Feature

Top of the Town

BIFF! BAM! POW! HERE WE COME TO SAVE THE DAY! OUR INTREPID TEAM OF WRITERS AND EDITORS HAVE SLEUTHED OUT THE BEST OF THE BEST IN DENVER TO CREATE 5280'S MUST-HAVE GUIDE TO THE MILE-HIGH CITY.
By
July 2007
Contributors: Alese Beckett, Georgia Benjou, Daniel Brogan, Britten Chase, Jennie Dorris, Patrick Doyle, Julie Dugdale, Beth Ellerman, Amanda M. Faison, Rose Fredrick, Scott Gornall, Chris Hawkins, Luc Hatlestad, Nick Hartshorn, Sandra Keats, Mike Kessler, Lindsey B. Koehler, Gretchen Kurtz, Carol Maybach, Cara McDonald, Stephanie Powell, Patrick Soran, Jake Schroeder, and Ken Zachmann
Shop! | Play! | Kids! | Primp! | Pets! | People! | Eat!

SHOP

Jewels that sparkle, chandeliers that twinkle, rip-worthy ski boots, and jeans that actually fit. Our favorite places to buy things in Denver.

Women's Clothing (Splurge)

EDITORS' CHOICE Lawrence Covell
225 Steele St., 303-320-1023, www.lawrencecovell.com
If you're seeking big-city fashion in Denver, Lawrence Covell is your holy grail. Find a great selection of ready-to-wear by Nina Ricci, Yohji Yamamoto, Viktor & Rolf, as well as accessories by Bottega Veneta. Plus, the knowledgeable sales associates are there to guide you on your fashion quest.

READERS' CHOICE Nordstrom
Multiple locations; www.nordstrom.com
The allure of Nordstrom is its ability to offer so much in one store. Look for premium denim, trendy contemporary suits, and designer lines such as Valentino Roma, M Missoni, and Alice & Olivia.

Menswear (Affordable)

EDITORS' CHOICE Soul Haus Menswear
226 E. 13th Ave., 303-830-7685, www.soulhaus.com
This Capitol Hill men's boutique has all the anti-Brooks-Brothers button-downs a young, hip guy needs for a proper weekend on the town, plus a good selection of denim, khaki, and just-urban-enough accessories (engineer caps, chunky belt buckles, and the occasional bowling shirt, if that's still your thing). The kicker? Everything's less than $100.

READERS' CHOICE MetroBoom
1550 Platte St., 303-477-9700, www.metroboom.com
At MetroBoom, find mid-priced casual shirts and denim. And with its personal wardrobe services, you're sure to walk out a lady-killer.

Menswear (Splurge)

EDITORS' CHOICE Austin Hauck
2569 W. Main St., Littleton, 303-730-7778, www.austinhauck.com
Located in historic downtown Littleton, Austin Hauck boasts an international roster of business and casual brands (Pal Zileri, Jack Victor, and Kinross Cashmere). Owners Bill Austin and Doug Hauck personally work with each client, from collar to trouser hem. They even make office and house calls to help CEO and lawyer types avert any premeeting wardrobe disasters.

READERS' CHOICE Nordstrom
Multiple locations; www.nordstrom.com
Athletic, casual, and office. Nordstrom's got it all.

Men's Suits

EDITORS' CHOICE Lawrence Covell
225 Steele St., 303-320-1023, www.lawrencecovell.com
Suit shopping can be a real drag. Department stores overwhelm (50 navy suits to choose from?), the discounters have the charm of a used-car lot (spend $500 and we'll throw in a free tie!), and the single-brand boutiques are just that—single brand. But at Lawrence Covell—the boutique that's been outfitting Denver's impeccably dressed since 1967—you can find classic, handmade Italian suits by Kiton and Raffaele Caruso, and fashion-forward sets by Paul Smith or Etro.

