Shopping & Services

  • Best Place to Get Jail Threads Without Going to Jail

    Where the Buffalo Roam

    Denver's jailhouse certainly doesn't rock, but those bright-orange jumpsuits sure are purty. If committing a crime, getting arrested and doing time in the pokey isn't worth it for you, though, why not just pretend? Where the Buffalo Roam, a novelty shop on the 16th Street Mall, sells orange jumpsuits, T-shirts, button-up shirts and a variety of hats with the words… More >>
  • Best Graffiti Supply Store


    Since it opened in February, Art-N-Soul has become like a Star Wars' Mos Eisley Spaceport for Denver-area graffiti artists who appreciate the difference between a fully conceptualized work of street art and a hastily thrown-up "tag" that's all autograph and no picture. Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day except Mondays, Art-N-Soul is where you will find local… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Nitrous Oxide

    The Joker

    Got gas? It's not just for dental patients anymore. Quasi-legal and relatively harmless, recreational doses of nitrous oxide are widely available hereabouts in the form of "whippits." Small aluminum cylinders of pressurized gas, whippits are sold in head shops and adult bookstores under the guise of chargers for homemade whipped-cream makers. But the price of nitrous in Denver is no… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Whips With Your Whippits

    The Crypt
    Adult Entertainment Center

    You can get reasonably priced cases of whippits (around $20) and sensibly priced whips ($30, more or less) at the Crypt. There's a bigger selection of novelties next door, but the pickin's are pretty good here, too. The rest, as they say, is up to you. Just whippit good.… More >>
  • Best Way to Make Your Patriotic Mark

    Dark Millennia Studios

    Now you can wear your heart on your sleeve and your flag on your biceps -- and have something more than a permanent blemish to show for it. Last October, in the wake of September 11, the epidermis etchers at Dark Millennia Studios instigated this offer, though word from the Millennial staff is that there wasn't much of a… More >>
  • Best Place to Find a Frock to Strip Off

    Diamond Cabaret Boutique

    Most of the customers who frequent the Diamond Cabaret have one thing on their mind -- and it isn't shopping. The palatial skin palace boasts some of the most beautiful topless dancers in town, a quality that attracts a largely male clientele. But the club also offers a diversion for female patrons who don't fancy a lap dance: Its clothing… More >>
  • Best Hot-Sheets Motel

    Mon Chalet

    The room decor inside Mon Chalet comes from the Hollywood Porno Playground school of interior design. Neon accents, water-column lights, mirrored ceilings and walls, and giant whirlpool baths are standard features in Mon Chalet's ten deluxe and semi-deluxe suites, as are king-sized beds, whether standard or octagon-shaped, firm mattress or waterbed. Optional room features include climate-control chambers (programmable sun, steam,… More >>
  • Best Shag on Colfax

    Mod Living

    Fancy a shag (rug)? How about a '50s dinette set, an authentic lava lamp or a vintage flapper dress? Mod Living crams all of the above, and much more, into its understated space on East Colfax; it's a veritable museum of affordable art and furnishings for the nostalgia-minded decorator. Ranging from classic to kitschy, the tastefully cluttered store's wares are… More >>
  • Best Store Anywhere on Colfax

    Decorables & Antiques

    Did you know that Queen Victoria had quite an impressive collection of Chinese snuff boxes? The friendly and resourceful owners of Decorables do, and they'll be happy to tell you all about it as you browse the elegant and eclectic aisles of this airy antiques gallery, which makes its home in a former East Colfax bank. And while Decorables' own… More >>
  • Best Store Anywhere on Broadway

    ARC Thrift Store

    Antique Row is charming, as are many of the eclectic boutiques and specialty stores that line commercial stretches along South Broadway. But the thrill of pawing through miscellaneous merchandise is often tempered by the reality of sticker shock -- something that convinces many of us to browse rather than buy. Not so at ARC, where the price is always right… More >>
  • Best Store on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall


    It's fun trying to stump the sales staff in Peppercorn's kitchen department, but no matter what you ask for -- a kitchen scale, grilling equipment for summer, pastry bags, woks, an ice-cream maker, pots and pans, toasters, KitchenAids or shells for your coquilles St. Jacques, chances are they'll have it. They also have shelves and shelves of prepared foods that… More >>
  • Best Downtown Store -- Porn Division

    Diamond Lil's Adult Emporium

    Diamond Lil's is a porn shop and proud of it -- as evidenced by the enthusiastic lighted sign that invites the curious and carnal-minded alike inside. Located in a historic building that began as Kopper's Hotel and Saloon in 1899, Diamond Lil's happens to be the only remaining porn shop downtown -- but it's gone above and beyond the call… More >>
  • Best Downtown Store


    The 16th Street Mall is a shopper's paradise -- that is, if you're in the market for some overpriced, faux-Native American souvenirs or maybe a nice wig. For those who actually live and work downtown, there's no beating Walgreens for sheer practicality, economy and reliability, not to mention great people-watching. Housed in a vintage building in the heart of downtown,… More >>
  • Best Alternative to Walgreens

    Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine pharmacy

    Chinese medicine has become increasingly popular the last few years, and the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine is your one-stop shop for alternatives to Western health care. When the acupuncturist upstairs prescribes Chinese herbs, you'll be able to find them at the school's pharmacy, an alternate universe of remedies and potions that have been used in China for centuries.… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Rose Hips and Lizard Lips

    Apothecary Tinctura

    Change is good. While Apothecary Tinctura has already earned a reputation for having an ocean of potions (just kidding about those lizard lips), the shop's move from its Congress Park location to a new 6th Avenue spot added some zing to its yang. But you'll still find the necessary ingredients to make yourown holistic remedies or face masks, and the… More >>
  • Best Self-Care Boutique

