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Archive for the ‘New to Me’ Category

More friends are undertaking an exciting new business venture (suck it, recession). The lovely Suzanne Moore and her husband Ian, with business partner Matt Notter, have opened a new sports bar in Boulder at 28th Street and Bluff (just south of Valmont).

Over the years, I’ve witnessed Suzanne’s hubby Ian hone his finely tuned bartending skills at the neighborhood joint Outback Saloon, just down the street. (Suzanne and I honed our finely tuned drink-sipping skills here, too, and at places all over Boulder, oftentimes after long days working at Blue Mountain Arts, where we met.) Now Ian’s come into his own as barman extraordinaire with the opening of his 28th Street Tavern.

Ian Moore and Matt, 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Congrats, Matt and Ian.

Eric and I attended the grand opening and were blown away by the beautifully renovated space, which includes a nice loooong bar, a small stage for live music, a juke box, a billards room, dart boards and a back patio.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Photo by Eric Gray.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

How cool is this room? This where we hung out the most. Photo by Eric Gray.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Photo by Eric Gray.

The tavern is painted in warm reds and has spiffy new wood floors. We spent most of SuperBowl Sunday afternoon there, along with a huge grand opening crowd, watching the game on the big-screen TVs and sipping Ian’s yummy cocktails. I was drinking cranberry vodkas, but I hear the bloody Marys are to die for.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Well hello, lovely ladies. That's Suzanne on the right. She doesn't look a bit like she's been working 20-hour days helping to get this bar open.

28th Street Tavern has great happy hour deals on weekdays 4-7pm (oh how I LOVE a happy hour that goes until 7pm!) and all day Sunday. So now you’ve got an irrefutable reason to go check it out.

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I am so in awe of people who can just up and start their own businesses. That’s what my friend Guy Knox did recently when he opened Red Rock Coffeehouse on Iris and 28th St. in Boulder. Guy had been working in the coffee biz for years when his employer, Peaberry Coffee, closed all its corporate locations — and Guy found himself poised to take all that coffee knowledge and venture out on his own.

He didn’t waste any time. And he didn’t cut corners. His shiny new shop is beautiful, with lovely wood accents, striking photography and some gorgeous custom decor (look up as you enter the shop). It’s a warm, calm, quiet and clean atmosphere that I imagine will continue to grow in popularity with students and the-coffeeshop-is-my-office crowd.

But enough about the ambiance. No one’s going to go to a new coffee shop if the coffee isn’t good. Never fear; Guy did the right thing and sought out a local star as the source of his beans: Kind Coffee. If you’ve ever stopped at the Kind Coffee store in Estes Park, you’ll know what to expect: a robust, slightly creamy espresso — that happens to be fair trade and organic. There are also fancy teas from the Tea Spot and a couple of different (reportedly amazing) chai varieties to choose from. Throw in a few decadent baked goods from Breadworks, and I’m sold.

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Hi there, Guy! Your new coffee shop rocks (pun intended).

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Ooooh. Look at the gleam on that new machine!

Red Rock Coffeehouse

I love the choice of coffee beans: Kind Coffee out of Estes Park.

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Super neato vintage posters from Art Source International on Pearl St.

Red Rock Coffeehouse

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

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Are high unemployment rates good for coffee shop business, as more people seek an office away from home? Well, if it’s any indication, there are now four coffee shops within a three-and-a-half-block span on Pearl Street’s East End. And they all seem to be busy pretty much nonstop: Laughing Goat, The Cup, Starbucks (not exactly everyone’s favorite locavore hot spot, but still…) and, now, Atlas Purveyors.

I stopped in Atlas (at the corner of 15th and Pearl) for the first time this weekend to grab a latte. I never had occasion to visit while the location was a tea shop (until a about a month or two ago), but it appears the tea theme has carried over in a pretty big way. They have a wall-o-tea lined with beautiful jars full of loose tea leaves. I asked about one with bright periwinkle-blue flecks in it and was told it’s a creamy Earl Grey. Um, I’ll be trying that next time.

They also had a case full of luscious-looking baked goods. Unlike last weekend, I managed to resist and stuck to just my latte. It was decent. Not as smooth as I like it, but not offensive by any means.

Atlas was very busy on this Saturday afternoon. Just about every table was taken (granted, there aren’t that many). But I managed to grab a seat; take a moment to decompress from a day of ballet class, Christmas shopping and errand running; and soak up the atmosphere.