READERS' CHOICE Andrisen Morton Men's
270 St. Paul St., 303-377-8488, www.andrisenmorton.com
This tony men's retailer has been serving Denver's biggest movers and shakers since 1979. Boasting a roster of A-list designers including Gianluca Isaia, Loro Piana, Ermenegildo Zenga, and Armani Collezioni, this Cherry Creek North boutique keeps Denver's power crowd happy with expert service and a full menu of made-to-measure services.

Denim

EDITORS' CHOICE Octane
1436 Larimer St., 303-893-5100, www.myoctane.com
To keep your logo-emblazed behind truly au courant, head to Octane, a LoDo shop with a great selection of designer dungarees for men and women. Along with all the usual suspects (575, Earnest Sewn, Rock & Republic), look for more obscure brands like Genetic Denim, Jetlag, and Seal Kay. Or go green with the 100 percent organic-cotton jean from the eco-chic Loomstate.

READERS' CHOICE The Garment District
2595 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-757-3371
Off the beaten path and far from any mall, the Garment District is a designer deni oasis. You'll find all the most popular brands, including 7 For All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, and True Religion. But the real story here is the wide selection of sizes and an expert staff that can almost call out your inseam from across the store.

Women's Clothing (Affordable)

EDITORS' CHOICE Loft.22
1410 Larimer St., 303-893-5010
Sister act Brittin and Kelly Asbury have hit gold with their bright and cheery Larimer Square clothing and home accessory boutique. Featuring well-priced contemporary lines like BCBGirls, Laundry, Yumi Kim, and Voom, as well as hot denim from Kasil and Antik Denim, Loft.22's real appeal is the fun it puts back into shopping.

READERS' CHOICE Swank
2405 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-6116, www.swankdenver.com
Wendy Van Der Maas's LoHi neighborhood boutique is chock full of easy casual wear, along with a smattering of fun accessories. Her mix includes hip denim, sweet dresses, and feminine tops for day and evening. Also, she stocks long, lean tops and denim for tall girls.

Bicycles

EDITORS' CHOICE Cycle Analyst Inc.
722 S. Pearl St., 303-722-3004, www.cycleanalystinc.com
With readers chorusing a righteous "Wheat Ridge Cyclery!" we're tempted to agree—for our competitive cycling needs, they nail it—but for the kid in us, this year we can't help but call out Cycle Analyst Inc. in Wash Park. Sure, it caters to the usual road and mountain crowd to a fine degree, but also to the bike-messenger-tear-it-apart-and-rebuild-it crowd, and it boasts a particularly splendid array of cruisers and accessories. Go find your streamers, baskets, horns, fenders, and sparkle seats. Or bring in your childhood bike to spiff up for your kid (or your inner kid). We won't think you're any less rad.

READERS' CHOICE Wheat Ridge Cyclery
7085 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 303-424-3221, www.ridewrc.com
The fabulous and aforementioned Wheat Ridge Cyclery is particularly deserving this year, as it celebrated the opening of a 15,000-square-foot expansion in March—meaning there's that much greater chance you'll walk in with a longing and walk out with just the right thing, in just the right fit (the shop's specialty).

Summer Dresses

EDITORS' CHOICE Ella Bleu
200 Quebec St., 720-859-3111, www.ellableuboutique.com
Whenever we walk into this lovable Lowry boutique (with another opening in Greenwood Village in the fall), owner Kim Inghilterra is sporting a beautiful this-season dress (Beth Bowley, Trina Turk, Bianca Nero). Inevitably, we get so inspired by her frock that we end up with one for ourselves.

Party Dresses

EDITORS' CHOICE MAX
3039 E. Third Ave., 303-321-4949; 1177 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-449-9200; 609 E. Cooper Ave., Aspen, 970-544-3445; www.maxfashion.com
Whether it's for cocktail-casual or black-tie optional, you'll always find a dress to match the occasion at MAX. It's hard not to with designers like Stella McCartney, Alberta Ferretti, and Dries Van Noten in the inventory. And with multiple stores in Colorado (Denver, Boulder, and Aspen), plus a new outlet store in Highland, MAX has Denver dress shoppers covered. Bonus: We think the outlet store is well-worth a visit. Diane vonFurstenberg 75 percent off? Yes, please!

