The wayback model at Cedar & Hyde is the general store, which was once the hub of every whistle-stop, where folks went to buy everything from barrel pickles and lengths of muslin to big-city bonnets and sacks of flour. But nothing's outdated at this shop, which sisters Christie and Poss Lambert call a "modern-day mercantile." The Lamberts start by catering to every member of the family in a neat shop with a rustic feel, stocking clothing for kids, men and women, including sturdy jeans, and things for the home, from sweet handcrafted bronze garden foxes to wooden bangles, jars of artisan pickles from the Real Dill, beard oil and ikat cloth napkins. And it works.

Twist & Shout
Ken Hamblin III

The record store isn't dead — it's alive and well, and Twist & Shout has the legacy to prove it. This Denver institution has moved around the city a few times since its 1988 birth, but several key elements remain — notably, a dedication to stocking shelves with rare and radio-friendly cuts, and a healthy selection of music-related books and band merch. Twist is also known for its deep connection to the local music scene, running an efficient consignment system for up-and-coming-bands and employing many an area musician over the decades. Weekly specials give music fans a chance to purchase limited-edition releases, and the shop's commitment to in-store performances proves that Twist & Shout has its finger on the pulse of the people.

Fancy Tiger

While their iconic craft and clothing stores didn't singlehandedly bring the bustle back to Broadway, Matthew Brown and jaime Jennings's Fancy Tiger mini-empire certainly led the way. The couple saw the potential of the Baker shopping district and ran with it, and both stores have grown comfortably into the rhythm of the street. Brown's clothing-and-accesories boutique exudes a hipsterish elegance and sense of design that can't be copied, while the craft shop spearheaded Denver's whole handmade scene with fabulous fabrics, books and notions, as well as classes and crafter nights that have helped build a strong, arty community.

Part of South Broadway's appeal is its length: Cut up into one distinct shopping oasis after another, all the way south to Englewood, it's an urban silk road of industry and quirky businesses that one could easily spend a full week exploring from end to end. Baker is a jewel box of singular shops — Lowbrow, Fancy Tiger, Buffalo Exchange, Ironwood and Sewn among them — while farther down the drag, Antique Row offers its garage-sale flavor and fabulous finds. Other groupings pop up toward the outskirts of the city, where you'll fine shops like the Concoctory hackerspace, craft and fabric store Treelotta, Angelo's CDs & More and the time-honored veteran Kolacny Music. Give your regards to Broadway.

The Tattered Cover started a new chapter this year when it gave up a floor in LoDo and moved most of its offices to the Colfax location. But there's still plenty to love in this store, a true oasis on the edge of the 16th Street Mall. The setting alone — a turn-of-the-last-century warehouse building with high ceilings, big windows and creaky wooden floors — is reason enough to stop in. But the Tattered Cover gives you plenty of reasons to stay for hours, with a still-substantial collection of new books, a friendly staff that will help you locate anything you can't find, and lots of cushy seating where you can enjoy magazines and snacks from the newsstand and coffee shop. With many independent stores closing the book on the business, the Tattered Cover is a true treasure. And come this summer, we'll have another gem: a satellite TC location just a block away, in Denver's revived Union Station.

Kilgore Used Books and Comics

A Capitol Hill staple, Kilgore offers a fabulous, neighborhood-friendly selection of used books for the best prices. The titles are hand-picked by owners Luke Janes and Dan Stafford, who specialize in offbeat fiction by the likes of Kerouac, Bukowski, Vonnegut and Palahniuk, as well as a wide range of tomes on philosophy, the occult, metaphysics and science fiction. Kilgore is also the place to find all manner of independent comics and zines from local artists.

Year after year, the Boulder Book Store stands out as a must-stop shop for anyone meandering the Pearl Street Mall. An intriguing layout makes browsers feel like they're in an old library, while the endless selection — books line every wall, table and empty space — could waylay a shopper for hours. There's just something about climbing the shop's steep, creaky stairs to the top floor, rounding a corner and picking out the perfect book from a floor-to-ceiling shelf that no amount of online ordering can match.

Shop owners no longer merchandise their shelves; they curate them. And Lon McGowen of Boulder's LON Little Shop might just be the most particular curator of them all. He's got a knack for making a tiny closet of a space look somehow airy, using a cocktail of spare, smart design and a handpicked selection of perfect items to make it so: One-buck French throwaway pens and pencils, colorful plastic KeepCups from Australia, easy gold jewelry, linen kitchen towels, herringbone baseball caps and anything else that says "hipper-than-thou" without being loud about it. There are also a few ingenious LON store-label items tucked into the mix, such as the magnificent LON Little Speaker, a two-inch-square wireless cube you can take with you wherever you go. All of this plus McGowen's secret retail coup — affordable prices! — make LON Little Shop a must-stop when strolling the Pearl Street Mall district.

What is a maker? It's a relevant question in these times, when everyone wants to be a creative and has access to the tools — from a basic laptop to a sewing machine — to do it. The Concoctory was concocted to help define the art of making, and it does so in a variety of ways — beginning with its role as a DIY supply shop for craft kits, electronics parts, tech toys, soldering irons and 3-D printing services, and amping it up as a hackerspace that you can join for a minimal monthly fee that includes 24-hour access to a variety of tools and equipment. The Concoctory also hosts weekly open-house hack nights and workshops addressing everything from lock-picking to working with Arduino technology. Stop thinking, start making: The Concoctory is the perfect place to start.

There is so much stuff in the world that doesn't rot away overnight. The planet is overflowing with it, and landfills can't hold any more. But Spacecraft, which calls itself a "creative reuse store," has found a niche in rescuing at least a tiny portion of usable junk for upcycling by crafters and artists. Think of it as a craft-supply thrift store that also offers classes for all ages; a membership in the volunteer-run concern will get you extra perks like first pick of new items and a free class every month. Spacecraft also invites environmentally concerned companies to trade in their office junk for a free artifact handcrafted from their donated detritus of pen caps and tape-dispenser rings. The shop won't take all of your expendables — there's a detailed list of what they do and don't accept — but in terms of helping to clean up the world, it's a step in the right direction.

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