Best Big Thrift Shop 2001 | Goodwill Store | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
You pays your money, you takes your choice. And with the size of the newest Goodwill store -- a robust 11,300 square feet -- you have to be alert to the good things Goodwill will sometimes have coming and going. Skis? Sure. Snowboards? Once in a while. The best way to check it out is to check it out. While the economy was booming (remember that?), donations were up. However, the recent downturn has also been good for business, with buyers pushing profits from donated items over $20 million, organizers say. That's enough to fund programs for more than 6,000 disabled and disadvantaged people annually, mostly through job-training and support services. All while giving a few of those snowboards, skis -- and maybe some faded Levi's -- new lives with new owners.

Since 1982, Lenore Stoddard and her band of loyal volunteers have staffed this fundraising venture for Children's Hospital. And what funds they've raised! La Cache has generated more than $1 million for the hospital to date, even while giving consignors two-thirds of the purchase price. Shoppers will find a treasure trove of high-quality and rare sterling, china, jewelry, linens and antique furniture; look in the Blue Light room for incredible bargains. And don't be surprised to find curators sniffing around: This Cache has cachet.

Not long ago, there was a mink coat on sale at the Treasure Trunk. Although it was priced to move at $65, some shrewd -- but not necessarily PC -- fashion-hound snapped it up on a half-price day. Clean and well-organized, both the big, new shop on Colfax and the original in Wheat Ridge benefit Family Tree shelters, programs for victims of domestic violence, and the homeless. Donations can be made at any time; while you're there, you can think mink and look around for down.
When an organization runs dozens of programs and ministries that do everything from counseling unwed pregnant women to running a crisis shelter, it needs to dig deeper than just the collection plate, even if the 4,000-member flock is generous. That's why Riverside Baptist Church has been blessed with abundance at its heavenly gift shop. Riverside sets out its offerings inside the main entrance: You can't get to the pews without going through the gift shop. From Bibles to breath mints, it's all right there. Say "Amen" and offer it up!

Taking kids to the Shop Skip and a Jump store at the Children's Museum is like taking a group of chocoholics to the Hershey factory. You'll find some of the hippest gear for both learning and playing here: dinos, twirlers, books, games and other gizmos, all at your (sticky) fingertips. Cash proceeds benefit the museum, and the creative stuff benefits the tykes.

Buffalo gals, won't you come out tonight? There are times when we hunger to dig into a big hunk of beast, be it beef or buffalo, grilled a perfect medium rare. But just as often, we have a hankering to see the critter put to another use -- as a great Western belt, bag or jacket. Preferably one about to be purchased by us. At the Denver Buffalo Company, you can satisfy both desires. Just beyond the swanky dining room that serves buffalo (and non-bison items) in a number of delicious forms, stands the Trading Post, which sells buffalo hide in a number of forms. But leather goods aren't the only excellent Western items offered here. You'll find jewelry and jerky, nightlights and nightshirts, art and artifacts. And where else in town can you pick up a totem pole at 9 p.m. while your companion pays off the dinner check?
You know how cranky you can become after a day of shopping, comparing prices on sofas and testing fabrics on divans. Take a break and get refreshed at Jake Jabs's huge American Furniture Warehouse emporium on the north side of town. A cup of joe, a light snack, and you're back on the showroom floor in no time. The new Megastore off Peoria Street and E-470 should be serving in the near future, too. Here's your chance to see how that new sofa would look with fresh coffee stains.

Real quality furniture at affordable prices -- there's a concept! It's the one Brian Frenkel and Jason Reimer put to work at the Furniture Room, which carries cream-of-the-crop designer lines of retro and contemporary furniture, from chairs and sofas to mattresses and bedframes. How much you save depends on your taste: You can get what you see on the floor straight from the warehouse, or you can customize your selection, pay more and get it about a month later.

Best Stash of Stuff in a Furniture Store


Although the floor is a little less dusty since this store moved from an ancient LoDo warehouse to a new space on Santa Fe, Brandon's basic business concept remains unchanged: Jam as much stuff as possible into the building and see what goes out the door. On any given day, the jam could include large sofas covered with fake leopard skin, big porcelain bowls decorated with grapes, peculiar imitation Impressionist paintings, endless end get the idea. No matter what you're looking for, we guarantee you'll find something else that you simply can't live without at Brandon.
The building that started life in 1899 as Kopper's Hotel and Saloon today houses Diamond Lil's, believed to be the only adult bookstore in a nationally recognized historic building (it made the National Register of Historic Places in 1999); perhaps more important, it's also the last porn shop in downtown Denver. Lil's keeps the tradition of "beautiful ladies behind glass" alive, with two convenient bay windows for your viewing pleasure -- although the ladies who work them are considerably less Victorian in behavior and appearance than the impeccably restored building. In any era, it qualifies as a genuine beauty.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of