“I've learned one thing, and that's to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don't have. Drink 'til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does...” ― Tom Petty
Alright so let's not take that too literally - I'm DEFINITELY not telling you to skip class or fail out of school. All I'm trying to say is once you turn 21, the nightlife scene is in the palm of your hand, so take advantage. One thing you'll learn about this college town is that Downtown Boulder isn't just a fun place to shop and get dinner, you can now have a drink or two with friends and enjoy some of the most unforgettable (or forgettable) nights of your life. Take it from a second semester senior, LIVE IT UP, because soon you’ll have to be all professional and stuff like wear nice clothes, use big words, and condense your entire life into a one page paper.
For all of you newly 21-year-olds, I want to give you the low down on the best places on Pearl. The work never ends, but college does, so cheers to making the most of your week with these awesome bars and drink specials for any day of the week.
I'm going to lump Monday and Tuesday together because I see these days as more of a chance to take advantage of some of the best happy hours. What’s better than getting a discounted drink & appetizer after a long day of work or class? Nothing, that’s what.
Want to see more? Check out our list of all the places that offer happy hour specials and their websites on the Downtown Boulder Happy Hour listings page
“Uh oh, guess what day it is. Huh? Anybody? Aw c’mon I know you can hear me. Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, what day is it Mike? HUMP DAY! And for the record, my absolute favorite night of the week, TGIW, am I right?
To start the night off right begin with Game Night at Press Play (tournaments in Pinball and SkeeBall). OR Trivia Night at the Lazy Dog (a random knowledge drinking game that starts at 10 but get there at 9:30). End the night at Biergarten drinking a boot of your favorite beer and embarrassing yourself up on stage for Karaoke night singing Nickelback for the umpteeth time.
Thursday, the first official day of the college weekend. It’s only right to start off at The Rio for College Night from 9 - Midnight accompanied by $4 classic margaritas. From there you have to hit up The Boulder House (back in my day we used to call it Absinthe) because it’s Ladies Night until 12 am, yes ladies, you drink free, but don't forget to tip your bartenders! The dance floor is fun but when the weather gets warm and the rooftop bar opens, you can find me there until last call.
Ahh, fishbowl Fridays at the Walrus, you definitely can't beat it so you’ll just have to join it for the fun. Round up 3 of your friends and split one of these cocktails because soon after you’ll be heading one of two directions; either to the front to play pool or skeeball, or to the back where you should have 9-1-1 on speed dial because you’re about set fire to the dance floor.
Wipe your tears, we know this is the last “going-out” night of the weekend but that just means you have to live it up in style. While there are no special events on this night (that I am aware of), the two bars I always get torn between are The Downer and The Walrus. Either way, you really can't go wrong.
Take a break ya animal. Rest now so you can rinse & repeat this process next week.
Well, there you have it you youngsters, but no-so-youngsters. Downtown Boulder’s night scene is definitely in a league of its own. So congratulations, welcome to one of the most elite clubs in America, the 21+ club, it's a lifetime membership kinda thing once you’re in if you catch my drift. Pearl Street offers the best of the best in this town. So please, take advantage of it while you can because very soon your parents will be dragging you across that stage by the diploma telling you you need “to be an adult” and “contribute to society”. Adult-ing is hard, don't do it, STAY 21 FOREVER, and take advantage of your 21+ college nights while you still are able to. And as my boss is reminding me to say, drink responsibly and remember to never drink and drive. Cheesy I know, but for real, lets remember to be smart.
Until next time,
When I first started working at Downtown Boulder I read through the previous intern’s blog posts to get a feel of how I should be writing blog posts. When I read Madalyn’s comment about having to model for Fashion’s Night Out on her second day of work I immediately hoped I would not be asked to model. But only three weeks into my internship Taylor turned to me and asked if I would model in dinning pictures for Downtown Boulder’s website. Unfortunately I hadn’t escaped the job of modeling as I had hoped.
But I am here to tell you that if you’re ever an intern and asked to be a model for Downtown Boulder do it! You will receive some great perks, learn some interesting things, and have a little fun.
The best perk had to be getting to eat yummy food and drinking The Rio's Strawberry/Mango margaritas for free! As a college student who wouldn’t love free food?
Next, among the snapshots I learned a lot about the other Downtown employees. Such as the adorable stories of how they met their significant others. Nothing like employees bonding!
Lastly, posing candidly and laughing on command can get a little awkward. But doing it along side my fellow Downtown Boulder employees turned out to be an enjoyable experience full of a lot of genuine laughs.
So keep checking the Downtown Boulder website and look for my big debut as a model!
- Rebecca (intern)
The 2nd annual Boulder’s Best Mixologist competition is upon us! This Sunday at 4:30 p.m., eight mix masters from Aji, Hapa, The Kitchen, Oak at Fourteenth, Pinyon, Riff’s Urban Fare, SALT and West End Tavern will vie for your vote in a fierce (but fun) competition to earn the title of Boulder’s Best Mixologist. Their creative minds have prepared cocktails to be talked about for years to come and they want you to try them.
Let’s break it down:
As downtown’s finest bartenders mix, crush, and pour their way to earning your vote, you will be sampling their original creations, munching on appetizers from Bacaro and Illegal Petes, strolling around the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, and at the end of it all, you get presents. Since we understand you will be exhausted after making such tough decisions, we are also giving you one free drink from participating restaurants with your dinner purchase, as well as a commemorative shot glass. So on top of holding the power to determine who is crowned Boulder’s Best Mixologist, you will be able enjoy appetizers, art, good company, and gifts. Due to the increased popularity from last year, this event has grown in size, which means that the tickets won’t last long! Heed my advice and get them for a discounted price of $45 today, because there is no guarantee you will be able to get them at the door. Let the mixing begin!
