he noted.
The garden will incorporate Skyline Park Games. Games will include ping-pong, a nine-hole miniature golf course and cornhole. There also will be live music on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Skyline Beer Garden will be open to guests of all ages daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., weather permitting.
Skyline Park is also home to the Summer Movie Series, sponsored by Southwest Airlines and funded by the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District.
It will end its six-week run this Saturday, with a free showing of the movie Grease. The pop-up dog park and children’s play area at Skyline Park will continue through Sept. 30.
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