Why Food Halls Are Opening in Front Range Suburbs

Because suburban dwellers in Golden, Aurora, Greenwood Village, and Westminster appreciate good food, and entertainment too

Written by Allyson Reedy for 5280.com- July 7, 2021

It makes sense, really. Multiple fast-casual eateries clustered together under one roof with a shared dining area originated in suburban malls—remember food courts?—so the “trend” of opening food halls in the ’burbs isn’t as revolutionary as it may seem. New or not, it’s happening all over the non-Denver Front Range. Food halls, so often associated with urban settings, are popping up in Golden, Aurora, Greenwood Village, and Westminster.

“My interest over the last couple years has been the periphery and underserved neighborhoods. A lot of these places have been overlooked. As people move out to the suburbs who’ve spent their time in downtown Denver, they still have the same sensibilities and interests. They want good food in a gathering spot,” says Mark Shaker, the developer behind Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace, Golden’s the Golden Mill, and Capitol Hill’s Broadway Market.

Shaker’s next suburban food hall—the recently announced Westminster Alley—will open next May in the redevelopment of the former Westminster Mall site. The 12,000-square-foot space will have five food stalls and a self-pour wall for beer, wine, and cocktails. Shaker is working with the city on common consumption permitting so that food hall-goers can take their drinks out into the development’s central square. As for the food, Shaker says the lineup of culinary tenants is still to be determined but will once again tap partner Jesusio Silva for a concept or two. (Silva runs restaurants out of all of Shaker’s halls, which serve everything from sushi and ramen to tacos.)

“I’m excited for the project,” Shaker says. “Westminster has the opportunity to create a distinctive cool spot between Denver and Boulder. I’m bullish on the neighborhood. I think there’s going to be a lot of movement to the periphery and finding those underserved areas. People [living in the suburbs] want what they enjoyed downtown, but don’t want to go downtown anymore.”

Read the article the full article here.