Spend the day in Denver's South Broadway neighborhood browing eclectic stores and taking in an artsy film.

More: One perfect day on South Broadway

Andrea M. Gómez

Denver’s SoBo is on the rise. Plan a day to explore the city’s up-and-coming hood

Steve Knopper

Why go: A flick at the Mayan Theatre is no longer the only draw in Denver's South Broadway area. Moviegoers are venturing out to eat, shop, and explore this up-and-coming neighborhood.

Main hub: Broadway, from First Avenue to West Alameda Avenue.

Getting to SoBo: From downtown Denver, head east on Speer Blvd., then turn right on Broadway and drive five blocks south. Info: denver.org

Aka: Locals know it as SoBo.

What it used to be: A sketchy strip of adult theaters and run-down taverns.

What it is now: An indie shopping stretch where you’ll find clothes, DIY supplies, furniture, books, and the occasional giant Buddha statue.

Where the locals shop: Decade (56 S. Broadway) for handmade jewelry, handbags, and furniture.

Neighborhood flavor: Wash down Czech bramboraky (garlic-seasoned potato pancakes) with a Pilsner at SoBo 151 ($; 151 S. Broadway).

Random combo we love: Appliance Professionals (closed Sun; 78 S. Broadway; 303/425-1425) sells classic candy like Boston Baked Beans, Mallo Cups—and, um, used refrigerators.

Farther afield: Furniture scavengers should head to “Antique Row,” south of Alameda Avenue.


Next: Things to do in Denver's SoBo district

1. DIY for beginners

If you’ve ever wanted to sew an A-line skirt or knit a pair of mittens, Fancy Tiger is for you. It’s packed with yarns of all colors and sizes, knitting needles, and how-to books, and offers lots of classes.

Across the street, the store’s clothing outpost carries duds made by local designers. 1 and 14 S. Broadway

2. Shop for Asian accents

T-Trove Asian Décor
Andrea M. Gómez

Elliot, the chow chow–German shepherd mix holding court at the front door of T-Trove Asian Décor, accepts patting. But don’t waste too much time—there’s a huge room full of granite lanterns, bronze lamps, ox-bone Buddha carvings, and handcrafted rosewood cabinets to explore. Closed Sun; 189 S. Broadway

3. A bohemian haunt

Jack Jensen, owner of Mutiny Now.
Andrea M. Gómez

Jack Jensen, the friendly, pompadoured owner of Mutiny Now, holds court over this shrine to used books and records, Beat poets, and pop art.

Page through a copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road as you listen to bebop, sip coffee, and wonder why the weird painting of a beautiful woman asks: WHO MAKES THE RULES ANYHOW? Closed Sun; 2 S. Broadway; 303/778-7579.

4. The $6 lunch

The $6 half-sandwich meal at Sputnik.
Andrea M. Gómez

Slip into one of the sunken booths at Sputnik, a vegan-friendly coffeehouse attached to the Hi-Dive music club. The half-sandwich meal (from grilled cheese to sliced chicken) is $6 with fries or mac ’n’ cheese.

At the “weekend hangover brunch,” expect black bean and green chile breakfast burritos, egg tacos, and most important, $2 mimosas. $; 3 S. Broadway; 720/570-4503.


Next: SoBo after-hours

Stick around for after-hours in SoBo

The Art Deco exterior of the Mayan Theatre.
Andrea M. Gómez

For a drink and a movie: The 80-year-old Mayan Theatre anchors the neighborhood and draws art-house crowds; a second-floor cafe supplements the popcorn with beer and wine. $; 110 Broadway; 303/744-6799.

For local tunes: The Skylark Lounge is an old-school chill-out bar with ’50s-style pinup photos on  the walls, and lively rockabilly bands on a tiny stage. 140 S. Broadway

For a date night: Red velvet curtains and classic blues playing overhead set the mood at Deluxe.

The filet and swordfish entrées may be pricey, but the oyster shooters are a steal at $10, as are the chicken, ginger, and garlic dumplings at $8. $$$; closed Sun; 30 S. Broadway; 303/722-1550.

For late-night eats: With a kitchen open until midnight, the Hornet is a happening after-hours spot for drinks and pasta shells Creole. $; 76 Broadway; 303/777-7676. 

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