    Peace of Mind, Body & Soul

    Peace of Mind, Body & Soul owner Mary Beal calls her place a "self-improvement and self-care boutique." And such improvement and care comes easy with the offerings at Peace of Mind. In addition to on-premises massages and psychic readings, you'll find incense, candles, aromatic oils, crystals, wind chimes and fairy figurines. An assortment of knowing tomes on the subjects of… More >>
  • Best Couples' Massage

    Indulgences Day Spa

    We guarantee that Indulgences won't rub you the wrong way. Unlike those hoity-toity spas that make you feel like you should shower before you enter, Indulgences is down-to-earth, even boisterous. The owner is friendly, the employees are friendly, the other customers are friendly. And one of the friendliest amenities here is a couples' massage. Usually a very private, personal activity,… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Chakras Aligned

    Feature Park Entrance
    FlatIron Crossing

    Offering up to three massage chairs and occasional live music, the Feature Park Entrance almost makes FlatIron's "retail resort" designation believable. "The massage has been really popular," says mall marketing director Chris Stallman. So has an aqua-massage kiosk (located near the food court), which layers patrons with plastic before spraying them down with soothing water. "People are getting more interested… More >>
  • Best Bulk Buddhas

    Cargo Imports

    Cargo's merchandise appeals to browsers who share an affinity for far-off lands: East Indian and Tibetan artifacts are among the most popular items. And even if you adhere to a monk-like budget, you needn't leave the store empty-handed. Because Cargo's owners know that a spiritual quest doesn't have to break the bank, inexpensive items abound in their new Highland location,… More >>
  • Best Crucifixes

    Gerken's Church Supplies

    Members of the flock and vampire hunters alike will delight in selecting a cruciform to suit their individual taste, budget and wall space from among the treasure trove of icons for sale in this warehouse-sized religious-supplies store in the heart of the historic Baker district. Though Gerken's boasts fine selections of communion-wafer plates and ceramic statues of the Archangel Michael… More >>
  • Best Thangkas

    Nepali Bazaar

    Incredibly, the folks who create Thangkas -- generally Buddhist monks who live with their heads in the clouds at the top of the world -- don't consider them works of art. Rather, each intricately complex banner, colorfully depicting mandalas, Buddhas or bodhisattvas, is intended as a kind of spiritual lesson, prayer or charm for their Himalayan constituents. But damn if… More >>
  • Best Yentas

    Colorado Jewish Social Network
    Congregation Emanuel

    For the past dozen years, the Colorado Jewish Social Network has been playing matchmaker for Denver singles looking for a soulmate. Members of the network, who pay annual dues of $90, can peruse binders full of questionnaires and pictures of other Jewish singles in search of Mr. or Ms. Right. Under the direction of Roslyn Rudnick, CJSN brings the couples… More >>
  • Best New-Age Horse Doctoring

    Dr. Gayle Trotter
    Equine Acupuncture and Chiropractic Services

    People do it, so why shouldn't horses? That was the question on Dr. Gayle Trotter's mind after the equine surgeon at CSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital observed firsthand the benefits of acupuncture treatment for his own lower-back pain. Trotter went the extra mile to learn more about the practice of alternative therapies; as a result, CSU is now one of the… More >>
  • Best New Dr. Dolittle

    Kate Solisti-Mattelon

    "Lying at our feet, curled up at the foot of our beds, are beings capable of teaching us everything we are seeking. We have only to learn how to listen," writes Boulderite Kate Solisti-Mattelon in her book Conversations With Dog. Solisti-Mattelon, who has written or co-written several other books, including Conversations With Cat, is an animal communicator who claims to… More >>
  • Best Place to Pamper Your Pussy

    Cat Cradle Cattery

    When you leave town, it's only fair that your cat get a little vacation, too. And since you want to be sure your four-legged friend is well cared for, the best place to take him or her is to the Cat Cradle Cattery, a little house tucked away in a wooded area off busy Kipling. A delightful couple who are… More >>
  • Best Pet Travel Guide


    Coloradans love their dogs and like to take them everywhere. Robyn Peters, publisher of Doggone (The Newsletter About Fun Places to Go and Cool Things to Do With Your Dog), understands this. Peters, who bases her business out of Boulder, personally checks out many of the dog-friendly places across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Caribbean with the help of… More >>
  • Best Dog Taxi

    Canine Cab

    Angela Gazzara started her Canine Cab business last August because her busy schedule was often in conflict with her dog's needs: visits to the vet, grooming appointments and, of course, doggie daycare. While her goal was a dog-transportation service for busy pet owners, Gazzara also realized there were many disabled and non-driving pet owners who could benefit from it. An… More >>
  • Best Place to Get in Touch With Your Dog's Feelings

    A Pet's Paradise

    What's Fido thinking, anyway? If you have the slightest interest in figuring that out, A Pet's Paradise offers periodic psychic reading sessions for pets with expert Pattie Koop, who also uses her powers to locate lost pets at no charge. In addition, the new-age pet supply, which carries a large selection of holistic pet foods, supplements and Flower Essences, as… More >>
  • Best Place to Rest Weary Feet -- and Paws

    Loews Denver Hotel

    Dog may be man's best friend, but not necessarily yours. If you have vistors bringing along their four-legged companions, put them up at the Loews Denver Hotel. Like the city of Denver, Loews touts itself as "pet friendly" -- and then some. The hotel offers pet room service, with vet-approved food (vegetarian entrees are available for picky pets); special bedding… More >>
  • Best Place to Rent a Dog

    Maxfund Animal Shelter

    As any canine-conscious apartment hunter knows, finding a landlord who's willing to rent to a dog owner can be a challenge. But even if your cramped Capitol Hill walkup isn't suited for a full-time pooch, your innate need to bond with man's best friend needn't go wholly unsatisfied. Maxfund welcomes enthusiastic animal-loving volunteers who like to spend time with masterless… More >>
  • Best Place to Greet an Animated Cat