Commonly overlooked as just another day of the week that isn’t Friday, Tuesdays are put on the back burner of weekday fun. Mondays will never be fun, because...well, it’s Monday. Wednesdays merit some appreciation because it is the mid-week marker. Thursdays apparently are the new Fridays if you live in a college town. And Fridays are the golden beacon of light, summoning us from the dreaded Monday. But Friday has some competition this week, as Tuesday decides to have a bigger celebration of who-knows-what than all the Fridays combined.
Yes folks, Mardi Gras is here. I remember this being the one and only day of high school French class that Madame would put down the livres and let us party (if we brought all the goodies and spoke French the whole time, of course). It may have been a quiet party, but we looked forward to it more than the Spanish classes ever looked forward to Cinco de Mayo. Because Madame could never let us just have a party without learning something, we were taught a few fun facts that I will never forget: 1. If you find a small plastic baby inside your piece of cake, then you are a winner. 2. You can never have too many feathers on your mask. 3. If someone gives you beads, run away. 4. And Easter and Lent are approaching, so you should do gluttonous things before you have to give them up.
We all know that New Orleans is the place to be on this cake eating, feathery, bead giving, and gluttonous day, but Boulder can hold its own. Several restaurants are putting together incredible menus to make Tuesday your newest favorite day of the week. Allow me to get your mouth watering: Jax Fish House is going all out with fresh cuisine and drinks inspired by the Gulf side city of New Orleans. Fried oysters, crawfish boil, and the famous Louisiana king cake are a few delicious treats to be expected. The West End Tavern and Centro Latin Kitchen are also feeling the festivities by offering many drink and food specials. We’re talking red beans and dirty rice, gumbo, cornbread, crawfish, and blackened shrimp. And on the other side of Pearl Street, Foolish Craig’s is bringing their A-game with not only appropriately themed decor, but corn-fried catfish, Jambalaya, and blackened chicken and grits. Oh wow, I just got real hungry. And since Mardi Gras isn’t really Mardi Gras without Hurricanes, be sure to make your way to the Walrus Saloon and Boulder Absinthe House for incredible drink specials.
While nothing says get crazy like finding a plastic baby in a piece of cake, Mardi Gras finally brings Tuesday the attention it deserves. So, if you choose to join the fun downtown tonight, I encourage you to run away from the beads, drink many Hurricanes, eat too much gumbo, and see if you can hold a believable Cajun accent the whole night. Bon Appetite!
In honor of the impending Valentine’s Day (five days away, gentlemen…), I have composed a list of five things to look forward to about this pink and red holiday. Whether you are a couple of love birds looking to find a great spot to enjoy one another’s company, or a couple of friends out to bash the opposite sex over a cold brewskie, downtown Boulder could not be a more ideal location. Let’s get this list rolling shall we?
1. Dining and Not Dashing, Because It Tastes THAT Good
Picking the perfect place to eat and make memories of this special day is a tough choice, and the restaurants of downtown have prepared their finest menus and pulled out all the stops to make sure your dining experience is nothing less than the best. Allow me to explain: Jax Fish House is offering a four course meal of chickory salad, sauteed Gulf shrimp, house-made linguini & clams and a mouth-watering sticky chocolate cake for only $55/person with $20 optional wine pairing. Centro Latin Kitchen is offering a five course prix fixie menu for only $40 per person with an optional $35 drink pairing. spicy lobster, braised duck, and red chile pork tenderloin are a few items to look forward to. And the ever fabulous Bitter Bar has a hand-selected $45 four course prix fixe menu with an optional $40 drink pairing to compliment the live jazz and Craigslist Missed Connections readings. Feel free to browse through our complete list of other dining options as well!
2. Let Your Artsy Side Out For A Night
An age-old trick to getting women to think you are sophisticated and cultured is to ask them to accompany you at an art gallery; and downtown has your back. The SmithKlein Gallery has graced the Pearl Street Mall for more than 26 years as a leading art gallery for both fine and contemporary art. Wander around and find paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and art glass. Art + Soul is a unique gallery as it is sophisticated, but not stuffy. You will find a welcoming atmosphere full of color and the spirit of fun which makes for quite the refreshing experience. Another great gallery is the artist cooperative Boulder Arts & Crafts. Separating itself from the rest as a distinguished place to view fine arts and contemporary American crafts from hundreds of artists from Colorado, Boulder Arts & Crafts is an ideal choice to bring your date and show off your art knowledge. Not enough options? Check out our art gallery listings and find the perfect one!
3. Is Someone Making You Nervous?
Even the most experienced Valentine’s Day go-getters sometimes need to start the night with a drink. Good thing there are a number of places ready to help you out. The West End Tavern is hosting their 7th Annual Avery Beer Lover’s Dinner which consists of a five course menu paired with the finest Avery beers, sure to make your Valentine swoon. For only $100 per person, experience the tastes of West End’s great food and quality beers. Another annual event in downtown is Stout Month at Mountain Sun. “Hey welcome to Mountain Sun, which beer would you like to sample?” is definitely a smooth way to start your date. And if beer isn’t your thing, talk to Bryan Dayton at Oak and he will mix up one of his award winning creations; or take a look at the extensive list of premium liquors at The Attic. There are plenty of options to help calm your cupid love-struck nerves.
After a romantic night of drinking, dining and art gallery wandering with your Valentine, you will want a comfy place to crash. The Hotel Boulderado has been Boulder’s premier luxury hotel since 1909 and it continues to live up to its name today. With their romantic package deal, you will find yourself welcomed into your guest room or suite with chilled champagne and chocolates and a voucher for $25 off your meal ticket at Q’s Restaurant. The St. Julien is always an exceptional choice as they offer premium service and accommodations, and their location guarantees waking up to some of the best views of the Flatirons. Did I mention that they also have a spa and a full service restaurant? Another great place to end your night is at the Bradley Boulder Inn. Their all-inclusive room rates include a hot breakfast, access to One Boulder Fitness Health Club, wifi, complimentary beverages and snacks throughout the day, art galleries and their famous wine and cheese hour. The choices do not end here! Look over our lodging page and find the comfiest place to get some zzz’s.
