Grand Hyatt Denver
Getting a cab in this town is becoming harder by the week. If you want to get home from downtown at let-out on a weekend, you'd better be ready to walk — or wait. While you wait, you might as well walk to a place where taxis congregate. At the Grand Hyatt, cabs line up looking for fares. Even after a few company Christmas parties released hundreds of drunk employees armed with cab vouchers onto the streets on a Saturday night in December, it still took only minutes to claim a cab from the waiting line. A concierge was eagerly matching people who wandered into the hotel with their rides and letting others wait in the warm, plush chairs by the fireplace of the hotel's cozy lobby. Even on a night when hotel staff is not feeling as festive and helpful, you've got a much better shot of catching a ride here than you do fending for yourself as part of the street crowd.
Smokey Banana Tattoo/Bananelope Coffee
The market was ripe for a non-chain coffee shop along the sprawl-tastic landscape between Denver and Boulder. But only on this stretch of road off Highway 36 in old Broomfield could the traditional cafe concept be married to a tattoo parlor and housed in a former auto shop. Or maybe it's not so unlikely, since Smokey Banana Tattoo and Bananelope Coffee were conjoined by husband-wife team Tom and Deb Cross, who moved into the space last fall after many years tattooing down the street. The atmosphere of psychedelic totem poles, Mexican wrestling art and smoothies makes it a spot that bikers, body modifiers and bored housewives should all find inviting. And when permanent ink is involved, it's better that artists and patrons alike be as caffeinated as possible.
Dogs of all shapes and sizes were present at the Mass Dog Wedding at Aspen Grove last May. In fact, the event — a benefit for the Denver Dumb Friends League — was a real howler. Participating pooches had to be at least six months old (no teen pregnancies here!), current with all vaccinations and on a leash. Prior to the ceremony, dogs without partners had the opportunity to speed-date to find that special furry someone. Comedian Ben Kronberg officiated at the wedding itself, which was followed by the cutting of a massive cake. Vendors and booths with displays on pet adoption and pet care riddled the parking lot, and all brides and grooms received veils and bow ties. It was certainly a sight to see, doggone it.
The Fabric Lab was getting so many requests for modified or custom-made clothing that it just made sense to open Made: A Custom Boutique, where customers can get the designs they want, in the size they want, on the item of clothing of their choice (T-shirt, men's polo or suit jacket? That's the question). The jewelry designers featured at the Lab were getting similar requests for weddings, other special events or just because, so they're in on the boutique, too. The custom clothing and jewelry take about two weeks to create, start to finish, and are available at prices ranging from $20 to $150. Quite reasonable, considering no one but you will have the specific article of clothing or jewelry; it's truly one-of-a-kind.
Goat's milk has been widely touted as a more digestible alternative to the bovine version, but finding a source can be a problem. Destiny's Dairy not only hawks a fresh, pasteurized product via Whole Foods, Vitamin Cottage and similar organic-food outlets, but it runs a clean, humane operation — one of the co-owners is also the on-site veterinarian — and offers free tours for the (human) kids. Next time you're in the Greeley area, check it out, and pick up some goat cheese, goat yogurt and chocolate goat milk while you're there.
Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops put the great in the great outdoors with the 1.2 million square-foot sports, lifestyle, entertainment and retail shop they plunked down just north of I-70 in Stapleton. This place is a hunter's palace — and we're not just talking the sort of hunters who like to buy guns and bait and boats. No, we're talking the kind of woman who likes to hunt guys who like to buy guns and baits and boats. And when you've managed to track down just the sort of guy you were looking for by the furniture, or the clothing, or the jerky displays, you can reel him in over drinks and dinner, since Bass Pro boasts a bar/restaurant, too. Useful tip for hunting: Bring your dog, since pooches are allowed in the store, and man's best friend can come in handy when you're trying to hook a he-man. Happy hunting!
On A Lark
The sign in the window at On a Lark says it all: "Loiter," it invites, and there are lots of reasons to do so when you walk into Janice McClure's homey, way-off-Broadway handmades haven. Formerly home to a laundromat, the hideaway is now draped with knit gossamer web shawls with metallic accents, old-fashioned quilts and throws, yellow knit double-breasted baby hoodie sweaters, a library of vintage children's books, as well as coffee cozies, quilted pincushions, Kewpie pillows, and cross-stitched aprons from another era, some old and some made by local artisans. Now that Wash Perk has reopened next door, On a Lark is the perfect destination for a lazy afternoon of lattes and shopping.

Best Place to Score a Fashion Find — the Hard Way

Ross Dress for Less

A committed bargain hunter — someone with more time than money — can turn up some real steals and deals at the Ross Dress for Less at Colorado Boulevard and Mexico Avenue. Although the deals are often hard-won — all the good stuff is hidden in with the junk — when you walk out with a new outfit, complete with accessories, for under $50, your time will have been well spent. This particular Ross store has a designated designer section and a great selection of name-brand clothing, shoes and purses. Yes, a $10 cashmere sweater can be found — if you're willing to dig deep.
SuperTarget
Forget your Cherry Creek cougar bars and your Whole Foods markets. They'll work in a pinch, sure, but to get your pure, unadulterated MILF-gawk on, head to Glendale, because gathered at the SuperTarget, as though sucked there via MILF-specific wormholes, are throngs of the city's choicest mamas, clad in their best pre/post-Pilates gear. At the Starbucks in the corner, perusing affordable picture frames or merely taking advantage of the store's ability to peddle booze (unlike other area supermarkets), the MILFs here are as hot as they are consistent, proving that there really is something for everyone at SuperTarget.
The Curtis
A robot greets you in the lobby, the help encourages decision-making by way of rock-paper-scissors, you can buy vintage candy in the 5&Dime lobby shop, aural comedy snippets accompany you during your elevator ride (downside: slow elevators; upside: they're funny once you hop aboard), and the themed levels — each floor is a paean to Big Hair, Sci-Fi, Chick Flick or some other pop category — are a laugh-out-loud cultural experience, though we dare ya to book a room on the thirteenth floor, where posters of horror heavies stare at you in the hallways. Dinner or a late-night bite is handy at the funky Corner Office, and you can even schedule a wake-up call from Mr. T. Kudos to Sage Hospitality Resources for bringing something different to the heart of downtown, in a handy location facing the Denver Performing Arts Complex. We pity the fool who doesn't stay here.

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