Last month, we were lucky enough to spend an evening at Root Down sampling an array of creative cocktails with some of our favorite media gal pals. But this was no ordinary ladies’ night. Our task was to choose Root Down’s official Winter Cocktail, grading nine unique drinks on such important criteria as taste, aroma and presentation.

Our lovely judging panel included: Westword Staffers Patty Calhoun, Lori Midson and Nancy Levine; Denver Post Business Writers Penny Parker and Margaret Jackson; Heidi McGuire of 9News/Metromix and Denver Daily News Publisher Kristie Hannon.

Check us out listening to Root Down’s master mixologists Anika Zappe, John Manwaring and Allie Geppert explain their approach to crafting cold-season cocktails. (Can you see how eager we are to perform our duty)?

Anika, John and Allie concocted three cocktails each for the competition. The holiday-themed drinks, such as Red Rider, (named after the BB gun Ralphie pined for in A Christmas Story) and Silent Sigh, had us feeling pretty festive.

While we enjoyed many of the offerings, our favorites were drinks that distinguished themselves with hot and hearty flavors. The Dama Lama, a spicy drink featuring Espolon Tequila, Habanero pepper-infused agave and cilantro tied for the top spot with the ginger and duck-flavored Duck a la Orange. Both drinks will be featured on Root Down’s winter menu, along with the runners up – Red Rider and Silent Sigh.

You can read about the contest in the Denver Daily News!

Thanks to all of the judges and to Anika, John and Allie for crafting such tasty contenders!

As a Highland mainstay, The Stasko Agency is always happy to see our burgeoning neighborhood gain some positive publicity. So, we were thrilled when the New York Times recognized three Highland hot spots for serving dishes made from locally-raised livestock and homegrown produce.

The article, which hit newsstands last month, highlighted Root Down, The Squeaky Bean, Colt & Gray and the central Denver bistro Fruition.

We’ve been touting Root Down’s “field to fork” philosophy since the restaurant opened in December 2008. The eatery’s environmentally-friendly approach landed Root Down a spot on the Green Restaurant Tour last April and was the focus of a Vista TV feature. You can check out the segment here.

Congrats to Root Down and all the great restaurants who received props for growing their own food. We’re lucky to have such a wide array of fresh food available so close to home!

Today marks the start of the Green Route Restaurant Tour, a month-long showcase of Denver’s sustainable restaurant scene. (Check out “Dine Green this Month” in this morning’s Denver Daily News.)

The tour, which is part of Green Space Colorado, will showcase eight of Denver’s greenest restaurants throughout the month of April. (And Root Down is one of the participants!) Learn about each restaurant’s green efforts while enjoying drink & appetizer specials.

Here’s a look at the tour schedule:

1515 Restaurant
Monday, April 5, 6-8 pm
1515 Market Street

WaterCourse Foods
Wednesday, April 7, 6-8 pm
837 East 17th Ave. #103

Monday, April 12, 11 am-1 pm
2023 East Colfax Ave.

City O’ City
Monday, April 19, 6-8 pm
206 East 13th Ave.

Snooze Eatery
Tuesday, April 20, 10 am-12 pm
2262 Larimer Street

Wednesday, April 21, 5-7 pm
2239 West 30th Ave.

duo Restaurant
Monday, April 26, 5:30-7:30 pm
2413 West 32nd Ave.

Root Down
Wednesday April 28, 6-8 pm
1600 West 33rd Ave.

Tour passes are complimentary and can be downloaded here. Simply RSVP for the places you want to check out, present your pass to the host, and enjoy!

All of the participating restaurants are part of Denver’s Green Route, which, according to, is “a green map for the City of Denver that showcases the cutting edge sustainable businesses and organizations making our city a global leader in sustainability.”

Download the Green Route Map for a list of incredible earth-friendly businesses across the city.

For those of you who didn’t already know, here are some sustainable facts about Root Down:

  • 100% wind powered
  • Seasonal organic on-site garden
  • Local farms, sustainable and organic products are used whenever possible
  • Reverse osmosis water for all cooking, drinking, ice and sodas
  • Cardboard, glass, plastic and cooking oil are all recycled
  • Approximately 70% of Root down was built and finished with reclaimed, reused and recycled materials (including a basketball court as the dining room floor and a bowling alley as the bar top)

Hope you can make it to one or many of these incredible restaurants this month. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Denver Restaurant Week 2010 kicked off on February 20th and lasts until March 5th. During this two-week event, guests can enjoy a multi-course dinner for the fixed price of $52.80 for two or $26.40 for one. If you haven’t already, visit and make plans to visit one (or many!) of the 225+ participating restaurants.