5. The Gift of Love: Dessert
Everyone knows the real way to a girl’s heart is through chocolate. I mean, c’mon. And with stores like Piece, Love, & Chocolate, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Tee and Cakes, and Boulder Baked there is a plethora of choices to pick out the perfect melt in your mouth gift. Woo her with top notch chocolates from Colorado’s best chocolate factory. Say I love you with a heart-shaped made-to-order cookie from Boulder Baked. Cupcakes have been taken to a new level of decadence at Tee and Cakes, perfect for an end of the night sweets kick. And Piece, Love, & Chocolate just took buying flowers for your Valentine to new heights. They were recently featured in Sunset Magazine for their incredible long-stem chocolate roses. Flowers you can eat? I can think of nothing better. Check out our other sweet options downtown too!
Looks like Valentine’s Day is shaping up to be a sweet one. Go get ‘em Boulder! And be sure to flip through the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide to find more deals that will not help narrow down your choices, but will be sure you get all the best options.
Me! With a new semester comes a new intern, and this semester’s selection of Boulder blogging perspectives will be courtesy of me, Devon. I have some big shoes to fill, but I am very excited to be able to share my explorations, food outings, café trips, festival happenings, and busking discoveries with you.
Part of being new is getting into the swing of things and figuring out the way things work. For example, I have to put stamps on envelopes, which may seem mundane, but this is no lick ‘n stick situation. The envelopes are weighed on this grey device and then fed into a slot where the stamp is stamped electronically; but not before it makes a bunch of noise and lets you know how important it is that you give it your full attention. However, I am not the only one who is still getting acquainted with a new environment. A few new restaurants and shops have opened their doors in downtown, providing excellent opportunities to make multiple dinner date plans:
Shine on 13th and Pearl opened in December with the ever-so-fitting slogan “Light up Your Life…Shine from Within.” The Emich sisters, previous owners of the wine-bar and music venue Trilogy, opened Shine as a “place for us all to nourish ourselves through food, community, dance, education and celebration. It is hub for us all to share our gifts, to explore, and to have fun doing it.” Putting their creativity to good use, the sisters have worked hard to utilize the space and give an intimate, yet versatile feel, perfect for the live music, private parties, or their Wednesday morning yoga class. Cheap menu items paired with their unique elixirs and potions adds up to a satisfying and delicious time. Sounds like a good place to me!
If you recall the heartbreak of the fire that devastated the new Oak at Fourteenth last March, then you would also recall their magnificent reopening this December. Seeing this as an opportunity to redesign what they previously created, co-owners Bryan Dayton and Steven Redzikowski went straight to work rebuilding their restaurant resulting in a simple and rustic, yet contemporary space. The delectable menu you remember from a year ago has only been improved upon, providing seasonal items made with house-made pastas, as well as local produce and meats. If that isn’t enough to make you “accidentally” leave your leftovers in the office frig, GQ Bombay Sapphire named Bryan Dayton the 2011 Best Bartender in the country, meaning the hand-crafted cocktails and select artisan wines and beers are designed to perfectly compliment your entrée. Fresh, local, and award-winning. See you at six?
And if you feel like having a glamorous night-in while wearing your finest sweatpants, then first stop by the brand new Oliverde and browse through their premium selection of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinaigrettes from around the world. After co-owners Terry and Kathy Kulesa opened the Rocky Mountain Olive Oil store in Fort Collins, they decided to expand south and bring their knowledge (and oil) to Boulder. Italian dishes made with authentic Italian olive oil are sure to impress friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, and neighbors alike.
So while I continue to get myself acquainted with the life of a Downtown Boulder intern, come on down and check out the other new kids on the block.
As a kid, holiday parties were always such a riot. Everyone was so happy…laughing and getting along. (It must be the magic of Christmas right?) But then you grow up, discover alcohol, and realize the magic of Christmas was really just being served in the “grown up drinks.” Now that I’ll finally be enjoying the grown-up drinks at this year’s holiday parties, I have to wonder, how “happy” is acceptable at work and school functions? This lovely diagram created by the nymag.com blog “Grub Street” is a clever resource that I suggest you crumple into your suit pocket and use for reference. Unfortunately, I happen to fall in the toddler section where even if you work for a cool company, you’re still only allowed one glass of vino chased with some cheap beer (Interns can’t afford Corona yet).
So whether you enjoy 1 tequila, 2 tequilas, 3 tequilas, or the floor at your staff mixer this year, at least do it in style at a hip Downtown Boulder venue. Because, trust me, our business owners are just dying to host you and your office buddies, watch you play spin the bottle like a teenager and dance to some Snoop Dog with a lamp shade on your head. So much so that we even had to make a webpage of the countless holiday party rental options.
Last night one of my business school classes had a holiday party at Bacaro. They have a bunch of different sized rooms available. (My roommates and I are having our graduation party on their rooftop in May!) Apparently the diagram above doesn’t apply to school functions where you’re taking tequila shots with your professor. #ilovecollege
Happy Holidays! Keep it classy Boulder…
What better way to experience our vibrant city than all at once! Whether you’re outdoorsy, a foodie, family-oriented, or just like to drink beer, there’s a tour happening today that knows just how to tickle your fancy. Grab your Hawaiian print shirt, some binoculars and a camera; here are 5 of the best one-and-done ways to experience the greatest downtown in America in a couple of hours (or less)!
Why crawl from bar to bar if you can bike? If you haven’t seen this contraption wheeling its way around downtown then you’re missing quite a sight. MyHandleBar is a peddle powered portable bike bar, equipped for 16 passengers and comes with its own designated driver. Peddle with your buddies to move the portable watering hole from bar to bar. MyHandleBar offers a “Boulder Brewery Biking” tour stopping at locations such as The Walnut Brewery, The Lazy Dog, Bitter Bar, Conor O’Neills and Pearl Street Pub. Another tour is the “Boulder Bar Bash” stopping at destinations such as Shooters, Catacombs, The Walrus, The Attic and Tahona Tequilla Bistro. Talk about innovating the bar crawl! And hey, all that peddling will cancel out the calories you drink, right?
