Downtown Boulder is incredibly unique, in large part due to the many businesses that have been around for decades and paved the way for others. Cheers to the businesses who have been part of the dynamic downtown landscape, and thank you to the locals and visitors who have continuously supported them along the way!
On New Year’s Eve, 1908, the Hotel Boulderado opened its doors to community members for an Open House to celebrate the completion of the first luxury hotel in the area. On January 1, 1909, the hotel began accepting guests. Its doors have remained open ever since.
At the time, the prominent businessmen of Boulder felt like a luxury hotel was the missing jewel that the city needed to attract visitors and grow into a cultural center. Local architects William Redding & Son designed the five-story building, incorporating Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival architectural styles.
Throughout history, the Boulderado has been a huge part of Boulder. Home to countless restaurants, bars, retail spaces and even a barber shop throughout the years, the Hotel Boulderado remains a community gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
The Boulder Theater had its opening night on January 9, 1936. Designed with an iconic Art Deco facade, the Boulder Theater only played films until it was remodeled in 1981 to serve as a concert venue.
Home to operas, rock concerts and silent films over the years, the Boulder Theater has a colorful past and exciting present.
Hurdle's Jewelry is a family owned and operated business since 1947. Founded by Chester L. Hurdle and his wife Bernice, the two moved store locations three times before landing on its current home in 1957 at 1402 Pearl Street.
Hurdle's Jewelry became the first jeweler in Boulder to join the American Gem Society and to date, only one other jeweler has ever qualified to join. Today, the jewelry store continues to grow and prosper in family hands.
Richard Polk began his career in footwear by selling Earth Shoes out of the back of his pick-up truck. From here, his shoe business blossomed into Pedestrian Shops with two locations in Boulder, the flagship storefront prominently stationed right on Pearl Street Mall. For the past 50 years, Pedestrian Shops has been fueled by the same purpose that drove Polk to begin selling out of the back of his car: provide comfortable, functional shoes without compromising on style.
In 1969, one of the first legal licenses to serve hard liquor in a restaurant was issued to the bar located in the basement of Hotel Boulderado. Today, License No. 1 continues with the very same liquor license first issued in 1969. This underground speakeasy-style cocktail lounge is a tribute to the elegant charm of the early 20th century.
The 1970s gave rise to many artistic institutions in Boulder. From beautiful antique maps to a contemporary art museum, this decade bolstered Boulder's creative spirit.
The 1980s saw the rise of many popular downtown Boulder destinations. From artsy gifts and creative kites to pizza shops and Italian restaurants, the 80s paved the way for a booming downtown business economy.
The 1990s solidified Boulder's strong restaurant and retail presence. With delicious eats and a local brewery and teahouse, a prominent foodie scene was established. This decade of businesses helped the Pearl Street Mall rise to a national status.