It’s no secret that small businesses have been hit hard the past year and a half. According to a survey by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, nearly half of those in the Centennial State had to either lay off employees or reduce salaries to survive. Which is why it’s remarkable that plenty of local entrepreneurs took the risk of opening new ventures during the pandemic. We couldn’t help but notice there were some interesting overlaps between a few of our favorites.
Opened: November 2020
Despite COVID-19, Traverse Fitness sped up its opening of a permanent location last fall. Its calling card? A 1,100-square-foot studio with adjustable oxygen levels simulating exercise from sea level to 20,000 feet.
Wellness & Booze
The Beer Spa By Snug
Opened: February 2021
Redefining what it means to relax over a beer, this spa will soak you in 100-degree water infused with hops, barley, and herbs sourced from local breweries. The nonalcoholic brew isn’t fermented, so you’ll dry off feeling refreshed, not sticky.
Forget Me Not
Location: Cherry Creek
Opened: March 2021
It took a year to convert this former flower shop into a cocktail lounge. Sip seasonal recipes like Nobody’s Angel—a mix of Earl Grey gin, sweet lemon, sparkling wine, and Italicus, a liqueur made with bergamot peels—on the patio this summer.
Booze & Style
Garage Sale Vintage
Location: Larimer Square
Opened: September 2020
You’ll find curated collections of clothing, artwork, and vinyl from more than 40 vendors at this vintage shop from Josh Sampson, owner of Denver real estate and brand development company Good Baby Management. You know what else you’ll find? Margaritas, old fashioneds, White Claws, and Jell-O shots being served at the integrated bar.
Mojave & Tejon Dry Goods
Opened: July 2020
After 10 years of planning and a four-month pandemic delay, Lexi Neisler opened this boutique filled with handmade, organic, and sustainably sourced goods. Expect a selection of jewelry, ceramics, textiles, home goods, and skincare products.
Style & Wellness
Scout Dry Goods and Trade Denver
Opened: January 2021
Kelly Valentine opened Scout in the former Buffalo Exchange (which shuttered after sexual harassment allegations against its owner). The sustainable clothing store nixes fast fashion, reducing landfill waste, which is good for Mother Earth. Valentine also hired former Buffalo Exchange employees, giving feminist fashionistas a path to healing and empowerment.