READERS' CHOICE Neiman Marcus
Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3030 E. First Ave., 303-329-2600, www.neimanmarcus.com
Dolce & Gabbana, Badgley Mischka, David Meister, and Tadashi. Need we say more? After 100 years in the apparel business, Neiman Marcus knows what it takes to look fabulous.

Shoe In

Our fashion editor picks the city's best for every kind of foot. —Georgia Benjou

Designer
Neiman Marcus
Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3030 E. First Ave., 303-329-2600, www.neimanmarcus.com
Consistently carrying the largest collection of international designer shoes in town— France (Chanel, Robert Clergerie, Dior), Italy (Gucci, Prada)—Neiman Marcus gets you runway-ready in no time.

Urban Cool
Strut
3877 Tennyson St., 303-477-3361, www.strutdenver.com
Find fashionable shoes for the sophisticated city girl by Coclico, Miss Sixty, Ted Baker, and Chie Mihara. Bonus: Owner Elyse Burja has succeeded in making her boutique comfortable and her price range affordable ($79 and up).

City Sneakers
The 400
1010 Bannock St., 303-446-0400; 2445 Larimer St., 303-292-2646; www.strutdenver.com
The city's best limited-edition selection of Nike, Adidas, Onitsuka Tiger, New Balance, Reebok, and Puma from a decidedly hip Golden Triangle outpost.

Running
Boulder Running Company
2775 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-RUN-WALK; 8116 W. Bowles Ave.,303-932-6000; www.boulderrunningcompany.com
Highly regarded for its free video gait analysis—used to fit each customer into the perfect pair—BRC features a wide range of performance running shoes like Saucony, Brooks, and Mizuno.

Mountain Casual
Baudine's
7777 E. Hampden Ave., 303-751-5778
It's definitely a comfort shoe store, but the selection is all-European, proving that comfort doesn't have to equal Soviet-era fashion. Baudine's fine range of brands includes Ecco, Dansko, Naot, Finn Comfort, and even Donald Pliner.

Bargain
True Love Shoes & Accessories
42 Broadway, 303-860-8783
Fall for the perfect pair of chic-and-trendy yet reasonably priced shoes—and, at these prices, you can even buy two or three pairs, if your heart desires.

Chic and Stiletto'd
Garbarini
3003 E. Third Ave., 303-333-8686, www.garbarinishop.com
This urban oasis for the shoe-savvy carries designer lines like Donald Pliner, Stuart Weitzman, Barbara Bui, and Anne Klein.

Wedding Dresses

EDITORS' and READERS' CHOICE Anna Bé
3215 Zuni St., 720-855-1111, www.anna-be.com
Full disclosure: Our latest 5280 bride-to-be just purchased her dress here. And she chimes in with readers who chose Anna Bé by a landslide: The entire trying-on experience feels hip but friendly, like a fashion show in your girlfriend's LoHi loft. We love the sanely priced selection of dresses from up-and-coming designers who think outside the box (or in this case, outside the strapless pouf). Bonus: The duo that owns the shop will help you conceptualize your wedding theme and design stationery.

Fine Jewelry

EDITORS' and READERS' CHOICE Hyde Park
Cherry Creek Shopping Center, 3000 E. First Ave., 303-333-4446, www.anna-be.com
Last year, Hyde Park celebrated its 30th year in Denver—and that's without ever putting its owner, Michael Pollak, in any super-dry radio advertisements. Through word of mouth and sheer bling-bling know-how, Hyde Park has become a mainstay in the Cherry Creek Shopping Center, forever sparkling with the latest from big-time designers Vera Wang, Judith Ripka, and Yossi Harari. After three decades in the bauble biz, Hyde Park is still going strong.

Fashion Jewelry

EDITORS' CHOICE Decade
56 S. Broadway, 303-733-2288
Lately, it seems like every time we ask one of our friends where she got that cute necklace/bracelet/earrings/brooch, the answer is almost always Decade. And for good reason. The store is jam-packed with adorable (and affordable) finds. Every time you're there, you're bound to discover artsy, natural-materials and chunky-stone pieces by Bohm and Luna Rosa, plus some great vintage finds.

