Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Denver Happy Hour @ The Big Game (Used to be Il Fornaio) (1631 Wazee Street, Downtown) Tuesday, July 13th, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

The Co-Host for the Julys’ Denver Happy Hour is Michael Albert, entrepreneur, photography, marketing & design. I met Michael @ Funky Buddha back in the day, about 7 years go. He can be spotted at all the hip affairs in and around Denver. This month we are meeting @ The Big Game (1631 Wazee Street, Downtown)…Used to be IL Fornaio. It’s the group that created China Grill, Asia De Cuba (NYC), their new concept of a Comfy Sports Bar. There are huge televisions, couches, ping pong, you name it. Come by to check it out. They did a great job with the space.

Please join us on Tuesday, July 13th

Denver Happy Hour is the way you want networking to be. Here's the Concept. A New Co-Host(s) & Bar/Restaurant Once a Month. Free Appetizers and Happy Hour Cocktails from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. A Great way to meet new people, catch up with friends, and Explore Denver. It's the Best Excuse to mingle during the week. www.denverhh.com

The BIG Game (1631 Wazee Street, Downtown) Tuesday, July 13th, 5:30p to 7:30p

The BIG Game

1631 Wazee Street, Downtown


Complimentary Appetizers

Happy Hour Specials

5:30pm to 7:30pm

Co-Hosts for the Night:

Michael Albert is currently the Principal of MLA PHOTONIX PHOTOGRAPHY (www.mlaphotonix.com) and is also a partner of Elevation Creation (www.elevationcreation.com), a locally owned and operated creative firm. As the Senior Level Account Executive, Creative Director and Staff Photographer, Michael handles major projects for Elevation Creation from conception all the way through to completion. Michael has been active as a creative marketing professional for the past fourteen years in the fields of print, web, multimedia, interior/exterior signage, photography, film and video. His work has spanned local, regional and national campaigns.
Michael’s success as a creative professional can be attributed to his passion for communication, which he achieves primarily through his photography, networking and business development practices. He is a consummate networker that is very active in the community, always on the go, utilizing his event photography skills as a tool to reach out and connect with Denverites on all levels and professions.

Michael exudes friendliness and is always on the look to connect one good person to another. Whether shooting a fabulous high society social event for a local magazine or social website, on assignment for a specific client project or performing pro-bono work for a local non-profit you’ll be sure to run into Michael somewhere! So come on down to The Big Game and rub elbows with this handsome, hard working man about town!

Phone: 303.506.2749

Email: Info@mlaphotonix.com

MLA PHOTONIX is based in Denver and is available for local, national or international assignments. We can also coordinate all of your creative staffing needs such as hair stylists, makeup artists, wardrobe stylists, set design and art direction. MLA PHOTONIX Specializes in event coverage, commercial photography, and graphic design, large and small format printing and graphics, consulting and project management for print, web and multimedia-based marketing campaigns.

+More about The Big Game

Voted “Best Sports Bar, by 5280 magazine after being open only 3 months, Big Game is Denver’s latest premiere upscale restaurant & lounge. Enjoy a variety of smart casual cuisine with an emphasis on local, sustainable ingredients, coupled with expertly crafted cocktails and Colorado microbrews while surrounded by Denver's only 31 FT HDTV screen in our state-of-the-art multimedia entertainment lounge. Open daily for lunch, dinner, late night dining and weekend brunch and featuring two great happy hours, Big Game is Denver's ultimate social dining experience.

Parker: Eatery group "informal"

By Penny Parker

Denver Post Columnist

Ask mega-restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow about his duties as CEO of the TurnTable Restaurant Group, the company that just opened Big Game in the old Il Fornaio space on Wazee, and he stares at his son, Zach.

"I am?" the senior Chodorow said, sounding surprised.

"When we formed the company, it was a little informal," Zach explained.

"I don't personally care about titles," Jeffrey said. "I don't operate with a corporate culture."

But he operates in a big-bucks culture as head of China Management Group, a $200 million empire of 25 restaurants that includes marquee brands China Grill and Asia de Cuba.

Big Game — a giant, comfy sports bar with a more upscale menu — is the first of the family's businesses they hope to bring here. The China Grill honcho was so drawn to Denver that he paid rent on the empty Il Fornaio space for more than two years.

"We did a multicity tour to get a feel for the rest of the country," Jeffrey said. "We looked at spaces in Dallas, Milwaukee, Chicago and Denver. We saw this space and said, 'Wow.' We paid a lot of rent, but at least we're honorable."

"Honorable" is also the term he gives his former partner, reality- TV-series chef Rocco DiSpirito, whose eatery Rocco's on 22nd Street famously failed when Chodorow successfully sued the chef during the NBC series "The Restaurant" in 2003.

"He honored his (financial) obligations over time, which I'm impressed with," Jeffrey said. "He's a very talented guy, but Rocco, if he wants to be, is very charming. If he doesn't want to be, he's not."

Moving along . . . now that Big Game is on the books — the restaurant serves lunch and dinner daily and features free Wii games, cushy leather booths, a loungy front bar and a pingpong table — Jeffrey says his company will be looking for a Denver space for China Grill in its new iteration, which features half-portion entrees, dim sum and sushi.

Zach, who calls his suitcase his home (he opened his first eatery, El Scorpion Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar, in Miami), is working on a handful of projects but won't be specific.

"We've had a good first week and a half," Zach said about Big Game. "Denver is a great city, and this is a great space."

Good going, Groupon.

My Twitter and Facebook postings Wednesday afternoon talking about the state's seizure of BriteSmile at 231 Detroit St. for nonpayment of back taxes (as reported in Thursday's column) started some nervous twitches from folks left holding worthless gift certificates for the teeth-whitening service.

But if you bought a gift certificate from Groupon.com, the online deep- discount website, no need to grind your teeth.

A Twitter follower sent me a note Thursday saying that she bought two $185 gift certificates from Groupon. She notified the website about Brite Smile's closure, and Groupon is sending her a full refund. Go to groupon.com to request a refund.


Two women sampling from the new sushi bar at Elway's at the Ritz-Carlton:

"You're a sushi virgin?"

"I thought I would do it in private, but oh, well. This way is better."

Penny Parker's column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Listen to her on the Caplis and Silverman radio show between 4 and 5 p.m. Fridays on KHOW-AM (630). Call her at 303-954-5224 or e-mail pparker@denverpost.com.