Escaping The Heat in Cherry Creek!

Summer’s here and it’s hot!  For Cherry Creek residents that would like to escape from the heat, there are a few great outlets within the community, and following are some great idea for any day of the week.

Cherry Creek State Park is great for water recreation and Denver’s backyard playground!  The park is anchored around 880 surface acre reservoir and is natural beauty that is stellar offering picnicking, camping and facilities for group events.

Kids will love the park activities as they can participate in horseback riding and model airplane flying.  There is also a family shooting range available, as well!  The backyard wonderland is a great place to take off for the weekend and relax along the shores, or in the waters, and the summer activities definitely won’t be a disappointment.

Other great venues include:

  • Serenity on St. Paul Day Spa- an excellent way to escape from the summer heat and rejuvenate the mind, body and soul!
  • West Southwest Gallery- wonderful for the art lover.
  • Pismo Gallery- an excellent tourist attraction.

Cherry Creeks’ So Perfect Eats Gets Off to a Good Start

While fans of Pasta, Pasta, Pasta were sad to see the restaurant go, its replacement has already started to create quite the stir. So Perfect Eats, which is described as a “lifestyle cafe” and is owned and operated by former senior VP director of Pacific Sunwear Lynda Campbell, provides its customers with food and entertainment all at the same time.

The café, which is decorated with turquoise, lime green and white colors, provides customers with a place to learn how to entertain at home while also providing homemade foods on its menu.

“We roast our own meats, make our own chutneys and jams, bake our own ciabatta and baguettes, and we cook and bake in small batches so that there’s no waste,” said Campbell.

Fresh-baked quiches, homemade breads, salads, homemade soups and desserts such as cookies, cupcakes and brownies are all on the menu, which changes seasonally.

“I’ve always been in fashion retail, but I’ve also always loved to cook, bake and entertain, and the café is really about how to entertain at home,” said Campbell. “My mom was a really good cook, and it wasn’t unusual for us to have thirty people over for dinner, and I’ve been cooking ever since I could reach the stove.”

So far, Campbell reports that business has been good.

“I have a small group of regulars that keep coming back and spreading the word, and while I’m not exactly where I want to be, I’m close, and it keeps getting better every day,” said Campbell. “We have everything here to make a holiday party perfect, and the pies are amazing.”

So Perfect Eats offers daily specials and is currently accepting pie orders for the holidays. The restaurant is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm and on Saturdays from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.

Colorado State Parks Board Likely to Spare Cherry Creek State Park with Budget Cuts

Colorado State Parks Board is facing some difficult decisions as they try to decide upon which parks they need to close in order to balance the budget. According to sources, however, Cherry Creek will not be facing closure.

“We’ve identified our highest-priority parks and they are the gems that we want to preserve, but at the same time we want to find ways to keep as many parks as possible open and accessible to the public,” stated Colorado State Parks director Dean Winstanley in a Denver Post article.

Although it is too early to say for certain which of the state’s 42 parks will be closed, those that have been placed at the top of the list in addition to Cherry Creek include Chatfield, State Forest, Arkansas Headwaters and Golden Gate. Those at the bottom of the list, on the other hand, include Paonia, Harvey Gap and Sweitzer Lake.

“It is completely premature to talk about closing any specific park,” continued Winstanley. “The list doesn’t make the decisions. The Parks Board will carefully consider options in the months ahead.

According to sources, the Park Board will consider a number of different factors when determining which ones to close and which will remain open. Some of these factors include the condition of the facilities, the economic self-sufficiency of the park, the contributions the park makes to the economy and overall visitor satisfaction.

“You can’t really compete with other parks like a football team,” said Ed Keleher, who is the manager of several recreation areas that are included in the bottom portion of the current list. “We’re always trying to be as innovative as we can be. We’re trying to get some trail projects done. There’s lots of stuff we can try to do to improve it. But some of it we can’t really control. When you’re trying to go into competition with something like Cherry Creek (State Park), it’s not really relevant.”