READERS' CHOICE Nordstrom
Multiple locations; www.nordstrom.com
You smart and trendy readers! You know the one-stop shop for all things adorable. Juicy Couture charm bracelets, Betsey Johnson crystal spider rings, and Marc by Marc Jacobs watches. What more could a girl (or boy) want?

Girlie Gift Shop/Boutique

EDITORS' CHOICE Red Door Swingin'
2556 15th St., 303-433-6900
One stroll around this appealingly cluttered hipster haven, laden with bright colors, quirky housewares, artsy decor, and all-around funky flair, is good for at least five legitimate, girlie "ooohs." (No joke...they just kept coming.) Owner Suzanne Blaylock has an eye for the unusual, from the trendy geometric jewelry to her own hand-sewn messenger bags, called HipSlips. In the market for a gorgeous Japanese-style paper lantern or some Guzzini Italian salad bowls? Check and check.

READERS' CHOICE Polkadot
1577 S. Pearl St., 303-282-4307
We know, we know, you just can't help stopping by this neighborhood boutique on your way to Sushi Den...neither can we. The handbags are fab (look for owner Dezi Gellman's own line of Dezi Bags), the jewelry one-of-a-kind, and the inspired artwork reasonably priced. Cutie-cute-cute.

Lingerie

EDITORS' CHOICE The T-Bar
1500 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-444-5453, www.nordstrom.com
If the name of her store is any indication ("T-bar" is slang for "thong"), T-Bar owner Debra Caplin prefers the come-in-and-play approach to undergarment shopping. She's got a hip-cool selection of all things small and desirable (Hanky Panky, Commando, Betsey Johnson, and Velvet). But the fact that you and your beau can wander the store together and not feel a wee bit embarrassed/intimidated is what keeps us coming back.

READERS' CHOICE Sol Store of Lingerie
248 Detroit St., 303-394-1060, www.sollingerie.com
A gauzy-elegant Cherry Creek North boutique, Sol is where Denver gals in the know go to get their sexy on. Plus, the staff is well-versed in the art of bra fitting, so you're sure to walk out looking "just right." But what we really dig is that in the last year Sol donated 1,500 bras to the Gathering Place, a daytime drop-in center for Denver's homeless women and children. Philanthropic lingerie? That's something we all can get behind.

Ski and Snowboard Gear

EDITORS' CHOICE Larry's Boot Fitting
2709 Spruce St., Boulder, 303-402-6733
Sorry snowboarders, we need to huddle with the skiers for a sec. Let's face it: Breaking in new ski boots can turn your feet into hamburger. Thank goodness for Larry Houchen and his namesake ski shop in Boulder. The shop's a trifle Spartan, but the service is smart (Larry's fitted Olympians and CU ski team members). With a custom foot bed, he'll align your tib-fib; then, just for good measure, he'll grind out any hotspots. Plus, you can bring 'em back—after they get packed out—for a refitting. And, of course, Larry's got the handle on new gear and tune-ups for your skis or board.

READERS' CHOICE Colorado Ski & Golf
Multiple locations, www.coloradoskiandgolf.com
If you slide down snow, one plank or two, Colorado Ski & Golf has you covered. CS&G has a massive selection and friendly service, and should you get a hankering to whack a small white ball with a metal club, it's got those, too.

Home Accessories

READERS' CHOICE Ashley Campbell
262 Fillmore St., 303-996-6195, www.ashleycampbell.com
When interior designer Ashley Campbell opened her home-decor shop in Cherry Creek two years ago, we went gaga over the selection. The store's eclectic East-meets-West, traditional-meets-contemporary feel (Ashley calls it "rustic contemporary") has a decidedly warm-hued color palette ideal for real-life homemaking. And if choosing the perfect plush chenille couch gets too overwhelming, Ashley and her co-owner husband Chase (or co-owner Tyler Conley) will gladly chime in with design tips.