    Hello Kitty World

    She's cute, she's cuddly, she's friendly -- and she's everywhere. Ever since the Japanese toy company Sanrio unveiled Hello Kitty in the '70s, little girls the universe over have been snapping up pens, packs, umbrellas and underwear bearing her image. And although Miss Kitty is now available in major retail outlets, fans will worship Min Min Chinese Restaurant's small shrine… More >>
  • Best Motorcycle Accessories

    Hoodlums Gear

    Owning a motorcycle in this state doesn't have to be a two-season experience: Many people ride with pride all year long. But on those brisk February days, it's nice to have something warming your face as you speed along. Hoodlums Gear, manufactured in Colorado, was created for just that purpose. There's the Helmet Hoodlum or the Headless Hoodlum, face masks… More >>
  • Best Place to Rent a Car That Goes 160 MPH


    Sure, they rent 'Vettes -- for $299 a day. They also offer Porsche Boxsters and Mercedes CLK roadsters for the same price. Dodge Vipers and 911s are $100 more; new Ford Thunderbirds are $249 per day; and BMW Z3 convertibles are a bargain at $199. Note: Mileage is limited to 100 miles per day. Call to check on the frequent… More >>
  • Best Place to Go If Your Daddy Took Your T-Bird Away

    Oldies But Goodies

    Oldies But Goodies should be the first stop for any classic-car aficionado. Despite its small lot, this South Broadway dealership has an impressive collection of vintage automobiles, ranging from those without engines to those that have been lovingly restored to their previous grandeur. From the 1949 Buick Super to the 1984 Ford Thunderbird, this place has something for everyone. There's… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Communist-Bloc Engine

    Cold War Remarketing

    While America is fighting a new kind of war, with Russia as an ally, it's important not to forget the past. Now you can actually own a piece of the past, thanks to Cold War Remarketing, a local auto dealership that sells Unimogs, Pinzgauers and other vehicles from the Red Scare days. The Littleton business also encourages "Pinzie" enthusiasts to… More >>
  • Best Place to Fix Your Speedometer

    Deluxe Speedometer & Radio Service

    Speed is relative, the universe is expanding, so why does your vintage '57 Chevy's speedometer say you're traveling at 5 mph? Better chug on over to the dean of those devices, Russell Rullo, at Deluxe Speedometer & Radio Service. With more than fifty years of experience, Rullo (along with his son, John) will bring a truckload of experience to bear… More >>
  • Best Propeller Physician

    Jim's Prop Shop

    When queried, most boat-shop owners said they sent their broken propellers to Jim's Prop Shop, and who are we to swim against the tide? Owner Jim McCune charges between $45 and $150 to fix maimed props, depending on what sort of sea damage you've done. And although Jim's specialty is fixing them, you can buy new and used propellers here,… More >>
  • Best Map to Take on a Plane Out of DIA

    Spin Maps

    So you begged for a window seat, but now you're just staring aimlessly down on windswept plains, unknown deserts or the canyons below. What could possibly make your long flight more interesting? A little help from the Durango-based Spin Map company, which manufactures passenger flight maps for journeys stretching between Denver and several major cities, including L.A., Las Vegas,… More >>
  • Best Thing to Do When You Have Two Extra Hours at DIA

    Que Bueno!
    Concourse B

    It used to be that if you got to the airport early, you'd head up to the official U.S. Post Office in the main terminal to pay your bills (on the theory that the best flight insurance is making sure your survivors won't find any embarrassing past-due notices), then do some banking, enjoy a couple of brews and take a… More >>
  • Best 24-Hour Business

    W.H. Smith
    Main Terminal

    You're taking the last plane out of Clarksville, and you forgot your book. And your gum, your bottled water and your earplugs. Not to worry: W. H. Smith keeps one of its six airport shops open all night, and it's conveniently located in the main terminal, right outside the security checkpoint that's the last to shut down for the night.… More >>
  • Best Place to Find Sewer Help on New Year's Eve

    Colorado Sewer Service

    You're dressed up in your best Soup-and-Fish or evening gown, just about to trip the light fantastic on New Year's Eve, when you detect a murky puddle oozing up from the basement drain. Who ya gonna call? Try Colorado Sewer. While they can't work miracles, they do work that evening. And with a little luck, you can have whatever ails… More >>
  • Best Online Portal to Opportunity

    Emily Griffith Opportunity School

    The Emily Griffith Opportunity School (EGOS) has been an educational resource for over 85 years, but even Miss Emily herself would be amazed to see its 21st-century outreach. Folks seeking careers in everything from aviation to manicuring can click on the school's site and start flying. Visitors also can see photos of recent grads, hints on finances and other good… More >>
  • Best Online Pipeline to Yesterday

    Denver Public Library
    Western History Photography Collection

    The DPL's impressive effort to post thousands of images from its photography archives - images of Colorado and the West stretching over a century and a half, with extensive collections dealing with everything from the Ludlow Massacre to the changing face of Denver's downtown--is a cyber surfer's delight. Browse, search or wallow, if you prefer, but click on over and… More >>
  • Best Personal Book Shoppers

    Highlands Ranch Library

    Admit it: You have plenty of time to read, but not enough time to browse the local library. At the Highlands Ranch Library, adult patrons can have librarians select titles that match their tastes simply by filling out an application including information on favorite authors and books read in the past. They'll call you when your books are ready for… More >>
  • Best Talking Library

    The Colorado Talking Book Library

    The Colorado Talking Book Library (CTBL) was created to give disabled book-lovers more options. The government-funded program offers Braille books, taped books and playback machines. You must apply and meet certain requirements to use the facility, but once you do, it's completely free, including usage and shipping of the books and machines. Adding to the convenience, books may be ordered… More >>
  • Best Cultural Nook

