It’s hard to keep on top of the changes. Downtown Boulder looks a lot different than it did one year ago.
Nineteen new businesses have opened downtown in the past year, and there are seven new ones scheduled to open by the end of 2018. By the holidays, there will be 26 new shopping and dining options downtown. Plus, eight businesses downtown shut their doors in 2018.
That’s a lot of change.
Last year ended with the welcoming of Go Far, an active lifestyle and running store where you can also get SmartWool.
“It’s a great outdoor retail store and a really cool concept,” says Terri Takata-Smith, a spokeswoman with the Downtown Boulder Partnership.”It’s a little far east that sometimes people don’t realize they’re there.”
Also new last winter was Pedego Electric Bikes, where you can buy and rent all kinds of electric bikes, even electric mountain bikes. This business replaced Installation Shoe Gallery. Technically, Pedego’s grand opening was in 2018, although doors opened in November.
“They do amazing electric bike tours around Boulder, the staff is so enthusiastic and excited and the owner is great,” Takata-Smith says.
Also approaching its one-year anniversary is The Post Brewing Co. (replacing Shine Restaurant and Gathering Place, which moved to central Boulder). The Post combines Colorado craft beers and comfort food (it’s best known for its fried chicken), and was even featured on the Food Network TV show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”
Finally, the Boulder Artisan Store opened in December, selling handmade and recycled products from local and international artists.
These newcomers wrapped up 2017 in time for 2018, a year packed with novelty. Here’s a walk through downtown, from east to west, that covers the new Boulder businesses of 2018.
On east Pearl Street, you can get your hair washed and styled at the new Blo Blow Dry Bar in the former Peter Rosen Jewelry space. Blo doesn’t do cuts and colors. It’s for that special night or occasion (like a school dance or wedding) when you need your hair to look perfect.
A block away is Truman Boot Co., where you’ll find upscale men’s leather boots made entirely by hand in Boulder. You can also get accessories and (go figure) dog collars. This opened in the former Kiwi Boutique space. The boot company is affiliated with the Truman Barber Co. across the street (not new, but a fun tie-in).
The one-of-a-kind handbag shop, By Elke, moved around the corner to the 1700 block of Pearl Street. While this isn’t a new downtown business, it is a new storefront. By Elke’s detailed, handmade bags are made out of leather and vintage fabric with an interesting history.
Also on the 1700 block is a new home goods company called Jones + Co. Modern Mercantile. The contemporary goods here are all ethically handcrafted in small batches. In addition to home goodies, this is a great shop for gifts.
Alex + Ani left downtown, and in its place will soon be a leather goods store, John Allen Woodward. This shop, scheduled to open this fall, is the storefront for the renowned Boulder shoemaker by the same name, who has crafted high-end boots and more for celebrities and the Silver Screen. You’ve seen his products on TV and in magazines. He’s one of the few, rare remaining custom shoemakers. Everything is made from scratch, down to the accents and buckles. His store will feature bespoke leather accessories (belts, wallets, bags and more) and footwear made from exotic hides.
While east Pearl lost the healthy restaurant, Zeal (word is it’s relocating to a permanent location on 30th Street by Whole Foods), in its place will be Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant. Again, not a new downtown biz, but a new location that’s more prominent and directly on Pearl.
Another exciting newbie on Pearl is Pop, a Local Artists’ Gallery, a temporary pop-up gallery featuring local art. Read all about Pop (and learn why you should shop there while you still can) here.
The Pedestrian Mall
The pedestrian stretch of the Pearl Street Mall also has some new faces. On the corner, the Sock Em Sock Emporium opened this summer featuring, well, socks. Every kind of sock. All of the socks.
Soon, look forward to a new, quick, healthy restaurant, the Whole Sol Blend Bar. This shop, planned to open on the 1400 block of the mall this fall, will feature organic smoothie bowls with fun toppings. It boasts “next-level smoothies” with 100 percent gluten-free granola from a zero-waste facility. Whole Sol has other locations, including a branch in Denver.
That’s not all — the ped mall can look forward to another quick food joint, too. In the stand-alone kiosk that used to house Salvaggio’s Deli will be a new restaurant called Ruthie’s, run by the mastermind behind T/Aco. This walk-up, window-serving restaurant, named after the owner’s grandmother, will specialize in gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and soft-serve ice cream. Only the most comforting of comfort foods.