One of our favorite restaurants, Root Down, was featured in Tucker Shaw’s article in The Denver Post on Wednesday, titled “These 10 restaurants define Denver’s culinary momentum.” In addition to Root Down, the list includes: Olivea, Rioja, Super Star Asian, Fruition, Bones, Chiopotle, Lola, the Squeaky Bean and Table 6.

Tucker writes: “These are Denver’s most important restaurants right now, in February 2010. Some are new, bringing fresh perspectives; some are stalwarts whose initial ambitions are finally being fully realized. Each reflects, and enriches, this moment in Denver’s culinary and cultural life. Each deserves a visit.”

Congratulations to our friends at Root Down–we’re so proud! Don’t forget to vote for them in 5280’s Top of the Town. We found that they fit in so many categories (brunch, burger, patio dining, soup, un-beef burger, vegetarian, happy hour menu, cocktails..), so if you can’t decide, we recommend putting them down for each one. Visit our previous blog about 5280’s TOT for details on how to place your vote.

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your weekend and make sure to get out on the town to enjoy some of Denver’s latest and greatest places to dine.

This year, The Stasko Agency celebrated Mardi Gras Denver-style! Though it was nothing like a true NOLA party, we enjoyed a festive parade before stopping by the Wynkoop Brewing Company for their Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Celebration. The entertainment was fantastic and Kent High School R&B Ensemble blew us away with their performance. Check them out on Facebook!

We’d like to send a special shout out to some new friends we met from Bechtel Communications, Inc. In town from all over the country, these guys were wonderful company and we wish them the best during their time in Denver.

We promised a few food recommendations, and, although we have MANY, the two we suggested based on their likes and preferences were: Root Down (32nd and Osage) and Buckhorn Exchange (10th and Osage.) Let us know what you think, gentlemen!

You never know who you’ll meet when out and about. We love running into interesting people and making new connections–that’s a huge part of our job.

Did you do anything exciting for Mardi Gras or Valentine’s Day? We’d love to hear.

5280’s Top of the Town voting is underway! There are so many local businesses that need your support, so take the time to check out the ballot and fill in your favorite spots for food, diversions, services, shopping and people.

Here’s what to do:

Go to

Enter an email address (to keep things fair/secure)

Activate your ballot

Write in your vote for your Top of the Town choices (you don’t have to fill every category in!)


Some of the local spots we included in our ballot:

Root Down, CY Steak, H BurgerCO, Little Man Ice Cream, Rosa Linda’s, Gallop Cafe, The Squeaky Bean, Gaetano’s, Patsy’s, Pasquinis, Anna Be, Samantha Louise, The Bookery Nook, Highlands Wellness Center, Shapes Salon, & Symmetry Massage

And SO many more.

Where are your favorite places to go? We’d love to hear. But more importantly, 5280 would love to have your input. Please take the time to take a gander and let your voice be heard.

Denver might have seen a few snowstorms already, but this season is just heating up at The Stasko Agency, with great press and new opportunities coming our way!

Our client, Root Down, received national recognition in the November issue of Elle Décor Magazine. A special thanks to 5280’s Amanda Faison for the shout out in her article “ELLE DÉCOR Goes to Denver” (read full article here). We love it when Denver gets the acknowledgment it deserves, and Amanda did a fantastic job highlighting the “must see” spots in this vibrant city.

Root Down also won a Mayor’s Design Award this past Thursday for the category Reclaimed Splendor, which recognizes “adaptive reuse of space and materials.” Our nomination was a no-brainer for this one, and we were happy that Mayor Hickenlooper thought so too! Congratulations to Justin Cucci, Paul Tamburello, David Schaich, and Tom Hewitson for this outstanding accomplishment.

This is Paul Tamburello’s third consecutive Design Award, on top of The Olinger Complex (2007, Reclaimed Splendor) and Little Man Ice Cream (2008, Wild Card). The Stasko Agency is certainly lucky to have worked with such successful and design conscious projects over the years.

With the holidays around the corner, you better bet that we’ll be busy with events and parties to showcase and celebrate our clients! Stay tuned to learn more about the collaborative Jefferson Park Home Tours and C Y Steak’s unique Holiday Party opportunities.

Thanks for your continued support and stay in touch!

The Stasko Agency has had an active summer, to say the least! With new clients, new ventures, and even a few new team-members, we’ve been busy finding opportunities to grow and expand our reach.