    Hijos del Sol Galería de Cultura

    Small and unassuming, Hijos de Sol is a good deed in every way, from the stunning Leo Tanguma mural that dresses up the neighborhood and announces the little store's existence around the corner, to its humanitarian intent to ensure that profits from coffees and handcrafts go to the Latin American villagers who package or create them. But as the mural's… More >>
  • Best African Imports

    African Experiences

    Aficionados maintain that African art tells stories. That's African Experiences owner Miles Forsyth's story, and he's sticking to it. Originally from South Africa, he returns to his home continent every year to visit and to hunt down merchandise, and he's been wildly successful. The walls of his shop are lined with fantastic tribal masks, as well as vibrant patterned rugs… More >>
  • Best Cigar and Pipe Store

    Prince Philip's Pipes and Tobacco

    Prince Philip's Pipes and Tobacco treats you like royalty, with a marvelous selection of all-legal imports and an extremely knowledgeable and customer-oriented proprietor, Jon Cacherat, to help guide you in your selections. Celebs and working stiffs fire up stogies and trade tips on pipe tobacco in the shop's thoroughly democratic (and pungent) atmosphere. … More >>
  • Best Road Trip Destination for Western Paraphernalia


    Far outside the city lights lies the Savage-West, a Western memorabilia store. Owner Kris Hurley deems her diverse inventory "ranch and farm junk." But whether you desire the sun-bleached skulls of long-dead longhorn cattle, brightly colored Mexican blankets or just Western antiques, Savage-West probably has it. Hurley and her partner, Gina Cox, opened the store last November and plan to… More >>
  • Best Place to Dress Like a Cowboy

    Rockmount Ranchwear

    Yee-haw! For years, Rockmount Ranchwear Co. was only a wholesale operation, shipping Western wear around the world from its headquarters in a LoDo warehouse. But this spring, Rockmount decided to share the wealth -- of history, of fashion, of fun -- by allowing visitors to buy Rockmount products out of the office's charming little showroom and on the Web at… More >>
  • Best Place to Dress Like a Member of the Idle Rich

    Limeade, a Lilly Pulitzer Signature Store

    The real Lilly, who retired in 1984, first stuck her foot in the door of Camelot in the early '60s, when her hand-sewn signature shifts in breezy tropical prints caught on in Palm Beach, soon to be embraced by Jackie Kennedy and a whole generation or two of East Coast preppies. To her credit, Pulitzer's ultra-simple invention has never gone… More >>
  • Best Place to Dress Like (or in) an '80s Rock Star

    Five & Dime

    For almost ten years, Lynn Pastore has been selling retro clothing out of her 13th Avenue storefront, but her latest line is a stretch -- sometimes literally. The Five & Dime's suddenly doing a booming business in old rock-and-roll T-shirts, the forerunners of all those souvenirs that would soon become a mandatory part of the concert experience. Although Pastore puts… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Not-So-Cheap Elvis Sunglasses

    The Bent Lens

    The King may be dead, but his style lives on. The Bent Lens now sells a fabulous pair of the King's sunshades by Neostyle, the original maker of Mr. Presley's infamous specs. These rock-n-roll replicas are every bit as decadent as the original: Plated in 14K gold with star-making rose-brown gradient lenses, the "Nautic" sells for the King-size price of… More >>
  • Best Dress-Up -- Adult Division

    Red Rocks Community College Theatre Department

    Plan to make a dramatic yet affordable entrance at your next Halloween party with a little help from the Theatre Department at Red Rocks Community College. For $150 plus security deposit for the weekend, you can dress from head to toe in Renaissance splendor, and for about $5 more, you can find the ultimate accessory. The school rents stage props,… More >>
  • Best Dress-Up -- Kids' Division

    Dolls and Kids Closet

    What a treasure trove of costumes, toys and other accessories for let's-pretend play! And what a great place for kids to explore the creative side of dressing up themselves and their doll friends, with workshops, classes, playtime fun for tots and birthday-party packages. Dolls and Kids Closet also rents historical costumes for the little ones, as well as selling dolls,… More >>
  • Best Place to Find an Emergency Halloween Costume

    Flossy McGrew's

    Eleven months of the year, Flossy McGrew's blends right into a commercial stretch of South Broadway, another vintage-clothing shop among the funky fringe of Antique Row. But each October, the massive warehouse-like store becomes a must-stop destination for costume-happy shoppers who range from inspired and awestruck to panicked and overwhelmed, depending on the date and its proximity to Halloween. From… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Man's Hat

    Duncan's Men's Store

    We're not talking ten-gallons here. This is the place to find a fine fedora, a happenin' homburg or a bitchin' beret, in felt, straw and the occasional canvas golf number -- anything that tops off your masculine attire. More than half of Duncan's business in the historic Five Points location (there's another at DIA) comes from men's hats, a particular… More >>
  • Best Ladies' Slippers

    Lula Maxine

    Simple and elegant. Who wouldn't want to slip their tootsies into Denver-based Lula Maxine's handmade slippers? Square-toed, with a seam down their silk dupioni or woven plaid-and-houndstooth middles, they absolutely scream comfort. And they look great, too. The retail price tag can be a bit steep -- they range from around $50 to $100 a pair -- but this is… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Fleeced

    Ouray Sportswear Factory Outlet

    If you don't mind being a walking advertisement for a ski resort, the Ouray Sportswear Factory Outlet is the place to find a fleece jacket or vest that won't set you back the price of a lift ticket. The South Broadway store gets all of the surplus merchandise that its parent company, SCI (Ski Country Imports) produces for resorts all… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Gear Kits

    Frostline Kits

    Frostline Kits in Grand Junction manufactures high-quality, unassembled, winter gear kits. These kits include an instruction manual, cut-to-size fabric, down or other fill materials, and all the thread and finishing items needed to create a top-notch jacket. The only thing you have to do is provide the sewing machine and some time and labor. Because they do not sew your… More >>
  • Best Fishnet Long Underwear

    Wiggy's Inc.