Unfortunately for those who live near to those parks that are at the bottom of the list, the current formula being used for ranking the parks does not take into account whether or not nearby residents have a reasonable alternative to enjoy. In the end, the five-member State Parks Board needs to think about dollars. With State funding, which covered about 40 percent of the park system’s budget, coming to an end next year, the board needs to find the most economical way to manage the 225,260 acres of land and water that it oversees. Fortunately for Cherry Creek residents, it looks as though the Cherry Creek State Park will not be one of the parks affected by the cuts.

As One Restaurant Closes, Another Opens in Cherry Creek

Yesterday, the Mexican cantina known as Tambien closed its door in Cherry Creek. Although the restaurant plans to reopen later in an undetermined location, the owners of the restaurant feel Cherry Creek simply isn’t a good fit for the restaurant.

“We want to protect and maintain the brand, but this is a young, hip, loud restaurant that will do well in a young, hip neighborhood, so we’re looking around to find a space that’s more appropriate for that kind of vibe,” said Jesse Morreale, who is one of the owners of the restaurant.

With the Cherry Creek lease expiring, Morreale and co-owner Sean Yontz decided to close the restaurant’s doors rather than signing a new one. The Tambien’s employees don’t have to worry about being out of a job, however, as all of the employees have been offered positions at other restaurants owned by Morreale, including Sketch, El Diabo, La Rumba and Rockbar.

Even as one restaurant closes its doors, another one is opening in Cherry Creek. In fact, the downstairs space located at 2710 East Third Avenue that was once home to Plush will soon become Sweet Ginger Asian Bistro & Sushi. Located next door to Argyll, the new restaurant will officially open in the middle of November. If all goes well at the liquor-license hearing, which will be held at 1:30 p.m. on October 7, the new restaurant will also be serving liquor along with its Asian cuisine. So, while some residents may be sorry to see Tambien leave the neighborhood, the opening of Sweet Ginger Asian Bistro & Sushi gives them something to look forward to.

Rental Rates in Cherry Creek Shopping District Remain High Despite Vacant Retail Space

Although the Cherry Creek North retail district is still bringing in the business, there are still nearly just as many retailers closing their doors in the district as there are opening them up for business reports the Why? According to many experts, the cost of renting a retail space within the district is simply too much to justify opening up a store there. Nonetheless, owners of the retail space would much rather keep the space vacant than bring down their rent expectations.

“Cherry Creek is still the strongest retail submarket in the metro area,” said Mary Beth Jenkins, who is the president of The Laramie Co. “This is a destination area that draws from a six-state region. Regardless of the economy and the vacancy, this is the one location in town that will be the last to crater.”

In other words, despite the economic downturn, retail space in the Cherry Creek North shopping district isn’t likely to see a rent decrease any time soon. With the popularity of the shopping district combined with the fact that the Cherry Creek North business Improvement District is moving forward with plans to invest $18.5 million into the district in order to install new benches, lighting, signage and landscaping, retail space in the area is simply far too valuable for the owners to justify bringing down the costs.

“Owners in Cherry Creek are sticking to what they used to be getting and saying they’ll just keep the space vacant,” said Susan Karsh, who is the managing director at Frederick Ross Co., which specializes in retail leasing. “Rents are all over the place because there are a lot of independent (building) owners in Cherry Creek North who can do what they please. Different landlords have different financial considerations.”

According to Julie Bender, who is the president of the Business Improvement District, a growing number of merchants are also deciding to purchase their buildings. Just last year, for example, Stephanie and Lee Prosenjak purchased the 10,500 square foot building that currently houses their Cherry Creek Dance for $4.96 million. Similarly, Max Martinez and Scott Seale recently paid $2.6 million for the 6,200 square foot building that used to house Smith & Hawken. The pair plans to relocate Max’s women’s clothing boutique into the building. Interestingly, the former owner, John Sheridan, never intended to sell the building. But, after Smith & Hawken closed its doors and he was unable to release the building, he decided to go ahead and sell the building.