2. Boulder Walking Tours
If you’re not into drinking or crawling, follow an experienced local guide on a relaxing walk through downtown while you learn about the history, planning and people of Boulder. Some of the sites include the magical Dushanbe Teahouse and the cafes and shops of Pearl’s West and East Ends. The talk will also allow you to get an inside scoop on the public art found on the mall. (Why is that elk there anyway?)
3. Local Table Tours
Calling all foodies! Discover what bon appetit magazine called “America’s Foodiest Town” on a Downtown Dining Tour. LocalTableTours.com offers cocktail tours, coffee and pastry tours, market-to-table tours, and even tours of the Boulder County Farmers Market. These are not sampling tours…so get ready to eat! With over 100 restaurants in Downtown a table tour is a great way to get started on conquering them all. Their motto is “Eat.Drink.Walk.Repeat.” Sounds pretty fabulous to me. I’m especially interested in trying the cocktail tour. It’s supposed to be something like a private cocktail class…meet the bartenders and learn their unique mixology techniques. Tour prices range from $25-$70.
4. Banjo Billy Bus Tours
My friends and I have rented out the Banjo Billy Bus to truck us down to Brad Paisley concerts. Usually, it offers a 90-minute tour of Boulder from the comfort of an old sofa, recliner, or even a saddle. Find out about more of the eclectic side of Boulder through ghost stories and folk lore. This “traveling hillbilly shack” lets its passengers vote on the stories they want to hear. If you’re into country, or a little Jack D, Banjo Billy will show you a good time.
5. Boulder Area Bicycle Adventures
Need something a little more outdoorsy? Boulder Area Bicycle Adventures offers a Historic Downtown and Pearl Street Mall Tour on wheels! Enjoy Pearl as well as other nearby areas such as the Boulder Creek Path and Red Rocks Settler’s Park. This fast paced biking excursion is perfect for families. Do you know what trees are the oldest or what styles of architecture are used most? This tour is great for pointing out some of these less noticeable but still special aspects of Boulder.
Whether you’re a local or looking to visit Boulder for the first time, tours are great way to fit a lot into a busy schedule. So get out there before the snow comes! (I don’t think MyHandleBar will operate too well in slush).
Sadly, today is my last day as Downtown Boulder’s Communications and Marketing Intern. This summer has just flown by, and I can’t believe that I won’t be writing to you about my adventures downtown, good and bad, all the food I have consumed, envelopes I have stuffed, licked, mailed, and carried to the mailbox on 10th Street. I finally must return to school for my senior year (yikes!). I will no longer be able to bug Eli with all my questions, usually involving this tricky little program they call Photoshop. This is a sad day indeed. I have enjoyed my time at DBI and appreciate the plethora of knowledge I gained and the patience Eli had for my Photoshop skills, or lack thereof. However, fear not, I won’t be gone for long I will be back for Fashion’s Night Out to help and to make sure the DBI office doesn’t miss me too much.
Top 5 things I learned and loved about Downtown Boulder…
1. Not labeling your layers in Photoshop is a death wish. Well not literally, but it is a massive headache to go back in and change every week. And yes, I know I will be utilizing this tool in the future seeing as I am a Marketing and Public Relations major, but it’s almost 2012, can’t a girl ask for such a technology called AUTO layer labeling, help a chica out Adobe! But until that glorious day of auto layering, I have given myself a mental reminder to label, label, and label!
2. Downtown Boulder has so much going on everyday; whether it is the guy fitting himself into a box on 13th, Bands on the Bricks, or one of the delicious restaurants (I have become a professional restaurantee). I came to Boulder not knowing much other than Rio has killer margs and Urban Outfitters is a hazard to anyone’s wallet. After my summer here, I now feel a part of the Downtown Boulder family. All the merchants on Pearl Street work together to give you guys the best Downtown ever, whether it be Fashion’s Night Out, OpenArts Fest or Bands on the Bricks. Each week there are awesome events for all ages, Boulder is uniquely marvelous. Don’t forget it!
3. People travel to Boulder from all over the world. You know those envelopes I stuff with Downtown Boulder’s lovely guidebooks? Well, each week there is at least one being mailed to the UK, The Netherlands, and even as far as Armenia for a steep cost of $3.91 per!
4. Downtown Boulder has phenomenal shopping for everything you need. Whether it be my awesome fringe bathing suit from Saavy, boots from Steve Madden, or the dangerous walk to work past Weekends where I realize I need/can’t live without 90% of the items in the window. I am officially a shopaholic and a casual clothes hoarder.
And last but not least…
5. DBI offers the best internship around. I have realized that all my skills I learned in class actually have a benefit and I can tackle (or tumble into) the real world next June. DBI has allowed me to be very hands on in almost every aspect of what they do. I had my freedom to rant, convey my excitement, and share my adventures with you on this lovely blog. I learned and experienced all the awesome events, happy hours, and happenings in Downtown Boulder. Downtown Boulder has so much going on, each week I found myself excited about a new upcoming event and with my tremendous boyfriend in tow, I got to experience it all (refer to my blogs 1-9).
So all good things must come to an end (sigh), but DBI is looking for their next fall intern, so be sure to get in touch with Eli for this amazing opportunity. I know I have left some big (and cute) shoes to fill, but if you are wicked smart and want a fun and hands-on internship, this one is for you!
See you around Boulder,
Now that summer is starting to come to a close, I really want to fast forward through autumn and jump right into ski season. Once I heard of the 6th annual Warren Miller Wednesdays, I could not have been more excited to have ski season on my mind, and watch movies of fresh powder over different mountains across the globe, and start dreaming of those first fluffy flakes.
For those of you who have been living under a rock, Warren Miller is the best skier of all time. He is a revolutionary of the sport and an icon for the promotion of modern skiing for over 50 years. He is legendary; the Mick Jagger of music, Marilyn Monroe of ski films, and the Mickey Mouse of Disney. Yes, he is that awesome.