    The sight of a brawny outdoorsman in fishnets may not turn you on, but it makes sense. Wiggy's Inc., a Grand Junction outdoor-outfitting company, has been making traditional supplies since 1986, and it sells some of the best long underwear in the world. The black or white nylon fishnet material is the best for wicking away moisture and keeping wearers… More >>
  • Best Cleaned-Up Videos


    These days, gratuitous sex scenes, foul language and violent extravaganzas are a given in the world of movies. Understandably, most parents are concerned with the effect such raw stuff has on their children. That's where, a video-editing company, and its rental outlets, CleanFlicks, come in. CleanFlicks stores rent hundreds of videos that have been edited to make films more… More >>
  • Best VHS Store

    The Video Station

    The best-stocked video store in the Western states, Boulder's Video Station carries some 60,000 titles in VHS and DVD format, including the rarest and most exotic items extant. Want to see Larry Clark's seething Bully (rated NC-17 and thus unavailable at the chains) or revisit the collected works of Ingmar Bergman, Orson Welles, Satyajit Ray or Werner Herzog? This is… More >>
  • Best DVD Store

    Theatre Video

    Chain stores generally have enormous stacks of DVDs, but they're often short on personalized service or employees who know the difference between The Sorrow and the Pity and The Sound and the Fury. Theatre Video, for its part, has a much better selection than most independent outlets, with tons of animation and music-oriented packages, and staffers will gladly special-order even… More >>
  • Best Independent CD Store

    Wax Trax

    The economy has taken a bite out of Wax Trax: At the end of February, the vinyl store was closed, with its stock being moved into the used store across the street. But the three Wax Trax branches that remain -- a new store, a video store and the aforementioned used store -- are still Denver treasures that need and… More >>
  • Best Mom-and-Pop Music Shop

    Universal Music

    This store's name says it all. Here you'll find everything from geeky school-band instruments (and a host of instructors expert in their use) to pro gear that would do Van Halen proud. What you won't find is superstore attitude. According to Gary Patterson, who owns the business with four of his family members, "90 percent of our customers walk in… More >>
  • Best Place to Sample Soundbites From Area Artists

    Twist & Shout

    Though larger than most independents, Twist & Shout is a community-spirited music retailer. Owner Paul Epstein is an active member of the Colorado Music Association and even occasionally appears on cable-access television to talk about his favorite bands. No surprise, then, that Epstein's store would reflect his support of local music. Many of the CDs that are distributed through Twist… More >>
  • Best Public Wanking

    Guitar Center

    Those who despise discordance would be wise to stick to Guitar Center's acoustic room, where the quiet people dwell among the mandolins. Out on the main floor, a dizzying number of guitars and amplifiers are available for the strumming, squealing and soloing pleasures of aspiring wankers from all walks of life. Go on, grab that Gibson and plug away. Instruments… More >>
  • Best Vintage Upholstery Goods

    American Fabric Upholstery Goods Company

    Anna Woneis, owner of the American Fabric Upholstery Goods Company, is happy to give visitors a tour of her place, which involves room after room of vintage fabric, much of it from the still-trendy 1970s. Although some the patterns should have been impeached with Nixon, many of the old-timey fabrics are, well, timeless. The store has large selections of vinyls,… More >>
  • Best Last Hope for Old Leather

    B-D Company

    B-D Company, a venerable upholstery supply shop, has a number of solutions for restoring old vinyl, cloth, plastic and even leather furniture to something like new -- magic sprays, dyes and cleaners that are hard to find, accompanied by expert advice. Don't give up on that ottoman; put it in your auto, man, and give it Last Hope rather than… More >>
  • Best Cheap Luggage

    Samsonite Company Store

    For the busy traveler, there is nothing more irritating than cheap luggage, the junk with wheels that fall off. Now you can buy durable, expensive luggage at cheap-luggage prices. The Samsonite Company Store unloads high-quality luggage for up to 50 percent off retail prices. They stock luggage that is barely blemished, merchandise that has been discontinued, and stuff that didn't… More >>
  • Best Cheap Appliances

    Sears Outlet Store

    There are a lot of places around town that offer scratch 'n' dent appliances at a discount, but the Sears Outlet Store has a consistent selection that never seems to dwindle. And even if the front of that stainless-steel fridge has a wee scratch on it, the warranty still applies. Some of the appliances aren't even marred; they just happen… More >>
  • Best Cheap Computers

    Surplus Computer Store

    Spending two grand on a PC that needs an upgrade before you even get it out of the box just doesn't compute. Visiting the Surplus Computer Store in Littleton, home to an army of discounted new, used, and off-lease computers and accessories, is a better use of gigabytes. It would take a giant Palm Pilot to keep track of all the… More >>
  • Best Place to Recycle a Defunct Monitor

    PC Brokers

    Obsolescence is a genetic computer disease. It often costs more to fix or upgrade an old computer than to just buy a new one, which is the reason computer monitors have been piling up in landfills across the nation. These days, you must dispose of your monitor properly; you can't just kick it to the curb anymore. PC Brokers in… More >>
  • Best Free Software


    Privacy Foundation

    Last summer, it seemed like the biggest threat to personal privacy was the surreptitious use of cookies and Web bugs by data aggregators to track our unsuspecting travels through the Internet. To give consumers a fighting chance by revealing exactly when we were being "bugged," the technical team at the Privacy Foundation, based at the University of Denver, released the… More >>
  • Best Vestige of the Dot-Com Boom