Here are some of the highlights!

Client Successes:

  • Cocktails, Cars, and a Cause, which raises funds for the Love Hope Strength Foundation, was hosted at Root Down on July 30th. Over 200 people came out for the event!

  • Root Down’s superstar mixologist, Anika Zappe, brought in some publicity herself, winning two separate cocktail contests. She was dubbed “Bombay Sapphire’s Most Inspired Bartender” for her drink, The Garden Party, which can now be found on Root Down’s drink menu. She also took first place in the 42 Below vodka contest at Theorie for her cocktail named The Casting Couch.
  • The Peloton has been rolling at full speed, with 18 sales in six weeks, a new sales center location off Arapahoe, and a third retailer slated to open this winter.
  • The Bookery Nook hosted a successful Tennyson Showcase event, which highlighted the eclectic independent shops lining the up-and-coming street. Attendees enjoyed a wine-tasting by WineJester and hors d’oeuvres by House Bar and Restaurant, which are only steps from the Nook.

Upcoming Events:

  • Historic Hotel Colorado will hold the 6th Annual Devereux Polo Cup on August 29th and 30th in the beautiful Glenwood Springs. Packages are available starting at $149 which includes an overnight stay and entry to the Match and the “Meet the Players” Gala event.

  • Frontview 40 celebrates its Grand Reveal on Thursday, September 17th from 4-8pm at 2650 Front View Crescent in Denver. With 31 flats and 9 townhome style residences, Frontview 40 offers 1, 2, and 3 bedroom homes ranging from the upper 100s to the upper 500s. No rsvp needed, just show up. Make sure to check out the unbelievable views from the rooftop deck. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

New Faces:

  • The lovely and talented Brenna Shelsta joined The Stasko Agency for the month of July to offer some support to our energetic schedules. We wish she could have stayed longer, but she’s off to Sweden to study for the next few years! Can anyone say company vacation? She will certainly be missed.
  • We’ve also recently partnered with Dan Urmann, an experienced sales/marketing specialist with niche for business development and bringing new products/companies to market. With Dan on our side, we’ve had the opportunity to work on several new product launches. Of course we can’t tell you all the details quite yet, but we can say the process has been both rigorous and rewarding. Expect to hear more about these ventures as we get closer to launch.

The Stasko Agency recently partnered with 3131Zuni, Highland’s newest luxury flats, to host a grand unveiling of the five story project. The event, held this past Thursday, was quite a hit! We estimate that over 250 guests stopped by throughout the night to tour the spacious units, sip on champagne, and snack on hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Root Down.

Of course no event is successful without a little hard work and love. The Tamburello Team and The Stasko Agency worked together to assemble 200 creative invites to hand deliver to the local real estate agents. Sometimes a little personalization goes a long way!

If you are interested in more information about 3131Zuni, visit their website. They are just around the corner from the heart of Highland–right near Pasquini’s, Gallop, and Duo.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by. We’d love to hear your feedback about the project and the party!

Highland celebrated its Second Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade this past weekend, and it was a sight to be seen! Over 850 neighbors showed up for the event, donned in red, white and blue and sporting fully decorated bikes, trikes, and wagons.

As part of the festivities, participants entered a pie-baking contest to see if their recipe could hold up against the rest. The grand prize for the competition was a 1 Month Showcase of the winning recipe at Highland’s own Root Down. Christina Cowan, pastry chef at Root Down, was kind enough to be the guest judge for the event and certainly had her work cut out for her. We saw a lot of amazing pies, but 3 really captured Christina’s taste buds. Here are the results:

1st place: Julie Cezadlos (far left) with a Raspberry Peach Crostata
2nd place: Olivia Freidman (middle) with a Triple Berry Pie
3rd Place: Ericka Cunha (far right) with a Hand-picked Hukleberry Pie

Christina will be creating Julie’s recipe at the restaurant for the month of July, so be sure to drop by and check it out.

The afternoon had a very sweet ending, with the unveiling of a 50 foot Ice Cream Sundae courtesy of Little Man Ice Cream. Of course, all the kids gathered around, spoon in hand, and wasted no time in gobbling down the massive dessert. With great food, games, and music by Rabbit Stew, the parade was quite a hit. It’s always refreshing to see the neighborhood come together and prove that Highland is a fantastic community to be a part of.

A special shout out goes to Yael Nyholm, Erin Weber-Hansen, Kristen Maldeis, Paul Tamburello, and our wonderful community sponsors for their support and participation.