Mile High Life

Owner of cat cafe unleashes yowl of pain

Column by Penny Parker
Posted 5/19/15

Sana Hamelin , owner of The Denver Cat Company, Denver's only cat-friendly cafe, was served a legal hair ball May 7 by a customer claiming that one of the resident felines bit her hand in February, …

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Mile High Life

Owner of cat cafe unleashes yowl of pain


Sana Hamelin, owner of The Denver Cat Company, Denver's only cat-friendly cafe, was served a legal hair ball May 7 by a customer claiming that one of the resident felines bit her hand in February, according to a story on the Eater Denver website (

"After it became apparent that the alleged cat bite was causing a stir, Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue, the original cat adoption partner, terminated its business dealings with the cat cafe," according to the Eater story. "Since then, For the Love of Paws and Planet Pet stepped in to provide kitties for adoption at this feline-friendly spot."

Hamelin took to Facebook to plead her case to fans. The post said:

"Guys, I'm having a very hard time. Although I'm working, all I can do is serve customers and then take breaks to cry. ... For some perspective on how hard this solitary endeavor of starting and running this rescue effort has been for me, consider that I drive a wreck of a truck that I got off Craigslist and I shivered through the whole winter because it doesn't have heat (and now I'll sweat through the whole summer because it doesn't have A/C either). I never have a weekend off, I live in a tiny apartment, and I haven't taken a vacation in over three years. I'm tired."

You can donate by going to, or use the Go Fund Me site at

Led Zeppelin tribute on tap

Tickets went on sale May 18 for Get the Led Out - The American Led Zeppelin, a benefit concert for Colorado Public Television 12, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison.

This six-piece tribute band will take you back to the '60s and '70s as it re-creates the legendary British group's distinct studio sound, with all the bells and whistles, and brings the Led Zeppelin experience to the big stage.

For more information, and to sample music and video on the band, go to

Tickets are $38 general admission (plus service charges) at and all Ticketmaster centers.  To charge by phone, call 1-800-745-3000. Tickets also available through Channel 12 at or 303-296-1212 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The power of big flower

Price Davis, Denver-based master craftsman and artist, recently installed the Denver Lily, a nearly 30-foot-tall sculpture, at Denver International Airport.

The three-piece, three-story sculpture, comprised of a base, flower pot and a stemmed flower with pod and leaves, is made of hand-forged sheets of steel that were stained and powder-coated. The sculpture is part of Davis' "Global Peace Through Art" initiative.

"We must celebrate the skilled artists that bring us beauty in our everyday lives. Art should inspire and take into consideration the diversity of its viewers," Davis said about the initiative. 

The lily, a symbol of relationships and friendship, will welcome travelers to DIA through July.

Symphony sets summer slate

The Colorado Symphony announces a summer season fueled by pop stars, video games, family fun and spectacular vocalists. The Colorado Symphony collaborates once more with some of the country's biggest and brightest talent at Red Rocks, the Arvada Center, Fiddler's Green and Boettcher Concert Hall for a summer of live music suited for taste.

Five concerts highlight the virtuosity of the Colorado Symphony musicians at Red Rocks Amphitheatre this season: Scottish indie pop band Belle and Sebastian open the season in June, followed by the duo of Ben Folds and Ingrid Michaelson. July features the Colorado Symphony's and DeVotchKa's annual collaboration, with special guest Kishi Bashi. The Colorado Symphony rounds out August with international sensation Video Games Live and Diana Krall featuring Pink Martini.

The season also showcases a star-studded Fourth of July conducted by Colorado Symphony Music Director Andrew Litton; a family-focused afternoon of music, "Inspired by Nature"; a costume-friendly night of the Music of Harry Potter; and a season-closing Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration at Boettcher Concert Hall, which will be Scott O'Neil's final performance as resident conductor.

For more information on the summer series, review the summer brochure:​ or visit

Briarwood hires new chef

Lisa Paterson, owner of The Briarwood Inn, a Colorado fine dining restaurant since 1979, has announced that the restaurant is launching a new phase with the hiring of Chef Jeff Jones, previously executive chef of Parallel 17. Paterson, daughter of Reid Pasko, the original owner of the Briarwood Inn, leads operations and Duncan Newman will continue to serve as the general manager.

Together the new management team will pilot the next phase of the 285-seat fine dining restaurant, which will focus on a chef-driven concept that stays true to its roots while evolving with the Colorado dining scene. Most recently, the Briarwood Inn has introduced a 175-seat garden terrace and patio area.

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, with six years of Colorado restaurant experience, Jones will revamp the menu to focus on locally sourced and seasonally focused menu items.

"The Briarwood Inn is a Colorado institution and I'm honored to have been brought on as a part of this family," Jones said. "This restaurant has a rich history of being one of Denver metro's finest dining establishments and I'm looking forward to creating dishes and experiences for new and familiar faces."

A new menu is expected to launch this summer.

The Briarwood Inn is nestled in the foothills of Golden at 1630 Eighth St.


Eavesdropping on a customer and a clerk at check-out at Trader Joe's on Seventh and Logan: "I have to run to my car to get my bags out of my car."

"There's no running at Trader Joe's, take your time."

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 You can subscribe and read her columns (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at She can be reached at or at 303-619-5209.

Penny Parker, Denver, Colorado


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