The lights are very bright on Broadway, and 2012 is shaping up to be the year that SoBo, with its growing lineup of independent shops and boutiques, second-hand emporiums and quirky dining spots, becomes a solid destination.
The biggest news on the hip and funky stretch of Broadway between First and Alameda avenues is the upcoming, side-by-side alliance of Fancy Tiger and Buffalo Exchange. Fancy Tiger, which is now split into two locations -- the crafty DIY supply store/workshop and the youthfully leaning clothing store -- will be reunited in a new space opening at 55-59 Broadway on January 4 or 5 after a swift post-Christmas move; at the same time, Buffalo Exchange, a longtime Capitol Hill stalwart at 230 East 13th Avenue, will move in next door (Buffalo Exchange plans to reopen on Broadway the day after Christmas).
This development also opens the door to other moves. For example, Sewn -- a collaboration between seamstress/designer Jil Cappuccio and clothing upcycler Kirsten Coplans of Pearl Clothing -- will soon find a home in the former Fancy Tiger Clothing space at 18 South Broadway. The final link in the switcheroo will be Happy Coffee, set to open in the former Fancy Tiger craft store space at 1 South Broadway, adjacent to Sputnik and the hi-dive.
And in this age of small-world, shop-local ideology, the timing couldn't be more perfect. The Fancy Tiger/Buffalo Exchange pairing represent a powerful one-stop for Denver's young creative crowd, packed with quality affordable used and new wearables with an indie streak, as well as a much-expanded center for the local DIY craft movement. "We're calling our building Tigalo," says Fancy Tiger's Matthew Brown. "It's what happens when a Tiger and a Buffalo get funky together." And he has high hopes for just that kind of communal solidarity to grow over time between the building mates, in tune with the street's cultivated, low-key vibe.
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Sewn, on the other hand, replaces Brown's old store with a new one in the same spirit, but with a slightly different stitch: Cappuccio and Coplans, who've already combined their lines to great success in Cappuccio's current Ogden Street shop, at local craft fairs and their own seasonal, self-produced Indie Wearable Craft markets, represent the designer/retailer model by producing the well-finished, one-of-a-kind, serendipitously mix-and-matchable lines of merchandise they sell. They're hoping to be open for business in late January; Brown calls it a "curated" move he purposefully helped facilitate in hopes of preserving the SoBo culture.
But for Coplans, it's a move that just makes sense: "We take a little different angle from what's already happening there. Our aesthetic and clothes cross the demographic from a younger to an older clientele. We're hoping this fills a niche not already represented on South Broadway." As with their Indie Wearable Craft venture, the boutique will carry work from a select group of fellow designers, and the mood in the shop will be one of creative industry; Coplans and Cappuccio will also use it as a workspace where they can stitch and sew while they sell their wares.
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