While some owners are selling their buildings, yet others are taking steps to prepare for the future. Don Sturm, who is the landlord of the JoS. A. Banks, is planning to extend the storefront in order to make the buildings fronting Filmore Plaza more inviting and accessible by pedestrians. Others are reinforcing their buildings in preparation for adding condos on top once the housing market turns around. Of course, moving forward with some of these plans will largely depend upon the residents and the changes they allow to be made to the neighborhood.

FOX31 KDVR Launches Cherry Creek & Washington Park Websites for Denver

FOX31 KDVR has announced the launch of its new series of Websites, each of which is dedicated to providing news and information that is specific to each of Denver’s neighborhoods. To access neighborhood information, site visitors need only to select the neighborhood of interest after clicking “Change” on the right side of the Website’s homepage.

“Our viewers have so many options for general Colorado news that we believe there’s a strong desire for a more localized news experience online,” said Marc Sternfield, who is the Senior Web Producer for FOX31. “We’re starting with 17 major neighborhoods today, but we plan to add a lot more.”

In addition to containing links to neighborhood-related KDVR articles, the sites also allow viewers to serve as “Community Journalists” by submitting news tips, articles and ideas for stories.

“We know there are plenty of aspiring journalists, students and members of the community who want to share local information and get published. We thing this is the perfect place for that,” said Sternfield.

On the Washington Park neighborhood site, for example, visitors can read a variety of stories that have been submitted by KDVR staff as well as those submitted by site visitors covering topics ranging from celebrating the Brazilian culture through the Caporales/Saya Worldwide Event to coverage of the National Veterans Wheelchair Games.

On the Cherry Creek /Glendale site, on the other hand, site visitors can read about everything from stories about local military personnel who have passed away to heartwarming stories about lost pets who have turned up safely. In other words, the sites allow visitors to remain up-to-date about the hard hitting news stories as well as lifestyle stories and other topics of interest.

Those who are interested in submitting an article or becoming a Community Journalist can simply click on the “Contact Us” button and then complete the form provided. Businesses that are interested in advertising on the sites, on the other hand, can contact Account Executive, Pam Singer, at 866-510-3583.

The Home Cart Team with Brokers Guild – Cherry Creek Ltd are Featured Agents and proudly feature their Denver area listings on these two new websites.  They invite you to visit their Denver real estate website or contact them today at 303-482-2344 or 888-675-4516.

Cherry Creek Marching Brand

The Cherry Creek High School Marching Band will be out of town November 28 thru December 2nd.

The Bruins will be in Los Angeles again this year to help mark the beginning of holiday celebrations at Anaheim California’s Disneyland theme park. But the band will return to Denver in time to offer another stellar performance in Denver’s annual Parade of Lights festivities on Dec. 5 and 6.

“It’s an honor to be selected for either of these performances,” said Band Director Tim Libby. “I’m very proud of our students and the incredible dedication they’ve displayed all year long.”

These final parade appearances will bring to a close what has been an outstanding marching season.

The Cherry Creek HS Marching Band made the finals in the Colorado Marching Band Championships, last month at Invesco Field.

It’s been a busy year for members of the band. In addition to the Marching Band Championships, they also competed in the Arapahoe, Douglas County and Pomona Invitational Marching Festivals, they’ve performed at Cherry Creek High School’s Spirit Day, Homecoming Pep Rallies, of course home football games.

“We set our goals high,” said senior Drum Major Sebastian Adams, “but the most important thing is that we walk off the field knowing we had a good show and a good season

At Cherry Creek High School, marching band is an extracurricular activity – a club, not a class – which is different from many metro area high schools. Band Director Tim Libby says that’s why the Creek band is so strong musically.

We certainly wish them well, and look forward to next season.