Best Power-Women Meet-Up 2016 | Bad News Babes Social Club | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Inviting local successful women from an array of industries and disciplines to the stage to share their power moves is how Bad News Babes Club goes down. Business owners, butchers, artists and motorcycle-club leaders offer sold-out crowds insight into the work they do through bi-monthly conversations and Q&A sessions. The lecture series/party keeps it casual with drinks, snacks and a rotating selection of extracurriculars — such as chemical-free mani-pedis and on-the-spot tattooing — on deck. Serving to empower others through the experience and knowledge of fellow wise women, Bad News Babes Social Club is yet another great creation from Tran Wills. A longtime small-business owner herself, Wills has become a central influencer on Denver's retail, art and fashion communities and has designed a brand-new way to take the bore out of networking.

Bigfoot, Yowie & Yeti might just be Denver's wackiest boutique. As the name implies, it caters to a rare breed — the Bigfoot enthusiast — and, of course, it takes one to know one. Store owner Michael Johnson has a predilection for Abominable Snowman lore, and he helps lead Sasquatch hunts as a founder of Sasquatch Investigations of the Rockies, a group that — you guessed it — traipses about the Colorado high country in search of evidence that the mythical creatures are real and live right here in the Rockies (see evidence catalogued at Whether or not you're a true believer, a visit to Bigfoot, Yowie & Yeti should be made at least once in a lifetime, if only to stock up on yeti-centric T-shirts and hats, mugs, Sasquatch field guides, Bigfoot bandages and lunchboxes, and — this is a must — hairy Bigfoot slippers. It never hurts to have a great gag gift in the closet, and every item you buy helps fund further Bigfoot research.

2346 S. Colorado Blvd.

Just up the street from the home base of Animal Planet's Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet is one of the city's best-stocked boutiques for pampered pets. At Mouthfuls, one of the main attractions is the signature "bone bar" that allows Chumley (or Rufus or Bella) to sample and approve exotic treats — cheese-and-liver stars, dinner-mint bones, you name it — before their owners shovel heftier portions into bags for purchase. You can also order mix-and-match samplers from a virtual bone bar online. Your canine companion may be leading a dog's life, but that doesn't mean it has to be ruff.

For more than twenty years, Jeff Lee and Ann Martin, two longtime Tattered Cover employees, used their paychecks to subsidize a dream: the Rocky Mountain Land Library. Today their dream is close to reality: Thanks to a planning grant from the Borgen Family Foundation, the historic Buffalo Peaks Ranch by the ghost town of Garo in Park County will soon boast a residential library as well as a repository for more than 32,000 books on natural history and the West. In the meantime, the couple hosts occasional pop-ups in metro Denver. Book 'em!

Buffalo Peaks Ranch
Park County

Libraries truly are for everyone. Ever responsive to its unique clientele, which includes homeless patrons seeking to plug into public computers, the Denver Central Library added social worker Elissa Hardy to its staff last spring to help match people on the street — or those who just have problems they can't afford to treat — with housing opportunities, counseling and services. "Sometimes our customers don't even know they need help, and that's where I come in — to assist them in ways that make them feel comfortable and supported," says Hardy, who is one of the first social workers in the nation to be employed by a public library. In a town where the homeless are constantly being shuffled around with no real place to go, this is a small step toward recognizing that the daily human tragedy taking place on our streets won't go away simply by ignoring it. Let's hope this is just the beginning of a national trend in public service.

Not wild about bossy book groups? Do you distrust those computer-generated "recommended for you" lists spewed out by Amazon and Netflix? Simply by filling out a brief request form online, detailing your favorite (and least-favorite) subjects, authors and titles, you can get a customized reading list from the Denver Public Library that's actually been prepared by a living, breathing, fellow book lover. No more bum leads, no more lame suggestions that if you liked Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays, you should check out Where's Waldo?. This list's for you.

Tucked in the back of Black Eye Coffee in its airy LoHi location is a pop-up enterprise that's just the right fit for the area's bohemian vibe: a once-refrigerated 1930s display case that now houses a chill selection of independent and imported magazines, from Delayed Gratification to Kinfolk to Life & Thyme. Walled In's selection, which includes paeans to design, niche markets and unconventional journalism, doesn't try to compete with the huge inventory of the big-box chain stores, but rather provides an eclectic and welcome alternative to the prefab — just like the coffee shop itself.

3408 Navajo St.

Those of us who still love to read books (the kind with pages made of paper) pay a high price to do so — which is why waiting for tomes to be discounted makes so much sense. Problem is, the titles that wind up in the budget sections at most book shops tend to be former mass-market bestsellers you passed up the first time around — for a reason. In contrast, Boulder Book Store boasts a huge, and hugely unpredictable, variety of markdowns, including literary fiction by cult authors whose work most retailers don't bother to stock. The opportunity to see it all in one place, as opposed to searching for individual items online, makes it much simpler to discover your next favorite book for a price you can afford.

Think of Local Editions as a public service to Colorado authors: The store deals only in books published by locals in all genres, though you'll be surprised at how much variety the marketing model generates. Owner Ron Vejrostek, who is in the tax and finance business and has written a book on the subject himself, calls the shop a "mini book store," as it deals with only about 100 titles at any given time, but his tender loving care is evident in the nook, which is small enough to display all books facing out. And because Vejrostek strives to provide patrons with the most pleasant of book-browsing experiences, there's also a coffee bar, with hot java available for a mere buck.

Heaven for a bookworm? Holing up in a private room above a bookstore sounds like just the thing, and that's a real possibility that exists right here in Denver, on Tennyson Street. Already responsible for crafting an inviting venue where you can sip wine or nosh on tea sandwiches while you browse the shelves for something to read, BookBar owner Nicole Sullivan converted an upstairs apartment into an Airbnb destination and called it BookBed. It's the perfect getaway for vacationers who like privacy and the ambience of an urban neighborhood — and if they happen to be bookish, new reading material is just a staircase away, along with the strollable shops and friendly eateries of the Berkeley Shopping District. Book it, Denver!

Best Of Denver®

Best Of