Civic Center EATS — good food, gorgeous views, great cause

The eighth-annual Civic Center EATS Outdoor Café has returned on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 4 through September 26, 2013 (excluding July 4, August 29 and September 3).

Denver’s favorite summer lunch tradition returned Tuesday with the opening of the eighth annual Civic Center EATS Outdoor Café. City council members and staff, along with area office workers and corporate sponsors, partook of the tasty offerings from Denver’s gourmet food trucks parked by the City and County Building.

An incredible venue in which to experience Denver’s growing gourmet food truck scene, the outdoor café donates a portion of proceeds to the Civic Center Conservancy, the nonprofit dedicated to restoring, enhancing and activating Denver’s historic Civic Center Park. Civic Center EATS provides an opportunity for downtown employees, residents and visitors to experience the beauty of Civic Center, enjoy a delicious outdoor lunch, listen to live music and connect with the community. Shaded tables and an on-site ATM are provided.

Civic Center Conservancy Executive Director Lindy Eichenbaum Lent greets Civic Center Eats sponsors and Denver City Council members present for the kick-off of the 2013 season of Civic Center Eats on June 4.

The Civic Center Conservancy Park conservancies are an outgrowth of private citizens wanting to do more for public spaces than government can do on its own. Gaining steam across the U.S. over the past three decades, conservancies of varying sizes and models have been established out of concern for parks that government entities had neither the capacity nor the resources to maintain, program or enhance adequately. Conservancies are private, non-profit, park-benefit organizations that partner with the government but raise money independently to invest in parks under action plans mutually agreed upon with their government partners. Key examples include the Central Park Conservancy, the Battery Park Conservancy and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Colorado Legislative Auditor Chris Laughlin relaxes after lunch with some friends at Civic Center Eats on the first day of its 2013 season in Civic Center Park.

Formed in 2004 by a group of private citizens passionate about revitalizing Civic Center Park, the Civic Center Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that partners with the City and County of Denver to restore, enhance and activate Denver’s historic Civic Center. The Conservancy's efforts focus around advocacy for park needs and infrastructure improvements; events and programming to activate Civic Center; public awareness and engagement; and fundraising for capital improvements, activities and initiatives to support and revitalize the park.

Three-year-old Logan prepares to chow down on a cupcake, bought by his mother Amanda Myers, from the Denver Cupcake Truck at Civic Center Eats.
Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez (District 3) reviews the food choices available for lunch with City Council Legislative Services’ Ean Tafoya and Feven Netsanet of Councilwoman At-Large Robin Kneich’s office.
The flowers have been planted and it is a perfect day to get out of the office for some fresh air and a tasty lunch in Civic Center Park. People flock to the park from all directions.
Photos by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman