Driftwind Opening Held Up By Liquor License Uncertainty

A new restaurant and event venue could finally open on the Boulder Reservoir in May 2022.
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A waterfront restaurant and event venue on the shores of the Boulder Reservoir has been in the works for years, and a liquor license public hearing on March 2 could determine Driftwind’s fate.

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The City of Boulder completed Driftwind’s construction at 5565 51st Street in Boulder back in 2019. “The city actually approached us about it. Parks and Rec had put together a plan for a new amenity at the reservoir after many years of planning and public outreach and decided that a restaurant, an event space, was a great way to increase access and make it so the reservoir could be enjoyed by the community in a more robust way,” Josh Dinar, Driftwind partner, told What Now Denver.

The COVID pandemic put a stop to Driftwind’s opening in May of 2020, and now there is concern about the venue by some who live in the neighborhood near the site.

A special hearing will be held on March 2 by Boulder’s Beverage Licensing Authority to review the application for a liquor license. The community members will get a chance to speak about their concerns. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to address their concerns about safety and responsibility,” Dinar said.

“There is a vocal contingent of people that are in the area that aren’t in favor of the change. Our case will be that the neighborhood in this case is the community at large, and that the reservoir is meant to be shared by the whole Boulder community, the city of Boulder,” Dinar said. “Taxpayers pay for it, and it’s an amenity, a public park that is for the whole community.”

The authority should decide whether or not to grant the liquor license at the hearing on March 2, possibly paving the way for a 2022 Memorial Day weekend grand opening for Driftwind.

If approved, the restaurant will be open during the daytime hours during the summer season from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Private events and dinners for the public would be held during the evening hours. Private event space and public dining would also be available during the off-season, at least through the fall season.

During daytime hours for the summer season, Driftwind would partner with Ruthies Boardwalk Social to provide an elevated menu of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, fries, soft-serve ice cream, and burgers. Work continues on a dinner menu by Driftwind partner, Chef Daniel Asher, who is the culinary director for River and Woods, as well as Ash’Kara.

More information about the petition and Driftwind location is available on the Driftwind website.

Amber D. Browne

Amber D. Browne is a writer, editor, voiceover artist, and author of The Little Book of Hermetic Principles: Heal Your Energy, Seek Enlightenment, and Deepen Your Understanding of Your Mind, Body, and Spirit. Browne has more than two decades of experience in journalism including in television, radio, magazines, and online publications.
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