The West End Tavern is hosting Warren Miller films old and new every Wednesday from August 24th until November 2nd. They will show Warren Miller films from across the globe, with amazing drink and food specials like the ultimate nacho platter. Does it get any better? (the correct answer is no). On top of all this amazingness there will be fantastic door prizes from FlyLow, Patron, Moon Mountain Vodka, Christy Sports envision snowboards, FlyLow gear, drinks, and more!
On top of Warren Miller Wednesdays, be sure to catch the Art of Flight playing at the Boulder Theater on Wednesday September 28th. The Art of Flight is a new breed of action sport film. In the film, Travis Rice and friends redefine what is possible in the mountains with new tricks, new zones, and new wrong turns. It should be EPIC!
Get snow on your mind and get down to West End Tavern next Wednesday to ring in the start of Warren Miller Wednesdays!
See you there!
This small restaurant on the West End, right off the bricks, is absolutely wonderful. After unsuccessfully attempting to go for brunch without a wait time (who eats brunch at noon on a Sunday, come on) and being too hungry to wait, I decided to go back and check it out for dinner.
The Kitchen is very Boulderesque in that they serve all local food in an eco-friendly environment running on local wind power (don’t deny it, you’re impressed). The Kitchen has always popped up on my radar whether through various event listings or passing by on one of my endless stops to Holiday & Co. And after hearing from a friend about their awesome eco-friendly attitude and stellar reviews, I decided to try it and bring my friend along with me.
The ambience in the restaurant was awesome. There is a trend of clean simplicity with the décor, menu, and cocktails. I felt as if I were in a must be seen in, trendy restaurant in downtown Manhattan, but with the comforts of home cooking. We started with the Beet Bruchetta, not at all what I was expecting. I am a texture person so blue cheese with the combination of beets, just wasn’t my cup of tea. However, my friend’s sister LOVED it, so if beets and blue cheese is on your radar you should definitely try it! After my tastebuds and emotions settled (yes, textures freak me out that much) my amazing, delicious, mouth watering lobster entrée came. Being from the East Coast, I know my lobster, and this lobster was absolutely divine. It came with grilled corn and lime flavored fries (YUM!) and I ate every bite, and I’m not sorry about it.
If you’re a pork chop, duck, beet or lobster fan this place is a must! The Kitchen’s eccentric menu has something for everyone. You also have to be sure to check out The Kitchen’s other two sister restaurants The Kitchen [Next Door] and The Kitchen Upstairs. Literally upstairs and right next door so don’t fret about trying to find them! The Kitchen [Next Door] has a casual pub-like atmosphere while still serving farm-to-table food. The Kitchen Upstairs is wine, beer and cocktail lounge, with one of the best beer and wine lists in all Colorado! It’s perfect for a date night, night on the town with friends or for a relaxing cocktail (or two).
So check out The Kitchen, The Kitchen Upstairs, or the The Kitchen [Next Door] and let me know what you think!
Attention all shopaholics, Fashion’s Night Out, the after-hours shopping extravaganza is coming to Downtown Boulder! On Thursday, September 8th, from 6-10 p.m., a selection of the amazing downtown clothing retailers will be joining forces to kick off the first Fashion’s Night Out, Boulder edition. So mark your calendars…and by mark I mean clear your evening plans, and sharpie in FNO (Fashion’s Night Out).
So before I go off into a ramble of how this event is amazing (and not conducive to reigning in my shopping addiction, sorry Mom!), let me give you a little background on FNO. FNO is an unprecedented global initiative created in 2009 in a partnership between American Vogue, the Council of Fashion, Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the City of New York to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy, and put the fun back in shopping. Although when is it not fun? Being from the best coast, and only a short 30 minute train ride to FNO’s capital, NYC. I have firsthand experience with FNO.
My hometown in CT, has celebrated FNO for two years now. In high school, I worked for a retail participant of FNO and it was an amazing event. Picture Sex and the City meets small town, Woodstock for shopaholics, Christmas shopping done in September, yes, it’s that awesome. Our boutique hosted a Parisian theme; there was wine tasting and mini pastries, and a fabulous Jewelry trunk show, along with great new fall fashion necessities (yes, necessities).
All the great aspects of Erika’s hometown FNO edition are coming to Boulder, but bigger and better! There will be a surprise performance on the 1300 block of Pearl Street; organized by Alchemy Dance Studio (it’s going to be EPIC!). Some of our amazing retailers such as Savvy on Pearl, Lilli, and Buffalo Exchange will host in-store activities to even further enhance your after-hours shopping extravaganza. Check the FNO website for updates and happenings. Although FNO is focused on the fashion industry, Downtown Boulder’s great bars and restaurants will still be open! So channel your inner fashionista and shop til you drop…into your comfy seat at your local favorite, such as Lazy Dog, Hapa, or Tahona that is.
So make room in your closest and get excited, September 8th is right around the corner! I hope to see all you Boulderites there for the night’s many festivities!
Until next time,
The man and I have a dog of our own (see above) and with this beautiful town, hate having to leave him at home while we’re out and about in the sunshine, especially in the Summer. Hopefully, this post is as useful to you, as it is to me.
I’m excited to be collaborating with my friend Eli with Downtown Boulder (http://www.boulderdowntown.com/) who helped with a large portion of the research on this post. You can find a full, complete list of dog friendly patios in downtown Boulder here (map included – great resource). I picked my favorite ten in downtown Boulder. The criteria/my opinion: delicious food and enough patio space.
Please note: Having a dog on the Pearl Street walking mall is not allowed. These locations are downtown off the walking mall.
Arabesque | 1634 Walnut Street
Arabesque’s outside red-brick patio sits under shady trees, covered with umbrellas. The authentic, made-with-love food from Manal Jarrar is Middle Eastern and honestly, one of my favorite spots for lunch. It sits on the corner of Walnut and 17th. Order the chicken shawarma plate with fresh greens and homemade hummus and order a side of Tabbouleh out on their sunny patio.