    Mobius Venture Capital Hotbank

    Just when you thought nobody had a couple of million bucks to risk on your hot new techno-idea, here comes Mobius Venture Capital Hotbank, just a microchip's throw from Boulder. Formerly Soft Bank Venture Capital, this fund's Web site claims $2.5 billion under management, with hundreds of the leading technology companies in its portfolio. The Hotbank incubator has been nurturing… More >>
  • Best Recipe for Success

    Work Options for Women

    It's not easy finding a job if you have little work history and no skills, which is why Work Options for Women is such a great program. It teaches women coming off welfare how to work in restaurants, training them in everything from proper kitchen hygiene to baking and cooking. And what cooking! Jane Berryman, a renowned chef, is the… More >>
  • Best Place to Save the Earth With Arts and Crafts

    Creative Exchange

    Much to the delight of teachers, scout leaders, artists and community groups throughout the metro area, Creative Exchange has found a new home at Buckingham Square. This nonprofit agency is dedicated to redirecting items discarded by area businesses into the hands of crafters, especially youngsters, and out of the landfill. Creative Exchange has provided materials and willing helpers to create… More >>
  • Best Birdhouses

    Dianna Giese

    More garden sculpture than birdhouse, each creation by Dianna Giese is a found-object tour de force, weathered-wood creations with architectural details fashioned out of rusted metal hinges, old bits of trellis, bent kitchen utensils, cast-off bolts and screws, cast-iron finials and the like. Like any dedicated garbage collector worth her salt, Giese just happened upon her birdhouse-building vocation by chance:… More >>
  • Best Gift That Keeps on Giving

    Judy, Judy, Judy

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas: Judy, Judy, Judy makes it easy with the re-gifting barrel it sets out every holiday season. Go ahead and help yourself to someone's white elephant -- but be sure to leave that awful reindeer sweater your Aunt Sue made for you for the next lucky customer who comes along. This is the gift that… More >>
  • Best Holiday Handcraft

    Carol Hermann
    Bloomin' Beads

    First of all, seed-beading, like many kinds of needlework, is no easy craft. Not only is it impossibly tiny work, but it also requires a near-maniacal attention for detail. In the sage words of somebody's grandmother, you could go blind. So figuring out how Louisville beader Hermann fashions her three-dimensional, six-inch beaded Christmas trees is simply confounding. Don't even try.… More >>
  • Best Place to Find an Organ Donor

    Salvation Army Thrift Store

    All thrift stores are not created equal. The merchandise at the Salvation Army's Northglenn location, just off 1-25, ranges from practical to playful, with prices that always remain within a safe zone. And though the store stocks a respectable selection of staples like furniture, clothing and housewares, its signature item is the church-style organ. The Army's south wall is lined… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    A Paris Street Market

    What could be better on a sunny Saturday morning than this stroll through a wonderland of hand-picked junk and one-of-a-kind treasures? Spearheaded by the folks who run Details, a downtown Littleton bath and body shop, the market debuted last summer to delighted crowds, and this year expands from four to five shopping opportunities, offered on the first Saturday of the… More >>
  • Best Antiques Market

    Cherry Creek North Open Air Antique Show

    Market founder Leslie Lee of the Cherry Creek North shop Willow Antiques says last year's early-September cold snap put a damper on this event's debut, but face it: It's an opportunity just begging to happen, a classy array of local and out-of-town dealers offering high-end jewelry, pieces of eight and gold doubloons, cabin furniture, shabby chic furnishings, lacy christening gowns,… More >>
  • Best Place to Have a Garage Sale

    Dairy Queen

    There's no better rite of summer than spending a blistering-hot Saturday or Sunday casing garage sales looking for toys, trinkets and good buys. But, darn it if garage-sale-hopping wouldn't be even better with something to cool you off -- something like ice cream. At least that's what Dalene Walker and Myron Peterson were thinking when they decided to let people… More >>
  • Best Sale Alert

    Cherry Creek Shopping Center's weekly e-bulletins

    In this hectic day and age, we can't all spend our days cruising the mall for deals; even the most dedicated shopper could pop an artery (or at least twist an ankle) trying to keep up with every store. But in the last year, retail foraging got a little quicker and a little easier for Cherry Creek shoppers: Log on… More >>
  • Best Mall to Visit When You're Eight Months Pregnant

    FlatIron Crossing

    Women heavy with child or parents wrestling with strollers aren't handicapped in the traditional sense, but neither is it very easy for them to shlep a mile or two before reaching a store. Recognizing that, FlatIron Crossing has designated two spaces near handicapped spots at every major entrance to the shopping center for "new and expectant parent parking." Talk about… More >>
  • Best Snugli Revival


    You may recall Snuglis, those front-slung baby carriers created in the 1970s by Mike and Ann Moore of Evergreen, who modeled them after an idea they picked up in the Peace Corps in Africa. After their grandkids came along, the Moores saw a need for new, improved Snuglis. The new carriers can hold children in many positions and -- bonus!… More >>
  • Best Online Store for Cloth Diapers

    Wee Bees

    Many people shy away from using cloth diapers for fear of leaks, accidents and irritated, wet babies. But Rhonda and Gary Wiebe, owners and founders of Wee Bees, assert that having a dry baby in cloth diapers is entirely possible. Although their Web site offers a wide variety of baby products, they specialize in anything having to do with diapering.… More >>
  • Best Nursery Outfitter

    Cradle and All

    In the best of all worlds, babyhood should be like a little slice of heaven. This downtown Littleton shop -- heavenly itself with its faux-cloud murals as a backdrop -- is the place to furnish the right nursery for the job. Among its treasures: Heirloom-quality, hand-painted, child-sized furniture, cuddly pastel chenille toys and pillows, hand-knit veggie sweater-hat combos, fancy rattles… More >>
  • Best Kimonos for Your Kiddos

    Pacific Mercantile Company

    Though the Sakura Square supermarket has long wowed LoDo dwellers with its array of exotic miso pastes, fresh fish and Asian spices, Pacific Mercantile also has plenty to please the little doll in your life. Japanese toys and candy, as well as beautiful pint-sized silk kimonos and slippers, are available in the housewares portion of the store (where you can… More >>
  • Best Supplies for Blooming Babies

    Red Carpet Baby!

