For those of you who have not yet visited the newly renovated union station, or if you happen to not live in colorado, then you might not know what a huge update this re-haul was to the city. Union station was built in 1881 to serve as the hub for all things travel. It became a booming railroad station and stayed that way as denver grew. Sadly through the 70s, 80s and 90s, much of lodo (lower downtown) became increasingly seedy and many of the historic buildings and commercial areas became abandoned or displaced.
Over the past 20-30 years, developers and new businesses have moved into lodo, cleaning things up and in turn, real estate has skyrocketed. Yet union station, with its massive facade and large space stayed primarily empty and underwhelming as the city flourished. But union station was not forgotten, public and private investors have just completed a major revitalization to bring it back to its original state. The building has been restored, businesses have taken over the tens-of-thousands of square feet and it is again the travel hub of denver.
There is now a chic hotel inside, the crawford, which I cannot wait to check-into for a staycation. Also there are a handful of unique boutique shops and my favorite... tons of dining and drinking establishments. I have already become a fan, and/or a bit of a regular at stoic & genuine, mercantile dining and provisions and pigtrain coffee co. If a libation is what you are looking for, union station has you covered as well; both the cooper lounge (think mid-century modern lounge) and the terminal bar (the space is like stepping into the 1881 train station with classic details everywhere you look) have delicious cocktails as well as craft beers and wines by the glass or bottle.
Union station is back and more beautiful than ever. The building is looking extra sharp this month with its gussied up holiday decorations both inside and out. I am a bit bias but I think this renovation has upped denver's game big time, I hope you get a chance to check it out for yourself.
(I found this awesome video on union station's revitalization)