Boulder Creek Market | 1801 13th Street
Boulder Creek Market has gourmet sandwiches boasting ostrich, buffalo and even many vegetarian varieties including the veggie: avocado, cucumber, sprouts, provolone and roasted red pepper cream cheese. You can order a half or whole sandwich. Sitting in a courtyard next to a small bar and spa, there is plenty of space for your pup to lounge in the sun on the warm bricks.
The Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse | 1770 13th Street
I recently wrote about Dushanbe and their annual tea festival they hold every year in July. Rooted in deep history and cultural significance, it sits along the Boulder Creek (and path) also along the Boulder Farmers Market (every Wednesday and Saturday ). There are two side patios, covered with hanging vines and the sound of the bubbling creek. Their food is International. Try one of their hundreds of loose-leaf teas (hand-picked) and try the Indian Masala Dosa: cumin, fennel crepe with curried potatoes, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, peas and dahl with raisin chutney, cucumber yogurt and an onion fritter.
Brasserie TenTen | 1011 Walnut Street
Brasserie has one of the best happy hours in Boulder. Small plates from $2-5 with the likes of olive tapenade, salman tartare with minced peppers, sesame oil, kennebec chips and truffle citrus tossed arugula and frites with truffle aioli. You can sample wines and beers for under $4 from 3-6:30 PM everyday. Their side patio is small (about 5 tables) but if you snag a spot for brunch, happy hour, lunch or dinner your dog is welcome. Also, great spot for people watching.
Foolish Craig’s | 1611 Pearl Street
Featured on Diner, Drive-ins and Dives, Foolish Craig’s is one of those places that has something for everyone. It’s unpretentious and lining outside the restaurant, is a similarly long patio to Brasserie TenTen’s with 5 or so tables that welcome dogs. I personally love Foolish Craig’s lengthy breakfast menu peppered with crepes and diesel omelettes. Try the Boulder omelette with broccoli, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheddar and your choice of pesto or salsa. A killer crepe is their Fahgeddaboudit (Think Brooklyn) with breaded eggplant, spinach, mushrooms, onions, mozzarella and crushed walnuts topped with marinara and parmesan.
I included these two together, as two separate restaurants (same ownership) they’re right next to each other and each offer a small patio for dogs. The Kitchen (fine dining) has two spots out front where dogs can comfortably hang and people watch on the Western end of Pearl Street. The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR] has a larger patio with about 3-5 tables for dogs. Their food is farm fresh, organic and a top five place to eat (period) for me in Boulder. At The Kitchen [NEXT DOOR], try their garlic smashers (roasted potatoes) and beet burger. I covered them here when they recently opened in June 2011.
Walnut Brewery |1123 Walnut Street
Just South of the Pearl Street walking mall, The Walnut Brewery sits between Broadway and 11th Street. For pub food and beers brewed in house, it’s a casual establishment with an outside patio where I always see dogs. They have pizza, nachos, steaks, tacos and spaghetti. Try their handcrafted beer as you sit in the sun. The St. James Irish Red Ale was a 2006 Bronze Medal and 2003 Silver Medal Winner at Great American Beer Festival.
Saxy’s Cafe | 2018 10th Street
Saxy’s is a coffee shop, that has delicious, robust salads. On any given day, you will find entrepreneurs or students gathered around their computers or studying. Their patio outside offers a handful of tables for your dog to relax, while you sample their fare. It’s a great spot to get some work done, relax and read or have a meeting. My favorite salad is their Insalata di Spinaci with turkey, fresh spinach, gorgonzola cheese, sun-dried cranberries, pine nuts and maple balsamic vinaigrette.
The West End Tavern | 926 Pearl Street
The patio is small (2-3 tables) but those tables often have dogs lounging. I love their West End Coin Margarita with a splash of cranberry – if you order at happy hour (3-6 PM Mon-Fri) it’s $5. Try their housemade yam chips with fresh guacamole and buffalo wings. It’s a hopping place, where anyone can find something to enjoy.
VG Burgers |1650 Broadway
I include this on my list because whenever we bring our dog there, they ensure there’s fresh water in the dog bowl out front and give Cerna (the pup) a big pet and hug. Their patio isn’t much to call home about, it’s on the side of their restaurant but there are 5 patio tables that are comfortable to sit on while you enjoy their entirely vegetarian/vegan menu. The Man, a seriously meat-loving kind of guy, loves their ‘Bacon Cheeseburger’ (remember, all faux meat) and craves it. Also order their tempeh ‘hot wings’. You need not be a vegetarian, I see all kinds of people in there who often muse how they love meat and VG Burger. Try it. Seriously.
Honorable noteworthy mentions: Boulder Farmer’s Market, Farfel’s Farm a pet store on Pearl Street that always leaves a bowl of water out front and has dogs milling around inside and Alfalfa’s Market, a natural grocery store (blocks from my house) that has ‘dog parking’ out front where you can tie up your dog with fresh water bowls.
Please check out Downtown Boulder’s complete dog-friendly list (all spots have been confirmed to be dog-friendly) and has 27 spots! There are many spots that are great whether it’s a coffee shop, restaurant, bar or shop.
-reposted with permission from gracefullplate.com
Yesterday, as I was updating the happy hour page, my love for a good happier hour grew (it’s five o’clock somewhere right?). My overwhelming love for great food and eating out while on a college budget can be pretty hard to balance at times, so I found a compromise, happy hour (okay not that big of a compromise, but I’m sticking to it). In honor of this compromise I decided to put one of these happy hours to the test.
Happy and The Bitter Bar stood out right away. Bitter Bar is tucked away right off Pearl Street’s West End. I have to admit I didn’t know much about the cuisine, but, the name was so enticing I decided to just figure out the food when I got there (very out of character seeing as I can be a picky eater). My first glance went to the amazing cocktail choices, all at just $4. I decided on the “42 Pink Party”, seeing as my favorite color is pink , I was sold on the name alone. It was a delicious mix of pomegranate and fresh mint (yum). It was an absolutely divine, fabulous cocktail, perfect for a happy hour!