    One thing Montessori-trained proprietress Emelia Metzger knows for certain is babies. And one thing she learned during her former career in early-childhood care and instruction is that our everyday retail world is pathetically lacking in good old-fashioned, quality educational toys in natural materials. So this new cubbyhole on South Broadway, as wet behind the ears as the clientele it's meant… More >>
  • Best Help for Parents Needing Sleep

    Dr. Barton Schmitt
    Children's Hospital

    Before you have children, sleep deprivation is something you try to make up for on the weekends. Once you have a baby, you realize that they don't know about weekends, and you suddenly find yourself running about a quart low on essential z's. Will it ever end? Dr. Barton Schmitt, a professor of pediatrics at Children's Hospital, has been teaching… More >>
  • Best Easy Awakening

    The Travel Zen Alarm Clock
    Now & Zen

    Although time is an illusion, the best way we've found to keep track of it is the Travel Zen Alarm Clock from Boulder-based Now & Zen. "The ultimate lifestyle clock" is a yoga and meditation countdown timer, progressive chiming alarm clock, travel clock and musical instrument all in one. The long-resonating Tibetan bell-like acoustic chime also gently awakens you to… More >>
  • Best Place to Reconnect With the Past -- and Your Childhood

    Blinky's Antiques and Collectibles

    Blinky's Fun Club, the long-running children's variety program that once found a home on Channel 2, has been off the air since 1998. But the show's star, Blinky the Clown (aka Russ Scott), hasn't been pulled out of syndication. Six days a week, Scott can be found in the very cramped environs of Blinky's Antiques and Collectibles, the itty-bitty shopette… More >>
  • Best Toy Store Suited to Short Attention Spans

    Denver Toy Library
    Smiley Branch Library

    Parents, you know how it is with kids and toys: The contraptions your tykes beg you for unmercifully for weeks on end usually land under the bed, oh, about two minutes after they finally get them. But there is a remedy: Rather than selling your soul to Toys R Us in order to keep up with juvenile whims, come to… More >>
  • Best Fundraiser Alternative


    With the taste of Girl Scout cookies still fresh, it's hard to think about the school fundraising season ahead. If you're lucky, this year the co-workers' kids will be hawking something useful like shampoo or conditioner rather than gift wrap or yogurt-covered pretzels. Beautycares, the brainchild of Danny Mostajo, president and CEO of Spectrum Salon Consultants, offers a beauty-products catalogue… More >>
  • Best Boulder Shopping Deal

    Community Benefit Card
    Boulder Independent Business Alliance

    Think globally, shop locally, and save some green with the Boulder Independent Business Alliance's Community Benefit Card. Started as a way to help local businesses compete with big-box and national chain retailers, the Community Card costs $15 a year and offers discounts at more than eighty Boulder businesses on items ranging from CDs to legal fees. Get yours online (… More >>
  • Best Free Carpooling Service


    Summer vacation is a couple of months away, but many parents are already thinking about transportation arrangements for the coming school year. (They get that way.) If you're thinking of carpooling, the Denver Regional Council of Governments' RideArrangers SchoolPool program can put you in touch with other parents in the same frame of mind. If your child's school participates in… More >>
  • Best Bus Schedule

    RTD's Talk-N-Ride

    Any dedicated bus rider will tell you that trying to figure out a printed bus schedule is a literal pain in the neck: By the time you've added the estimated minutes between your stop and the timed stop notated on the schedule, you've already missed the bus you needed to catch minutes ago. Or something like that. But RTD's new… More >>
  • Best Student Travel Agency

    ACC Travel

    If the travel-and-tourism industry comes back, students at Arapahoe Community College will be ready to help customers book trips with the experience they've amassed as interns at ACC Travel, which is run by the school's travel-and-tourism department. They don't get paid, but they work like pros, booking real travel for real customers of the agency, a satellite office of DTR… More >>
  • Best Place for the Nosy But Cheap

    So, you want to know everything there is to know about a prospective employee, tenant, business partner, date, fiancé, soon-to-be-ex-spouse -- but just can't bring yourself to shell out the big bucks to a private investigator for a background check? Log onto, a 300-page do-it-yourself Web site that provides anyone with Internet access an exhaustive directory of public-information databases… More >>
  • Best Friend of Nosy Bosses

    Vericept Corporation
    (formerly eSniff)

    Employers who want to keep their workplace computers free of recreational use or abuse by workers -- who should have better things to do than spend all day bidding on kitsch on eBay or checking out the latest trends in video games -- now can turn to Vericept ( The Englewood company formerly known as eSniff makes software that… More >>
  • Best Friend of Nosy Co-Workers

    Fatline Corp.

