Best Salon for Curly Hair 2009 | Shapes Salon and Studio | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Sure, curly-haired girls can get a haircut at the same salons that their straight-haired friends patronize, but they risk the dreaded triangle hair (flat on top, poofy on the bottom) or the rounded, teased cut à la '80s hair-metal enthusiasts. Luckily for us curly girls, Denver has Shapes Salon and Studio, where the specialty is the Deva Curl method of dry-cutting curly locks. The hair-care system espoused at Shapes emphasizes washing with silicone- and sodium laurel sulphate-free shampoo, then drying hair with a pillowcase, but even if you don't follow those steps, you'll just need one haircut in their experienced hands for your curls to go from frizzy mayhem to Botticellian brilliance.
Walk into the Greetings From Colorado shop on Concourse A, and you might walk out with a T-shirt manufactured in Haiti — boasting the wrong date for the founding of Denver. Wander over to Denver's Picture Show Popcorn, and you'll find neither a Denver-based movie (a rare commodity, admittedly) nor Colorado corn. For a true taste of this state before you leave it, your best bet is the New Belgium Hub on Concourse B, at the bridge to the regional jet facility. Here you can not only enjoy many of the delicious beers brewed by the Fort Collins-based brewery, including Fat Tire, but you can order up a full meal with a distinct Colorado flavor — and even pick up food to go. Now, if we could just convince DIA to set up concourse carts that sell growlers of the beer that made this state famous; what better souvenirs could travelers take back to their brewpub-poor states? And remember, since you've already cleared security by the time you reach the concourses, there's no liquid ban to dry up this surefire marketing scheme.
From I-70, Bass Pro Shop looks like a mirage — a giant funplex surrounded by a sea of boats in landlocked Denver. And given the lack of a Northfield exit off the interstate, it can feel like you're chasing a mirage when you try to actually reach this store. But once you locate the proper exit (Quebec Street) and wind your way to the giant sporting goods outlet, you'll find your efforts rewarded with aisle after aisle devoted to every sport imaginable, as well as to home furnishings, gift items, clothing, even jerky. And if contemplating all the possible purchases is exhausting, you can always take a breather in the handy bar and restaurant. Special bonus: Bass welcomes dogs, hunting or not.
There's quite a bit of high-caliber retail at Belmar, but Jennifer Roberts's modern design boutique, Composition, rose above the rest thanks to its plethora of delightfully creative doodads — the sort of stuff that may not be essential to your existence but will surely make life a tiny bit more wonderful. Hankering for a four-lens camera? They've got it. A messenger bag made from repurposed inner tubes? It's right next to the purse fashioned from recycled candy wrappers. A 200-page coffee-table book on typography? Should be one left by the ode to structural packaging. No wonder the place received a shout-out in the New York Times; it's a modern aesthetics' paradise.
By Lonnie Hanzon, courtesy of the Wizard's Chest
The coonskin cap is an icon of American frontier history, and for many decades was a mainstay in any kid's toy chest. But you don't see them around much anymore, which can be a problem when you really need one — because there's simply no easy substitute. Thankfully, you can count on the Wizard's Chest, the Cherry Creek North toy and costume shop (an icon in itself) that carries the iconic caps year-round.
Origins you might already know: Showcasing natural cosmetics in a clean, light store with a grass, ash and concrete color scheme and a pleasant perfume, the operation also gives facials and chair massages, inviting customers to stop and set a while. To make it easier, there's a Pekoe Sip House tea counter within the spacious boutique, with rustic barnwood benches and tables where you can sip a steamy Earl Grey cambric in a clear thermal glass and contemplate the merits of receiving a Denver-centric High Elevation Hydration Facial.
Formerly called Mind Your Manor, Amy Doherty's vintage shop in Downtown Littleton will put you in mind of your grandma's attic, stuffed to the rafters as it is with pure treasure — Scrabble tiles, typewriter keys, bits of ribbon, old-fashioned postcards, tin toys — and bona fide antiques, from pretty flowered teacups to full-sized tables and wardrobes. In spring, there's the added attraction of one-of-a-kind garden ornaments, furniture and quaint pot racks, but in winter, Doherty does up the holiday theme, making this ersatz attic a year-round joy to peruse.
Lovely isn't the first of its kind in these parts and it won't be the last, but the vogue-ish, eco-centric boutique is certainly a sign of the times. The shop, which opened about a year ago in Olde Town by young entrepreneurs Emilie Oliver and Hallie Westall, features reasonably priced but trendsetting clothing made only from sustainable natural fabrics and produced using ecological methods; Oliver and Westall also follow green practices in-store. If cotton, silk, hemp and linen from Alternative Apparel, Big Star, Frenzy and Stewart Brown rock your boat, head to Olde Town, pronto. You'll save money and the environment.
This sister act, owned by Wendy and Sue Sjogren, is a veritable slice of resale heaven, stocked with a goldmine of beautiful bargains that change with every week and season, are chosen with care and are impeccably, immaculately clean. Cashmere? Piles of it. Coach? Buttery bags hanging from the rafters. High-end, unscuffed pumps? In the house. Scarves? Designer jeans? Business suits? Yes, yes and yes. It's all there, and if you're patient, you could just see the price on your favorite item drop, thanks to a store policy of reducing the cost by increments if something languishes on the racks too long.

Best Store on Old South Gaylord Street


Pome is perennial winner in our book, so you'd think we'd have a hard time thinking of something new to say about it. But that's just the thing: Kate Feinsod's adorable home-away-from-home Pome is undergoing a move and a makeover, and we just have to crow about it. Opportunity knocked when the Art Pedlar, a longtime ceramic shop across the street from Pome, closed its doors, leaving a vacant spot on the block. Long story short, Feinsod's moving her entire shabby-chic kit-and-caboodle from the currently sweet-but-cramped shop to the more spacious one, where she'll be able to realize a few dreams about what a neighborhood boutique should be. We can't give it all away, but let's just say it has something to do with Kaladi's coffee, Red Trolley ice cream cups and a garden.

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