On to the food: As I quickly learned, the cuisine is Asian fusion with a little bit of everything. My boyfriend and I split this phenomenal spicy chicken rice bowl special and the sesame flat bread with pesto and fresh mozzarella (I wouldn’t complain if I had that in front of me right now despite it being breakfast hour). Everything just got better from there. This Restaurant/Bar is one of my new top ten favs, hands down. There was plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and everything exceeded all expectations. The whole “Happy” part in the name was really kicking in right about then.
If you’re looking for a great happy hour, with an array of food ranging from small to large plates, and a cocktail list that is near to impossible to narrow down, this is the place. I promise you whether you’re a well whiskey drinker, or a world renowned wine connoisseur, Bitter Bar’s Mixologists will not disappoint. In fact he gave me just the amount of liquid courage to attempt a ride on the famous bull at Shooters later that night (flop). So if my love for this restaurant bar isn’t convincing enough, put your taste buds to the test and check it out.
Stay tuned for more of my Happy Hour discoveries as I get to know the rest of Downtown Boulder’s marvelous foodie culture. Cheers!
Greetings Downtown Boulder!
I just wanted to introduce myself to you guys. My name is Erika and I am the new communications and marketing intern at Downtown Boulder Inc. I am responsible for adding all the glorious events to the calendar that Downtown Boulder has to offer. Whether it is Bands on the Bricks or events for the young Boulder crowd such as Young Artists at Work held at Boulders Museum of Contemporary Art. I also am in charge of the less glamorous task of stuffing, licking, and mailing out the Downtown Boulder guidebooks to people across the globe (even to Sweden!).
I go to school at the University of Denver and have to admit I am quite blown away by all that Downtown Boulder has to offer, and by blown away, I mean jealous. To make up for the 2 years in Colorado I lost by not exploring Boulder, I have begun to self-indulge in all it has to offer. I will take any opportunity to invigorate my senses and fill my stomach like thanksgiving at a new restaurant. I love to cook but I have to admit I love to eat more, so restaurants were the first area of exploration. Downtown Boulder restaurants challenge the saying that my eyes are bigger than my stomach. In this case my eyes won. This past weekend I had the difficult choice of either trying West End Taverns 50 different famous Buffalo wings for lunch or tapas and pasta or pizza from The Med for dinner. I don’t know how I am going to survive a summer with such tough choices; so in this life or death decision I choose both, live a little, right?
Downtown Boulder already feels like a home away from home. I grew up in a small town on the coast. (um... the East Coast). So I have been enjoying the familiarness of quaint shops and all the children running around Pearl for their family weekend outings. My weekend wanderings throughout the Pearl Street Mall have been nothing short of awesome (even though the Pop Jet fountain caught me by surprise on Saturday, not my finest moment). I am already anticipating growth in my closet after my 3 months in Boulder. Whether it is the comfortable yet cute clothes from American Apparel or channeling my outdoor apparel fashionista at Divas. I blame my impending financial debt on the convenience of all the local shops and the friendliness of everyone in them, it would be rude not to stop in say hi and shop a little right? DBI’s location is impossible for me to walk to without getting a coffee from Paradise Café and try and execute serious self control (which was broken on day two on the job) to not to go into Powell’s Sweet Shoppe and relive my childhood cravings and buy bags of candy (I have the biggest sweet tooth for a Dentist’s daughter!). What more could a shopaholic and foodaholic ask for than Pearl Street? Incase you started thinking about that question, the answer is nothing, downtown Boulder has it all!
So after long days of adding amazing events, stuffing licking and stamping envelopes, and trying to use my photoshop knowledge with Eli (debatably successful). I decided I deserve a casual happy hour a few times a week. Being a girl who loves tequila, I have come to love Rio’s happy hour drinks and food selections all on my college budget (which I am anticipating will be dwindling soon due to all my new findings). Who wouldn’t want to kick back and relax with a margarita and tacos and pretend to be back on the spring break that our bodies and bank accounts are all still recovering from?
I can’t wait to share all my summer experiences, good and bad, with you guys. And make those who aren’t in Boulder to enjoy all the events, food, shopping, and street performers on Pearl St jealous, and come visit and explore what the good life is all about.
It was a pleasure meeting you Downtown Boulder and you will be hearing from me again soon!
When we hear the words "live music" in Boulder, we typically tend to think of only two venues: The Boulder Theater, and The Fox. Let's be honest, these two venues bring in some pretty awesome talent on a regular basis-- (like Ice Cube at the Boulder Theater last month, and Atmosphere at the Fox in May); but these two aren't the only local hot spots for live music. Several of Downtown Boulder's bars, restaurants and coffee shops are throwing themselves into Boulder's music scene as well. Whether you seek a quiet evening of dignified jazz, dig the jam band scene, or feel like dusting your glowstick off for some DJ beats and mmmcha mmmcha sounds, check out these other musically inclined businesses in Downtown Boulder.
Relaxed, Comfy Music- Just because it's the weekend, and you feel like briefly hittin' the town, but aren't looking to get too crazy-- doesn't make you a loser... it makes you a grown up. And grown ups head to places like the St. Julien, Cuvee, Music at the Mezz at the Hotel Boulderado and Saxy's Cafe, to catch some tunes that are relaxed, in an environment that doesn't force you to scream when you break the news to your friends that you have to leave because it's past your bedtime.
Jammy-Jam Bands- Being a product of the original Oskar Blues Grill and Brew in Lyons, I got pretty familiar with the local music scene in Boulder County. (The kind of music you'd tune into when you pass through Lyons, and turn your radio station to Redstone Radio). Whether it be bluegrass, blues, rock, "American-Songbook" (whatever genre that is...), or some good old fashion rockabilly, Boulder has a dedicated group of local musicians that frequent the music scene in the Downtown area. To catch the soulful tunes and jammy-jam jams of local artists like Wendy Woo, George Nelson, Pete Kartsounes, Ash Ganely and Interstate Stash Express, head to the Ribhouse, Lazy Dog, the West End Tavern, The Laughing Goat and the Conor O'Neils. Conor's even offers a bluegrass pick... and we all know how the people of Boulder feel about bluegrass.