    At the other end of the workplace surveillance continuum is the oh-so-Boulder FastTracker, software that allows everyone in a company to share their best Internet practices and the information they collect. Instead of the boss surreptitiously spying on individual workers, all employees know that in most cases their online activity is transparent to everyone else in the company and can quickly… More >>
  • Best Place for Disgruntled Co-Workers

    The Conflict Center

    As layoffs continue to rise, so does conflict, anger and resentment among those remaining on the job. Rather than let bad feelings fester into workplace violence, managers are learning how to manage conflict through programs offered by the Conflict Center. Workshops are conducted by local and national experts and offer training in practical supervisory skills, such as recognizing when co-workers… More >>
  • Best Help for Men in Tough Times

    Divorced Men Have Feelings Too

    So, you're sitting around in your newly leased one-bedroom apartment, wondering what happened to all the things you really cared about: the boat, the big-screen TV, your marriage. Rather than wallow in self-pity, crack open Divorced Men Have Feelings Too ($14.95, PDB Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 1809, Arvada, CO 80001) and take a big bite of the reality sandwich. Paul… More >>
  • Best Help for Women in Tough Times

    Sista's in the Spirit
    Charlene Ferguson

    Imagine what life would be like if it were more like TV commercials, where an offhand remark about your kids to your hairstylist would summon up your personal self-help guru bearing armloads of books she wants you to read. Actually, life is like that, if you get your 'do done at one of the beauty salons on Charlene Ferguson's regular… More >>
  • Best Office Visits for the Elderly

    Group Office Visits
    Dr. John Scott

    The typical managed-care office visit doesn't leave much time for the kind of small talk that can reveal otherwise overlooked symptoms of serious conditions, especially with elderly patients who don't like to complain. The patients of geriatric specialist Dr. John Scott now receive the benefit of an hour-long group visit once a month, where they learn about their multiple illnesses,… More >>
  • Best Hospital Amenities

    Longmont United Hospital

    A trip to the hospital isn't supposed to be a day at the spa, but it doesn't have to be dreadful, either. Longmont United Hospital was named "A Hospital With a Heart" last year, for good reason: Family kitchens and dining rooms, quiet rooms for meditation, and health-education libraries on every floor are just some of the amenities available to… More >>
  • Best Amenity in a Hospice

    Hospice of St. John

    Talk about a stirring story! Every Friday afternoon, volunteer Marty Slattery sets up shop at the Hospice of St. John, dispensing cocktails and comfort to the terminally ill. Back in the days when he was a drinker, Slattery tended bar; when he needed to fulfill a community-service requirement, he came up with the cocktail concept. Today it's a real public… More >>
  • Best Amenity at a Supermarket

    Gas stations at King Soopers

    You thought the ATM next to the checkout was convenient. Now you can fill up on your way out of the parking lot at King Soopers and City Market locations across the state. Parent company Kroger has been pumping petroleum products from mini-convenience stores since 1998; the metro Denver area now has eight locations. Use your Sooper Card for a… More >>
  • Best ATM Drive-Through

    Compass Bank

    Not only is Compass building goodwill with ATM users by not soaking them for fees (even if they aren't Compass customers!), but they tend to offer more pleasant surroundings for the cash-hungry on the move. This drive-through is well-designed, clean, well-lit and nicely landscaped. If only they'd plant a money tree, it would be ideal. … More >>
  • Best Custom Rugs

    Allure Custom Rugs

    Anyone who's shopped for floor coverings recently knows they usually come in two types: the wrong color that fits your space perfectly, or the perfect pattern that's only two feet too wide for your room. You can find the third type -- exactly what you want in exactly the size you need -- at Allure Custom Rugs. For more than… More >>
  • Best Staircases

    StairMeister Log Works

    Step up to a custom look in your little log cabin with a handcrafted spiral or curved stairway from StairMeister, a Boulder company that has carved out a niche business by offering replacement stairways for the standard steps included in most log-home kits. Tad and Kimberly Horning's shop off U.S. 36 turns out the designer staircases, which run between $3,000… More >>
  • Best Cheap Home-Improvement Items

    Bud's Warehouse

    Denver's Home Improvement Thrift Store is a fabulous community resource on many levels. It recycles usable building materials not accepted by regular thrift stores, so it's good for the environment. It sells building materials (everything including the kitchen sink) for up to 70 percent less than even big-box discounters, so it's good for your remodeling budget. Bud's Warehouse also provides… More >>
  • Best Tool Service

    Schlosser Tool & Machinery Co.

    A sharp tool is a safe tool. The guys at Schlosser Tool & Machinery have been keeping Denver woodworkers sawing safely for more than half a century. Bring your old hand blades -- saws, chisels, augers, anything but power tools -- to the service department and get them spiffed up for a whole new lifetime of service. It's a sharp… More >>
  • Best Mop Shop

    Eze Mop Co.

    Back when Denver really was a dusty old cowtown, the Jurenka clan came to town to clean up -- or at least give its good citizens the tools to do it. You might think that the venerable Eze Mop Company hasn't changed much since its founding more than fifty years ago, but you're wrong, pard. Second-generation owner David Jurenka can… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy a Parking Meter

    Antique Center on Broadway

    Ka-ching! Now that the city's cramming parking meters along every possible inch of asphalt downtown, why not cut yourself in on the action? A batch of Denver's old, obsolete parking meters have found quarter at Mike Kaplan's booth in the Antique Center. Fork over $22.50 and one of them can be yours -- ready to plant in front of your… More >>
  • Best New Use for the Old DIA Toll Plaza


    It may be one of the first airport amenities specifically designed for cell-phone users: In light of the security changes at Denver International Airport that eliminated the 45-minute free parking spots in the passenger pickup area, airport officials have designated the old toll-plaza area (torn down last year when the booths were relocated closer to the airport) as a new… More >>
  • Best Denver Invention That Immobilized the World

    The Denver Boot

    Back in the early '50s, some Denver cops were bemoaning the problems involved with towing cars -- and an inventor friend, Frank Marugg, shouldered the task of coming up with a better way to handle parking scofflaws. Enter the Denver Boot, the now-notorious clamp that paralyzes the front tire of an offending auto until its owner pays up (or gives… More >>
  • Best Key to the City


    In the big picture, a CashKey may seem like relatively small change -- but it can certainly change the lives of those who always have trouble finding a quarter (much less eight quarters) to feed Denver's ever-hungry parking meters. A $15 deposit nets you a programmable key from the Denver Department of Public Works; you buy $5 increments of parking… More >>