Posted Tuesday, April 12
Last week, I showcased some new businesses that opened in the downtown district in the past few months, like Lula Faye Fiber and Magoo’s CKC. So, this week I would like to showcase a few businesses that have been operating downtown for decades! These businesses have been a true cornerstone for the downtown community over the years and offer exceptional experiences and goods. Let’s explore some OG shops!
Founded in 1980, (just a few years after the bricks were laid on Pearl Street), Into The Wind has become an iconic downtown institution. Created by architects George Emmons and Jim Glass, the two test, fly and photograph their own kites to sell in their catalog and store. Even after 40 years, they are still creating new kites to be flown in the wind. Upon entering the store, you will immediately be dazzled by all the colorful kites on display. Into The Wind is a must see when you’re in downtown Boulder!
The next shop was founded in 1977 as a cooking school and small gourmet kitchen store but has since expanded into specializing in retail kitchen, houseware, specialty items, gourmet food and cookbooks. Peppercorn is one of the most recognizable shops downtown with its historic blue and white striped awnings. Appropriately named “the Smithsonian of Cookstores,” Peppercorn is a not-to-be-missed destination.
Boulder’s oldest running dive bar just celebrated its 40th anniversary! The Sundown Saloon (also known as The Downer) is a hot spot for college students and Boulderites alike. They offer many engaging bar games such as fussball, darts and most notably their five pool tables. While playing games or talking to friends, enjoy a pitcher of PBR for just $8.
Established in 1979, this employee-owned business stands as the oldest cafe in Boulder. Trident Booksellers and Café opens at 7 am every morning to serve their own coffee brand and a variety of imported teas. The book store offers a wide variety of literature, including books from their in-house publisher. They even buy used books to cultivate a truly unique collection. In the evenings they offer a selection of beers and wines and frequently host events - find them here!
To top off our list of historic places downtown, this last business specializes in history. Art Source International was founded in 1973, and it is the perfect place for history buffs to explore antique maps and old photographs of Colorado. The last time I walked by I saw a poster of an old aerial photograph of Boulder, and it was really fascinating seeing how much the city has evolved. Check out some of these historic pictures on their website. I highly recommend going to the shop next time you’re downtown to explore new maps and posters!
I was also excited to learn about all of the family-owned businesses that have been passed down from generations like Hurdle’s Jewelry, Art Source International and Pedestrian Shops to name a few. Go in any of these stores to find parents working alongside their children from one generation to the next!
One last piece of trivia, can you guess the oldest businesses downtown? It opened its doors in 1909 and has a famous elevator named, Otis! (If you haven’t visited the Hotel Boulderado, you don’t know what you are missing!)
There are over 50 businesses downtown that have been around since the 1990s - I hope this blog encourages you to check some of them out (you can find them here)! From old to new, downtown is filled with good eats and classic shops. Visit someplace for the first time whenever you head to the heart of Boulder!
See you around Downtown,
Mentioned in this Post: Art Source International Inc., Hotel Boulderado, Hurdle's Jewelry, Into The Wind, Lula Faye Fiber, Magoo's CKC, Pedestrian Shops, Peppercorn, Sundown Saloon, Trident Booksellers and Cafe