Mmmcha, Mmmcha Beats- If loud music, hipster beats and flashing lights is more you're thing, check out Tahona and the Absinthe House. Both places have DJ's on the weekend and usually have a packed dance floor. High energy, dim lighting and mmcha mmcha beats. Get some.
Vain Music- If nothing that I've listed above sounds like your thing, then get out there and make some sweet music of your own. The Cup, Johnny's Cigar Bar, and the Pearl St. Pub all offer Open Mic nights throughout the week. And if you feel like giving an impromptu performance for your adoring fans, Sushi Zanmai and Catacombs both offer karaoke nights. Karaoke is basically a seven letter words that means 'humiliation', but that's why only places that serve booze offer it.
So there you have it. Next time the show you were going to see at the Boulder Theater sells out, check out one of the venues listed above for your contingency plan.
I HEART ST. PATTY'S DAY!
Oh St. Patrick's Day. What a wonderful holiday you are. You taunt us to be bad, even though you're on a weekday this year. You encourage us to believe in things like rich, tiny little men, running around the end of rainbows in green top hats and pointy shoes. You entice little baseball and softball outfielders everywhere to search for the mythical three-leaf clover amongst the thousands of deformed imposters. You make it acceptable for grown men to: get drunk, wear "skirts" in public and admit to liking the sound of bagpipes. And most importantly, you create a "safe" day for red-heads, people with freckles, people whose last names contain an apostrophe, and people that don't quite hit the average height mark. Very cool.
Word on the street is that St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, wasn't even born Irish... and look at him now! People drink beer infiltrated with drops of green food coloring, drink shots of Irish whiskey and cream liqueur dropped into pints of Gunniess, and boil just about every vegetable they can get their hands on... all in honor of the Saint. So don't worry if you aren't Irish, St. Patrick wasn't either.
For your convenience I've put together the 5 ways for you to celebrate St. Patty's Day Downtown!
1.) If you need some green threads: Head to The Ritz for all of your green, shamrocky, top hatty and green and gold bead needs.
2.) If you LIVE for St. Patrick's Day: Conor O'neil's is the place for you. The Irish Pub opens at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday (awesome!), will have their full, Irish-inspired menu available along with bag pipers, Irish dancers, green beer and lots o' Irish whiskey on hand. You'll feel like you're in Ireland. Or drunk before noon.
3.) If you dig irish food: Head to the St. Julien. An entrée plate of traditional Irish fare is only $9.99 from 5:00-10:00 p.m. Enjoy authentic Irish menu items, such as Corned Beef Brisket, Irish Stew, Dubliner Cheese Pie and Sticky Pudding.
4.) If you're looking for entertainment: The Boulderado Hotel has a St. Patrick's Day celebration from 5:00-9:30 p.m. that includes live music by The Green Party starting at 5:30 p.m., and an Irish Step Dancing performance by the McTeggert Dancers starting at 6:30 p.m. (The Boulderado is also offering a variety of Irish menu items including Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake. O.M.G.).
5.) If you seek drink specials: The West End Tavern has a ton. From car bomb slushies and $3 dirty girl scout cookies to $3 Shillelagh's & Black Velvets to $5 car bombs and $4 Irish beer specials... the West End has it all-- including food specials such as corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash.
So Happy St. Patty's Day Downtown Boulder! Make the luck of the Irish be with you, and may scrubbing with baking soda remove all of the green food coloring in your mouth.
I will be the first to admit that I am terrible at dating. I am guilty of most of the first date faux paus. I laugh at EVERYTHING. I twirl my hair and giggle like a 13-year-old girl that just met Justin Beiber. I'm also not that great about meeting a guy in the first place, I actually consider just getting to the first date to be a success. I have friends that can walk up to a stranger and just start a conversation and then BOOM they have a date for Saturday night. I, on the other hand, tend to be painfully shy and awkward.
I have the terrible habit of thinking that a statement of an obvious fact will turn into a conversation. In fact, this happened just last weekend at the Sundown Saloon. With the encouragement of my friends and some liquid courage (approximately 3 vodka crans) I finally stroll over the a guy that I have had my eye on for the evening. I position myself near him at the bar pretending like I am going to order another drink (little does he know that I only have $2.50 left in my wallet, but I would glady accept a drink from him). I do one last glance over to my friend sitting in a booth across the bar. They are watching me like I'm a main character of a terrible sitcom and give me the thumbs up motion.
I lean over and say, "Wow, it's really crowded in here."
"Uh, oh, yep."
"Pretty hot too."
I get a nod, not even a verbal confirmation. He orders a Jack and Coke and heads back over to one of the pool tables. And Lauren strikes out again.
I return to the booth defeated. The conversation quickly turns to Internet dating. 75% of my friends have done or are doing online dating, and they are all under the age of 25. I always thought online dating was for more of an older crowd, not college students surrounded by thousands of other college students. When I ask my friends that partake in the online dating thing, they argue that this is where our culture is going. Everything is becoming digital, and it is only natural that dating become digital as well.
I have to say I am curious, but not curious enough to actually try it. Instead I live vicariously through my friends. I watch the relationship progress from a digital "wink," to an exchange of messages on the dating Website, before I know it they are friends on Facebook, and then a having texting conversations that span the enitre day. When they finally meet for dinner at Pasta Jay's it is obvious that both people have stalked the other on Facebook, but they go through dinner pretending not to know anything about the other person.
So although I don't have a date Saturday night, I'm not willing to fill out a questionnaire that will connect me to my soul mate. If online dating is working for you, great, it just isn't my thing.
If I'm still single in five years, then maybe I'll reconsider. Until then I'll continue to awkwardly approach strangers at a bar.