Linens

EDITORS' CHOICE McKirnan Bed and Bath Co.
2460 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, 720-406-8651, www.mckirnanbedandbath.com
In Boulder (in a new location on Canyon Boulevard), McKirnan Bed & Bath is a gem of a store featuring luxurious American and European bedding. We absolutely salivate over sensual linens by Yves Delorme, Sferra, and Peacock Alley. And though fine bedding definitely comes at a price, McKirnan strives to accommodate every budget.

READERS' CHOICE Bed, Bath, & Beyond
Multiple locations, www.bedbathandbeyond.com
It's everyone's favorite home store for well-priced, everyday bedding—from Egyptian cotton sheets to Nicole Miller duvet covers.

Contemporary Furniture

EDITORS' CHOICE Boyd & Dreith
595 S. Broadway, 303-777-4600
When we visit B&D, we feel like we're wandering through the pages of Architectural Digest. Sofas from Donghia; tables from Dakota Jackson; lighting by Flos and Boyd. The best thing here, though, is that the staff is helpful and knowledgeable, never snotty or snooty.

READERS' CHOICE Room & Board
222 Detroit St., 303-322-6462, www.roomandboard.com
Room & Board wrote the book on smart detailing, careful design, and consistent craftsmanship. And the price point is approachable—a tad high, but a good value.

Traditional Furniture

EDITORS' CHOICE Baker at Town
601 S. Broadway, 303-282-0125, www.bakerfurniture.com
Sure, you could play furniture roulette at a big-box furniture store and hope the upholstery outlasts the drive home. Or you could head to Baker at Town and buy something that will one day be an heirloom. The store's recipe for fine traditional furniture is pretty simple: better woods, better craftsmanship, and better design.

Rugs

EDITORS' CHOICE The Rug Source in Denver
595 S. Broadway, 303-871-8034, www.rugsourcedenver.com
Whether you're in the market for a needlepoint from China, a contemporary hand-knit from Nepal, or a totally custom rug to perfectly frame that new dining room table, you've come to the right spot. Located in the Denver Design Center, this global rug emporium with expert staff and broad selection will not only wow the most sophisticated rug connoisseur but also make even a first-time buyer feel right at home. Note: You're welcome to come in and browse, but you'll need a designer to buy.

READERS' CHOICE Allure Rug Studio
595 S. Broadway, 303-871-8848
When it comes to choosing the right rug for your home, you could shop around and sift through sky-high stacks of rugs from the world over, or you could simply create your own. Allure Rug Studio is in business to do just that. Take a seat with one of its designers and you'll get the chance to choose the size, pattern, and even the material.

Stationery

EDITORS' CHOICE The Stationery Company
2818 E. Sixth Ave., 303-388-1133, www.rugsourcedenver.com
Prepare to get lost in a forest of the most decadent paper in the city. The selection: traditional Crane & Co., letterpress by Elum, and sassy Kate Spade. And with all the other goodies—Thymes bath products, gorgeous wrapping papers, and the cutest Caspari paper plates—you'll only have to make one stop for your next party.

READERS' CHOICE The Paper Lady
2125 E. Mississippi Ave., 303-722-6877, www.rugsourcedenver.com
Rosie Wiedenmayer's cozy shop is packed floor to ceiling with fabulous paper goods, such as Meri Meri, Smudge Ink, Egg Press, and the Wren Press. But don't let the abundance intimidate you. Just tell her what you're looking for and she'll give you lots of suggestions. Ask about design and printing services—she does that, too.

Lighting

EDITORS' CHOICE The Lighting Studio
1024 Cherokee St., 303-595-0900, www.thelightingstudio.com
Interior designers say that lighting is the jewelry for a room. If that's the case, this is one hot little jewelry store. With pendants flying and sconces sconcing, you'll stroll around with that "gotta own it" jaw-drop on your face. Diamonds may be a girl's best friend, but nothing makes her look better than good lighting.

