Best Store on Old South Pearl Street 2009 | Seven Cups | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
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.
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.
Shoe aficionados and sisters Laurel and Lindsey Tate are into the whole foot, and they've decided that you don't have to sacrifice either comfort or style when choosing the right footwear. We like their shop partly because it is still independent on a stretch of the mall that's becoming less and less so, and because it features a truly cosmopolitan selection of cute kicks and favors interesting brands. Walk on in.
Though a small store, Rejuvanest feels as if it's got an endless variety of nooks and crannies each jammed with baby blankets and bibs, aromatic bath products and scented ironing water or hand-reupholstered chairs. But it's also bedtime central, whether you're aiming to feel sultry on your wedding night or ootsy-cutesy in your itsy-bitsy bathrobe when you're three months old. Hanging off one door, you might find some lacey Wendy Glez thongs, or, on another rack, a selection of seductive Victorian-style camis. It's the place to find both wedding lingerie and hooded towels for tots, filmy gowns and wholesome Colorado-made flannel PJs for cold, snowy evenings in front of the fire. Nighty-night!
It will discombobulate you at first to see tea strainers and bike locks hanging side by side, and the odor of rubber and grease isn't what you usually expect to mingle with the delicate scents of tea. But somehow it all works at Urbanistic Tea and Bike Shop, a little nook in Highlands Square that is run by the brother-sister team of Ethan and Michelle Bontrager. Ethan is a bike mechanic who also repairs wagons, strollers and just about anything on unmotorized wheels; Michelle, who's clearly tasted every single one of her selection of 140 teas, is the tea expert, and she usually keeps a pot of something soothing brewing behind the counter. It's the ultimate urban experience.
Denver-based Teatulia doesn't market a lot of teas: it offers a simple range of eight organic, pesticide-free leaves and blends direct from a sustainable Bangladesh tea garden. But all of them are grown naturally and packaged in biodegradable canisters. Teatulia also supports a Bangladeshi cooperative by feeding a portion of profits back into the community to establish cattle herds and improve hygiene, education and literacy. And the topper is that Teatulia teas really do taste good: rich, sweet and perfectly cured, each small-batch brew sticks in your memory, a cup well-savored.
We already like Safari Seconds enough to have raved about it here in 2006 and 2008, but the place, a dirt-cheap, refugee-run thrift store that helps African immigrants get on their feet, just keeps on giving. Since moving last summer to a more visible space on Broadway, the shop has hosted clothing giveaways every last Friday of the month, sometimes with a bit of fanfare and African food and music, but always offering secondhand specials at the best price of all: free. Spring cleaning was never so much fun.
It's a bureaucratic slap in the face stuck under your windshield wiper. A stupid parking ticket for not moving your car on street-sweeping day — same as the one you got last month. But now those nefarious parking regulators have met their match, courtesy of The online operation sends you monthly e-mail reminders to move your car the night before street-sweeping day. All you do is go to the website's Denver page, fill in your street-sweeping info and wait for your reminders. That's it: No fees, no advertisements, no strings attached — and no ticket in the morning.
Martha Stewart not doing it for you? Rachael Ray lost her "yummo"? If so, turn back the culinary clock by taking a long, strange trip into the University of Denver's Margaret Husted Culinary Collection, one of the country's largest cookbook libraries, with 9,000 books and magazines, some dating back centuries. Here you'll find the ingredients for any gastronomic fancy, whether it's how much lard to rub into your sweetbreads or how to add Borax to your meatballs, cancer risk be damned. And while you can't take these treasures home — no one likes removing marinara from seventeenth-century vellum — you can photocopy pages and then hit the kitchen like they did before haute was hot.
What could be more Boulder than an eco-friendly department store? Ellie's covers all the bases: There are green building materials, compact fluorescent lightbulbs, recycled copy paper, non-toxic cleaners, organic cotton sheets, just about everything compostable (from paper plates to trash bags) and even electric scooters. The green mega-market, an offshoot of manufacturer Eco-Products, which has been making biodegradable items in Boulder for nearly twenty years, is founder Steve Savage's dream come true and could easily become your green pasture, as well.

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