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  • Writer's pictureShannon Wilson

Exploring where I live

"It's not necessary to go far and wide. I mean, you can really find exciting and inspiring things within your hometown." Daryl Hannah

For the past few years RTD in Denver has hosted a campaign called Zero Fare for Cleaner Air. It began when Colorado’s state congress passed Senate Bill 22-180. The first years, RTD ran this program for the month of August; this year, however, this program was expanded to include more of the summer running from the last week of June until August 31. While I don’t know if it is really helping the air quality in our state, I have embraced it, traveling to Denver more often on the commuter rail by my house. (Unfortunately, Denver’s RTD program could use a lot of help in the north metro area).

This past Friday, my best friend and I hopped on the commuter rail after work to head downtown for dinner and other adventures. While taking the rail may seem like it takes more time, I feel like it is about even once you calculate the amount of time it takes to find parking and pay for it.

Our first stop on Friday was Three Saints Revival. This is a small restaurant boasting of Mediterranean tapas and an extensive wine list. We arrived during happy hour so we decided to try their board and a carafe. The charcuterie board consisted of some ham, brie cheese, sourdough bread, marinated olives, pickled onions, pickles, and mustard. Nothing on the board was really fancy, but it also came with a carafe of wine — we chose Pinot Grigio. The wine made the slightly higher price tag on this menu item worth it as we both got a little over two glasses. We also ordered shrimp and chorizo. I really enjoyed this dish, as it again came with grilled sourdough bread, but it was a little spicy for her. Still, we enjoyed our meal as a whole and would revisit this restaurant.

When my best friend and I explore downtown, I tend to google other places near me after our first stop. This led us to a bar called The Refinery. Google described this as cocktails and shots in a woodys space. Located on Blake street, it is a dive bar. They are known for their infused liquors, which we did not try, but they did decorate these containers with brains and guts — ready for halloween. This was a one beer and done stop!

Walking back towards Union Station, we stopped at the Oxford Hotel and enjoyed a drink at the Cruise Bar. This is a historic bar in lower downtown filled with unique murals on the walls in a rose colored glow. They even had a juke box, which unfortunately was broken. Here we ordered cocktails which did not disappoint. We also ordered the meatballs to share, while the meatballs were good, the tomato sauce on top was very lacking. I don’t recommend ordering them.

Finally, we ended back at Union Station and back at the

Cooper Lounge. This time, not only did we try more cocktails, but also some of their food. We shared the gnocchi, and Grand Marnier panna cotta. Both were delicious. We also got some free burrata and pane (bread) which we enjoyed as well. The Cooper lounge is a lot of fun and I want to try their Champagne brunch.

Overall, I am glad for Zero Fares for Cleaner Air as it reminded me how easy it is to go downtown. Even though this campaign is ending for this year, I will remember how easy it is to go downtown on the commuter rail and costing only $6 isn’t really more for two people than parking is.

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