Bass Pro Shops
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.
Composition
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.
The Wizard's Chest
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.
Pekoe Sip House
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.
Pink Attic Cat
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.
Clotheshorse Consignment Boutique
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

Pome
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.
Seven Cups
Greg Fellman opened the local Seven Cups, a franchise based in Tucson, with a mission. After living in China, where his interest in tea blossomed, he hoped to introduce Denverites to the subtleties of fine Chinese teas by sharing his knowledge while offering an exclusive selection of quality, organically grown leaves. And he does it there every day, selling dozens of loose-leaf varieties and an inexpensive tea service. But on Friday afternoons at 3 p.m., Fellman hosts a weekly tasting where the sampling is free and the ambience, enhanced by Chinese artwork and rosewood furniture, is lovely.
Jerri's Tobacco Shop and Fine Wines
Hidden behind the Hard Rock Cafe and in the shade of the Denver Pavilions, Jerri's Tobacco Shop isn't the kind of store you happen upon accidentally. It's a place you seek out because someone's brother recommended it or because a guy at the bar told you about it. Located downtown since 1955, when Jerry Goodman opened for business, the shop has moved several times and is now owned by Jerry's son Bret. But it still hooks customers up with a wide selection of stogies, cigar accoutrements, pipes, tobacco and, since 2006, a nice trove of wines, including a couple of Colorado vintages. It's the perfect place to end a long day of work or kick off the beginning to a too-short weekend.

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