Oprah doing part for Dish

Column by Penny Parker


Inside scoop: Oprah Winfrey, yes, that Oprah, will make a special appearance at Douglas County-based satellite company Dish Network's annual retailer convention in San Antonio in mid-May.

She's supposed to be taping a 30-minute show during the event. Also entertaining during that event is comedian Bill Engvall of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, and the band Train.

Team Summit — the name of the conference — will be held May 14-16. Oprah will make her appearance on May 14. Jill Arrington from Fox Sports will be co-hosting the entire week with Amir Ahmed, senior vice president of indirect sales for Dish.

Don't have details, but I'm told by a super-secret double-probation source that Oprah's rider (meaning what she needs before and after her appearance) is crazy! Tons of diva-like demands. If I hear more, I will “dish” the deets.

Bonanno adds new pizzeria

Chef and restaurateur Frank Bonanno was set to open his latest joint, Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria, on April 27 at The Vistas at Park Meadows. It's his first venture outside of Denver, and the 10th addition to his rapidly growing empire, which includes Mizuna, Luca d'Italia, Bones, Osteria Marco, Green Russell, Lou's Food Bar, Russell's Smokehouse and Vesper Lounge.

Say what you want about Bonanno, but his record with successful eateries speaks for itself.

Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria will feature an open kitchen with an Italian wood-fire oven that will showcase pizza makers, cheese mongers and charcutiers.

“The menu at Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria started as something simple — unifying standout items from Osteria Marco with some of our cherished appetizers from Luca d'Italia,” Bonanno said. “The entire menu represents the food I always look forward to sharing with my family.”

Hours are 11 a.m. to close on Monday through Sunday with happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturday. For more information, go to www.bonannobrotherspizzeria.com.

Oh, ick!

First Avenue Hotel and El Diablo and Sketch restaurant owner Jesse Morreale has far from come to terms with the city of Denver over alleged “safety violations” regarding his places of business.

On April 25, Morreale lost yet another legal battle that said, barring improvements to the property, the city will have him shut down at First and Broadway on May 3. His attorney, David Foster, however, is fighting the order.

For my part, I just hope that El Diablo stays open, because I think that space has been a real plus to that part of town.

And executive chef Sean Yontz is the bomb (however you say that in Spanish) to that establishment. Stay tuned to this unfolding drama.

Beer fest coming to Jeffco

Beer lovers in Denver's southern suburbs will love South Denver Beer Fest, an outdoor beer festival featuring more than 60 brewers from all over the nation. The festival will be May 4-5 at Clement Park in Jefferson County.

Tickets — $40 advance general admission ($50 at the door) and $85 VIP ($90 at the door) — can be purchased at www.southdenverbeerfest.com. General admission is from 2-5 p.m.; VIPs will get early entry at 1 p.m. Clement Park is located at 7306 West Bowles Ave.

Bring a canned food item for Carpenters Cupboard Food Bank and you will receive a free beer.

Lone Tree photo show returns

The Lone Tree Photographic Art Show & Sale started on April 20, but runs through June 9, and visitors can view nearly 100 images from local and international photographers at the Lone Tree Arts Center. More than 600 images from 214 photographers were entered for the show.

Juror Weldon Lee said: “The number of great images submitted for this year's Lone Tree art show was staggering, which made the jury process extremely challenging. Every category was packed with outstanding photographs.”

Guests who attend the show can vote for the People's Choice Award, which is awarded at the close of the show.

For the first time, the show's entries were divided into four categories: wildlife; digital art; nature and landscape; and people, places and travel. Each category will have first-, second- and third-place finishers and honorable mention.

On May 18, Lee will present a photo seminar, “Photographing the Magical World of Wildlife,” from 3-6 p.m. Registration is $30 and is open to all levels of photographers. Photographers may register online at www.LoneTreeArtsCenter.org or by calling the LTAC box office at 720-509-1000.

Lee has traveled the world's most exotic locations photographing wildlife and capturing their personalities on film. Lee's work can be seen at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. His images also have appeared in magazines such as Mature Outlook, National Wildlife, Backpacker, National Parks Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, Outdoor Photographer, Petersen's PHOTOgraphic, and Nature Photographer.

Eco Devo Corp. rakes in award

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. was recently recognized for achievement in business retention as part of Business Facilities magazine's 2013 Economic Development Awards Competition.

Each year, Business Facilities selects the organizations that have established and consistently executed the best practices in the economic development industry, bringing measurable success in targeted economic development to locations they represent.

The Achievement Awards put the spotlight on agencies and organizations that have established the best practices in their specified categories. For a complete list of winners, go to www.businessfacilities.com.

Elbra gets well-deserved award

The Colorado Women's Chamber of Commerce named Elbra Wedgeworth, the chief government affairs officer at Denver Health, the 2013 Athena recipient on April 25 at the Athena Award Gala.

The Athena Award is given to an outstanding woman leader who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in her business or profession. Plus she provides service to improve the quality of life for others in the community and assists women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Wedgeworth has had a remarkable and inspiring professional career as a government leader and public servant, and has been a noted asset to the Denver community at large.

She served in all three branches of city government before she was elected to Denver City Council in her home district, District Eight.

As a councilwoman, Wedgeworth represented 22 neighborhood organizations. Among her accomplishments during her time in city council, she oversaw the redevelopment of East Village, Dahlia Square Shopping Center, Mercy Hospital and various other projects.

Wedgeworth also helped Denver successfully land the bid to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Also during the gala, Colorado School of Mines presented Lyndsey Babcock as the 2013 four-year Florence Caldwell Achievement Scholarship recipient.

“The CWCC congratulates all the phenomenal 2013 nominees,” said Donna Evans, president and CEO of CWCC and the Women's Leadership Foundation. “We are thrilled to honor Elbra Wedgeworth for her outstanding contributions to her profession and to the Denver community.”


Eavesdropping on a couple having wine at The Village Cork: The woman said, “Yes, you're right.”

The man replied, “Will you say that again, I'll use it as my ring tone.”

Penny Parker's “Mile High Life” column gives insights into the best events, restaurants, businesses, parties and people throughout the metro area. Parker also writes for Blacktie-Colorado.com. You can subscribe and read her columns (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at www.pennyparker.blacktie-colorado.com. She can be reached at parkerp1953@gmail.com or at 303-619-5209.


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