READERS' CHOICE Foothills Lighting & Supply
1393 S. Santa Fe Drive, 303-989-8895, www.foothillslighting.com
Every time we venture into the vast acreage and vaster selection of this store—it has so many shiny, pretty things (like Kichler and Savoy House)—our brains go on overload and we end up wanting to buy everything.

Kitchen Supplies

EDITORS' CHOICE Cresco Restaurant Equipment and Supply
751 Billings St., 303-343-3333, www.restaurantequipment.com
Visit Cresco Restaurant Equipment and Supply and pimp out your kitchen like the pros. Kegerators, pizza peels, popcorn poppers, sushi knives, tortilla warmers, and everything in between.

READERS' CHOICE Sur La Table
Multiple locations; www.surlatable.com
This place is like a candy store for the kitchen lover. Bins burst with garlic peelers, ramekins, cookie cutters, measuring cups, and nearly any other gizmo your kitchen might need. Seriously, do you know what an adjustable dough divider does? Neither do we, but we're sure the helpful staff at Sur La Table could tell us.

Books

EDITORS' and READERS' CHOICE Tattered Cover Book Store
2526 E. Colfax Ave., 303-322-7727; also in LoDo and Highlands Ranch; www.tatteredcover.com
Many love this bookseller-as-civic-institution because of its laid-back vibe, helpful staff, and bookish thoughtfulness. So do we. And we give special props this year to owner Joyce Meskis for telling her Cherry Creek landlord to stuff it and relocating to (and with that move, revitalizing) a nifty little stretch along Colfax.

Flower Shop

EDITORS' and READERS' CHOICE The Perfect Petal
3600 W. 32nd Ave., 303-480-0966, www.tatteredcover.com
No shop in Denver responds better to the phrase "emergency anniversary floral arrangement, stat!" better than the creative people who staff this eclectic card, gift, and flower store. Their designs are witty and thoughtful art, rather than sentimental and sugary confection.

Records/CDs/Music

EDITORS' and READERS' CHOICE Twist & Shout
2508 E. Colfax Ave., 303-722-1943, www.tatteredcover.com
Maybe it's because it moved out of the old, manky Alameda location into a new, modern home on Colfax, or maybe it's because it just plain rocks—either way, this year we all seem to agree: If you're looking for anything music, you'll find it at Twist & Shout. There's a separate room for dance and hip-hop, listening stations, employee recommendations, a selection by local artists, vinyl till you burst, and a music-savvy staff that's straight out of High Fidelity.

Best Customer Service

EDITORS' CHOICE Duo Restaurant
2413 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-4141, www.tatteredcover.com
In a town where the service personnel are usually friendly but not always so competent, the folks at Duo cover all the bases. The servers and support staff—even if you're not sitting at their table—go out of their way to be genial and chatty, doing everything they can to make sure you have a fulfilling dining experience, from pre-meal drinks right on through dessert.

READERS' CHOICE Nordstrom
Multiple locations, www.nordstrom.com
This multiyear winner scores again with the unsurpassed courtesy and professionalism of its service staff. Nordstrom's staff doesn't give you the impression that you're being "helped" by some bored kid on a summer job.

Worst Customer Service

EDITORS' CHOICE Denver International Airport
8500 Peña Blvd., 303-342-2000, www.flydenver.com
Lord knows DIA couldn't control the snow, but last winter this wasn't an airport that acted like the fifth busiest in the nation. Upon reopening after the 2006 holiday blizzard, security lines of desperate customers (fighting, bribing, pushing, crying) snaked around the terminal, with nary a sign or arrow to guide people. (Couldn't someone have cracked out some paper and magic markers for some "line forms here" signs?) Customers with tickets couldn't get past customers without; passengers with flights in five hours clogged the line in front of those with flights in 30 minutes. Add to the crowds and chaos a hefty dose of misinformation: Flight-info screens went un-updated and at one point simply went dark, and DIA's website comically described the security-line wait as 45 minutes (in fact, it was three hours). We're still mad we missed our flights. 

Pages