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A few years ago, a trip to Sloan’s Lake was all about the water: fishing the marina, paddling the scenic shoreline, and, of course, enjoying the famed Dragon Boat Festival (July 29 and 30 this year). Today, the lake isn’t the neighborhood’s only attraction, thanks to a slew of cultural additions. Shops and restaurants have turned part of West 29th Avenue into a walkable strip, while developments like the Lakehouse condo community on the former site of St. Anthony’s Hospital are transforming the area near West Colfax. And as young couples seeking more affordable homes expand their search beyond nearby Highland, Sloan’s Lake has started seeing more strollers. But all you’ll need to enjoy the neighborhood are some comfy shoes and an empty stomach.
Go For: A sporting afternoon with 20-plus flat-screens, upscale pub grub like the Tap Burger topped with root beer pulled pork, and 40-plus beers organized by Colorado geography.
Opened: May 2017
Go For: A gallery with a New Age vibe that specializes in visionary art, including jewelry, gems, paintings, sculptures,and glasswork.
Length: Eight blocks
Go For: The hot spots that reside just west of Sheridan—technically in Edgewater—including Joyride Brewing Company (which opened in 2014 in a former medical marijuana and pawn shop), ÜberChic nail salon, and the Edgewater Inn, where the Di Pietro family has been handmaking pizzas and calzones for over 60 years.
Go For: Traditional English-style ales served in an intimate mechanic’s shop turned pub. Start with the Gilpin Black Gold porter or the Lake Lightning English pale ale.
Opened: May 2017
Go For: Elaborate in-theater dinner and beer pairings (think: frog legs and craft cider with O Brother, Where Art Thou?), not to mention handcrafted cocktails and live performances, including music, comedy, poetry readings, and more.
Go For: The breakfast caprese sandwich with prosciutto, tomato, basil, balsamic, and cream cheese. For something with a little kick, try a jalapeño cheddar bagel with veggie cream cheese.
Go For: Succulents, cacti, living walls, and air plants in displays and containers made from reclaimed wood.
Go For: A mountain, road, city, or electric bike rental—that is, if you’re not bringing in your own ride for a speedy tune-up from the knowledgeable staff. Don’t worry: It’s not so fast that you won’t have time to suck down a Commonwealth cold brew (on tap) while you wait.
Go For: Flaky, Southern-style buttermilk biscuits with honey or jam. Check the cozy cafe’s website (or the chalkboard inside) for biscuit-of-the-day flavors like lemon pepper and sesame ginger.
Seeking even fresher waters? Look out for these summer openings on West 29th Avenue: