Colorado's Pearl

Celebrating 25 years, Boulder's pedestrian mall is just hitting its stride

Pearl Street pedestrian mall in Boulder Colorado

Students and visitors find lots of independent shops ― particularly sporty ones ― along the Pearl Street pedestrian mall.

Erik Rank

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At 25, Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado, continues to generate edgy energy, controversy, and cosmopolitan flair. Here are some of the places we always duck our heads into. For information on anniversary events, contact (303) 449-3774 or www.boulderdowntown.com.

(A) Muy caliente
"This is one of the hot spots on Pearl, and after 10 o'clock, it really gets going," boasts Triana co-owner John Jarecki―and we have to agree. Grab a sidewalk table at this nuevo Spanish sizzler and start your evening with ceviche tapas. 1039 Pearl St.; (303) 449-1022.

(B) Artful lodger
Pam Gonacha at Smith-Klein Gallery stimulates Pearl Street's eclectic art scene by showcasing exciting emerging artists. This summer she's offering the area's most extensive collection of hand-blown art glass, plus a huge cache of antique and new stone-carved Zuni animal fetishes. 1116 Pearl; (303) 444-7200.

(C) Recommended reading
Beyond the old copper-clad, double-door entry, Boulder Book Store houses four floors packed with 400,000 titles, and there's a steady schedule of author signings, readings, and creative workshops. Step down into the adjoining BookEnd Café for a transcendental mocha. 1107 Pearl; (303) 447-2074. Café: (303) 440-6699.

(D) Haute pots Peppercorn is a 15,000-square-foot kitchen and home decor fantasyland, where wafting scents of fine soaps mingle with aromatic sweet spices and freshly ground coffee. With a hefty cookbook selection and plenty of gear, gadgets, and goodies. 1235 Pearl; (303) 449-5847.

(E) Information Kiosk: (303) 449-3774.

(F) Fine fine art
Old brick walls and original embossed-tin ceilings frame well-chosen selections of spaciously displayed contemporary paintings (including spirited canvases by Colorado's Michelle Torrez) in Dearborn Rieder Fine Art Gallery, the Pearl's only "fine art only" gallery. 1420 Pearl; (303) 442-4777.

(G) Treasure chest
For 31 years, art-loving gift seekers have browsed the Boulder Arts & Crafts Cooperative, a payload of pottery, sculpture, textiles, jewelry, glass, and woodwork. 1421 Pearl; (303) 443-3683.

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