After your grilled cheese sandwich, you will be able to head to a new nightlife concept called Board Games, Beer and Bites, opening on Broadway just off the mall. It’s slated to open doors this fall.
“It shares the concept of the coffee houses that are going back to classic board games, but with beer and food included,” says Takata-Smith.
If you’re looking for a new, higher-end, sit-down restaurant on the mall, this fall is scheduled to welcome Steakhouse No. 316. Beef and wine are the highlights at the Aspen branch of this dining establishment, and an equally good-looking menu is expected to hit Boulder.
If you’re looking for unique gifts that support a good cause, the Savannah Bee Co. recently opened in the 1200 block of Pearl. All products here are centered around honey, from face wash to soap to varieties of pure honey, and tucked in the back of the store is a beverage counter where you can order various honey-infused drinks. Built into the business model is an effort to help save the bees. The company helped found the Bee Cause Project, a nonprofit that installs hives in schools around the world to educate kids about honey bees. It has brought hives to 330 schools in four countries.
Another highlight on the walking mall is Lolo Rugs and Gifts, which is sure to catch your eye with its colorful, dramatic chandeliers and stunning rugs. You can also find home decor and jewelry from around the world. Lolo is lolocated (oh, yes we did) where the Kucha House of Tea used to be, before it moved to the 1200 block of Pearl early last year.
The western side of downtown continues to grow, too, especially its food selection. The new-ish Pearl West building (where the Daily Camera used to be) has rounded out with the sophisticated Northern Italian restaurant, Corrida, with its incredible patio with Flatiron views.
Then there’s Chimera, where Sushi Tora used to be on 10th Street. Chimera, run by the same owners of the popular Zoe Ma Ma restaurant, serves Asian-inspired cocktails and Pacific Rim fare, like lobster ramen or vegetarian miso ramen with fresh, house-made, organic noodles. There’s also the likes of Bulgogi Korean BBQ and hamachi poke.
After all that eating on West Pearl, you can work it off at the new Bulldog Yoga on Ninth Street, one of the few yoga studios downtown. Bulldog claims to be a “fitness yoga” studio set to music.
New Downtown Businesses
In the past year, in order of open date (starting November 2017):
Go Far, 2005 Pearl St.
Pedego Electric Bikes, 2015 13th St.
The Post Brewing Co., 2027 13th St.
Boulder Artisan Store, 1117 Pearl St.
Blo Blow Dry Bar, 1600 Pearl St.
Peachy’s Superfruit Cafe, 1926 14th St.
Pop Up, 1109 Walnut St.
Bull Dog Yoga, 900 Pearl St.
Chimera, 2014 10th St.
Corrida, 1023 Walnut St.
Ember Beauty and Barbering, 1215 Spruce St.
Truman Boots, 1717 Pearl St.
Savannah Bee Co., 1222 Pearl St.
Lolo Rugs and Gifts, 1141 Pearl St.
Sock Em, 1468 Pearl St.
Pop! A Local Artist’s Gallery, 1630 Pearl St.
Jones + Co. Modern Mercantile, 2023 17th St.
By Elke, 1721 Pearl St.
Squared Pizza + Beer, 1123 Walnut St. — Editor’s note (March 7, 2019): Squared Pizza + Beer has closed.
Future Downtown Businesses
Planned to open later this year:
Boardgames, Beer and Bites, 2027 Broadway (in the old Oliverde space)
Whole Sol, 1420 Pearl St.
Farmstand Collective, 1201 Arapahoe Ave. (next to Riverbend)
John Allen Woodward, 1505 Pearl St. (in the old Alex + Ani space)
Steakhouse No. 316, 1922 13th St. (in the old Conor O’Neill’s space)
Leaf Vegetarian, 1710 Pearl St. (moving from their current location to Zeal’s old location)
Ruthie’s, 1397 Pearl St. (in the old Salvagio’s kiosk)
Closed Downtown Businesses
Businesses that closed in 2018:
Cured West (now just their original location on the east end of Pearl)
Zeal (moving outside of downtown to a new permanent location)
French Quarter Brasserie
Alex + Ani
Christine Marguerite Designs moved locations (now at 1245 Pearl St., unit 210)