Best Barber Shop for Shooting the Shit 2023 | Techniques Hair Shop | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

A key element of the barber shop experience is shooting the shit, and Techniques Hair Shop is ahead of all the rest. Jeremy, the shop's founder, always has new info about what's been happening in Denver, especially in his neck of the woods, the Art District on Santa Fe. But he and his colleague, Gil, also love to talk about news events around the country and just life in general, sending customers away not just with great-looking hair, but a loaded brain beneath it.

860 Santa Fe Drive

We've all heard the horror stories about home renovation projects: shoddy workmanship, broken promises and no-show subcontractors. Enter hunky Rico León, HGTV's first Latino host, who helps Front Range homeowners salvage their properties when things go wrong.  A contractor himself, he tries to work with both parties, but if that fails he steps in with his team and makes things right. Just renewed for a second season, Rico is building for the future.

When things get ruff at Rose, staffers count on Peppi, the yellow lab, for comfort. Patients are asked if they like dogs, and if they do, in comes Peppi. She lands, almost catlike, beside the patient on the gurney without disturbing a single IV tube or bandage. Peppi succeeds Wynn, a service dog in training who became famous for her viral photo with her tired owner, Dr. Susan Ryan (caretaker of both dogs), during the pandemic.

4567 East 9th Avenue

Founded in 2010 by then-high-schooler Demi Merritt, Demi's Animal Rescue is a no-kill shelter that offers pet retention support, adoptions and spay/neuter events. In order to cover the cost of rehabilitating high-risk cats that might be overlooked by those adopting pets, Merritt created the thrift store. It's a well-organized shop with donated clothing, household and sporting goods, and two rooms full of free-roaming available cats.

5895 East Evans Avenue, #102

Walter, a Great Pyrenees rescue, greets customers in this carefully curated, vintage-vibed store that stocks handmade pet accessories, cocktail kits, soap, retro kitchen goods, baby gifts, animal-themed tarot cards and jewelry. Many items are created locally, including artisan caramels made in Wheat Ridge.

1502 Kearney Street

Does your dog go wherever you go, no matter what? You're in luck: Every Fido and Fifi is admitted inside participating Aspen Grove businesses displaying a decal picture of mascot dog "Croix" in the window. There are rules that dog owners must follow, but the whole shopping center goes out of its way to welcome leashed or carrier-bound canine visitors with water dishes placed by shop doors, complimentary treats and even poop bags neatly stashed in the decorative planters lining the sidewalk. Next stop, dog park?

If you have a particularly rambunctious pup, head for this hill. Barnum Dog Park is somewhat bare-bones, with pebble landscaping rather than grass that tends to wear out your dog sooner, and it's consistently clean. With a gated area for small dogs, you won't have to worry about any larger dogs backing yours into a corner. What we love most about this park, though, is its clear view of the Denver skyline. The nearby gazebos present a chill place to kick back, and if you're looking to get some human exercise, you can walk Fido down to the Barnum Park Lake Reservoir.

Flickr/Jeffrey Beall

Craving the outdoors, but don't want to drive to the mountains? Get your nature fix at the 160-acre Washington Park. With two lakes and sprawling lawns with pristine trails, the park makes for an ideal outing any time of the year. There are two flower gardens (one a replica of George Washington's) that burst with color in the spring, and come summer, there are multiple recreational options, with tennis and basketball courts, grills for barbecuing, pedal boat rentals and several trails, including a 2.3-mile path circling the park. And don't forget your binoculars: Wash Park is a favorite for bird watching in Denver.

At the Simms Street Recreation Center in Arvada, pickleball enthusiasts have their choice of playing the game indoors or outdoors, with the Marquardt-Miles Outdoor Pickleball Courts outside the rec center, and indoor drop-in games available from November through March. Players will appreciate the low cost and the chance to bring a group of friends to enjoy every dink, swoosh and thwack of the energetic game.

Enjoy the views while you throw your disc at Wondervu Disc Golf Course. The course is just a quick jaunt into the foothills from Denver, providing a variety of holes not often seen at mountain disc golf courses and covering plenty of distance for those looking to escape into a game. Wondervu is making major improvements for the 2023 season, including adding more picnic tables and redesigning holes to make play even better.

136 Camp Eden Road, Coal Creek

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