A couple of the walls are covered entirely with chalk-board surface and display some amazing drawings. One guy was creating some new masterpieces while I was there.

Atlas Purveyors, chalk drawings, Boulder, CO

Something about the place relaxed me, and I found myself inspired and warmed by the sun coming in the window.

I glanced around and saw couples chatting, a mother and daughter sitting side-by-side on a couch, each reading their own book, students working away on laptops and plenty of characters strolling by outside the window. For a minute or two, it was nice just to get absorbed in watching other people’s lives.

Hopefully the shop won’t mind if “that weird girl who stares at people and takes pictures of glasses full of chalk” comes back now and then.

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I’ve been meaning to check out this new-ish place on 21st and Pearl Street called Joyful Furniture.  You know that I do love a good thrift or consignment shop. This one’s got a little twist.

The folks at this workshop/store reclaim old, discarded furniture. They refinish pieces with “good bones” in great new colors and stains and add spiffy new hardware — ultimately saving them from the landfill. A pretty joyful concept. They will also custom refinish pieces for you.

Yesterday I spotted some great desks, dining tables, chairs and other pieces — some of which are still waiting to be refinished to customer specifications — but I actually found their artist-made accessories, jewelry and artwork to be among the shop’s highlights.

Joyful Furniture, Boulder, CO

Chairs and dressers awaiting refinishing

Joyful Furniture, Boulder, CO

Felted, lavendar-filled decorative pillows

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You already know my sentiments about thrift shops, sample sales and the like (ridiculous, pulse-racing kind of excitement). So you can imagine my unadulterated joy when I spotted Clutter — a new furniture and home decor consignment shop on 9th between Pearl and Walnut.

Clutter's cheery new storefront

Clutter's cheery new storefront

Ultimately, what sets a consignment store apart from a junk store is the taste of the buyers, and judging by the initial selection at Clutter, this crew’s got good taste. The inventory is showing early promise, despite having recently opened and, as one of the gals at the register told me, having sold out of a lot of merchandise in their first week.

I’ve got my eye on this adorable bistro set. (As soon as they saw me eyeballing it, they informed me it was imported from France. Sigh. They’ve totally got my number.)

French bistro set

French bistro set inside Clutter.

The prices were reasonable, and I was tempted by a lot of other items, too: rustic bow-back chairs, simple-yet-chic serving dishes and some great lamps (so hard to find!).

Now I’ll have to figure out how to split my time between my other favorite consignment shop, Feather Thy Nest, and Clutter. For someone obsessed with scavenging, it’s a good problem to have.

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Note: This post has been updated to reflect the new name of Outdoor Outlet (previously Second Source).

Nearly every weekend, I go to Saxy’s with my husband, Eric, and we sit there for about an hour, sipping lattes, reading, people watching and staring off into space. (Saxy’s has the best coffee in Boulder, but that’s another post for another day.)

During one staring-off-into-space session, I happened to focus on something new just across 10th Street. A little banner was hanging down from what I believe used to be Word Is Out bookstore. The banner read “Second Source” (note: they have since changed their name to Outdoor Outlet to better reflect the fact that the clothes are all new — not previously worn or used).

I have a honing device in me that detects sample sales, thrift shops and scratch-and-dent sales from about five miles away, and it had definitely been picking up some activity.

Second Source

Outdoor Outlet

Sure enough, when we stopped into Outdoor Outlet after leaving Saxy’s, we discovered mounds of Camelbacks, Gore-Tex jackets, fleece, trail-running shoes and other outdoor paraphernalia — all seriously, wonderfully discounted. Turns out it was the same awesome sample sale we’d discovered a few weeks earlier in an empty office space above Boulder Bookstore — at which time I scored these trail runners.

sneakers

Cool new kicks I got for about 50% off retail!

But now the sale has moved into this more befitting space with a several-month lease — and high hopes for permanent residency!

We talked to Greg, one of the guys behind Outdoor Outlet (who, by the way, has some of the funkiest, coolest spectacles I’ve seen in a while), and he very enthusiastically told us about some of the discount shipments they’d be getting in from new vendors, which will expand their already healthy inventory of Prana, Camelback, North Face and other brand-name gear.

Greg at Second Source, Boulder, CO

Greg at Outdoor Outlet, Boulder, CO

We let him know we were fans, wished him luck and went on our merry way, Eric toting this new Crumpler laptop bag.

Eric's new bag; Carl the cat shown for scale

Eric's new bag; Carl the cat shown for scale

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