The practice doorways opened up, I stepped off, and all of a sudden I used to be transported again in time. I had left the massive towering buildings of Denver with crowds of individuals bustling round and arrived in historic Olde City Arvada. My time machine solely took 20 minutes! The very first thing I seen was the welcoming old-timey water tower standing close to the practice tracks. You don’t see water towers like that any longer. What was as soon as a provider of water to this small city is now the landmark of a group.
I walked off the practice platform and seen that no constructing was over a few tales which is why the water tower stood out to me. The streets have been crammed with individuals casually strolling down the center of them, and eating places’ out of doors seating spilled over into the road in a welcoming method. I used to be greeted by eating places, bars, ice cream outlets, artwork shops, and bakeries. Immediately the world felt prefer it slowed down, and I set free a giant sigh of aid.
Surprisingly this was my first journey to Arvada since I’ve lived in Denver, and now I don’t know why I waited so lengthy to go there.
Olde City Arvada – A Small City within the Shadows of a Huge Metropolis
The small group idea in cities has began to permeate Denver within the final decade. However the one draw back to this idea is except you reside in that little neighborhood, it’s usually onerous to get there should you don’t wish to drive there or are a vacationer visiting Denver. Nevertheless, Olde City Arvada and its small-town Fundamental Avenue allure is well accessible on the RTD gentle rail system in Denver!
Twenty minutes and $6 will get you to and from Olde City from Denver’s Union Station. It’s solely 8 miles from the skyscrapers of downtown Denver, but it surely appears like a totally totally different world.
Olde City Arvada Map
You should definitely examine the RTD schedule for instances.
Olde City Historical past
If you’re a historical past nut, Arvada is filled with it. If you get off the sunshine rail, you’ll discover a bunch of informational indicators about how Arvada was the location of the very first gold strike in Colorado. Plus, my favourite piece of historical past was that this rail commute I simply did has been round for greater than 100 years! In 1902 the Denver Interurban ran from Arvada to Denver on electrical powered trolley automobiles. I had no concept that the Denver space had a trolley system traditionally.
Downtown Arvada can also be designated on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations, which signifies that many of those buildings on Fundamental Avenue are authentic and add to that small city really feel.
9 Shocking Finds in Olde City Arvada
Apple Pie, Baseball, and Fundamental Avenue USA – that’s the spine of the July 4th vacation weekend. In an effort to take pleasure in all of these issues this yr – I gathered up my visiting dad and mom and headed to Arvada Olde City! I needed to substitute apple streusel from Rheinlander Bakery for the apple pie, but it surely was value it…mmmm German streusel! We had Colorado Rockies tickets, and determined to take the sunshine rail to Arvada to expertise their Fundamental Avenue really feel for a day after which simply hop on the RTD again to the baseball stadium in time for the night time sport.
My complete afternoon was filled with surprises as we skilled the eating places and outlets of Olde City. There have been a variety of “that’s so cool” moments. A lot in order that I’m already planning journeys again there! Plus I acquired to fulfill and discuss to a bunch of the store homeowners which made it much more enjoyable to dig deeper into their ideas and merchandise.
Listed here are 9 of my greatest surprises on my first journey to Arvada Olde City.
1. The Nation’s First Craft Seltzery
I didn’t wish to like this idea. If you go into a spot with that perspective, and also you stroll out feeling prefer it’s a completely cool…it’s a hit. I didn’t wish to prefer it as a result of the thought of onerous seltzer was a bit too primary stream for me and my bizarre tastes. It screams school women and Zima. How’s that for an 90’s throwback? I assumed it was just a few fad that kind of replays each 20 years or so. On high of it – this was a craft seltzer bar…which even aggravated me extra due to the overuse of the advertising and marketing phrase ‘craft’. However dammit…I walked out of there impressed and wanting extra.
Elevated Seltzer in Olde City made me a believer within the seltzer development. My dad and I sat on the bar and did two flights of all of their seltzers on faucet. My first thought was how bizarre it was to see this completely clear liquid popping out of a faucet. It felt all improper. Nevertheless, after I tasted their common Cherry Lime onerous seltzer, it was all proper!
I talked to the bartender, Danielle, and he or she advised me that Elevated is the nation and the state’s first unbiased seltzer firm. They’ve 4 flavors which might be at all times on faucet (lemon lime cucumber, cherry lime, pina coloda, and acai), and the remainder of the faucets rotate with seasonal flavors.
All of their merchandise are zero carbs, zero sugar, and gluten free. It’s simply yeast, water, and sugar. The sugar is eaten up throughout the fermentation course of. They arrive in at about 100 energy for 12 oz. However that doesn’t imply they’re wimpy. The seltzers vary from 5 to 7.5% in alcohol which is analogous to beer.
Two brothers, Hunter and Warren, began this enterprise in 2019 once they ditched brewing beer and began making seltzer. Additionally they have plans to increase into the world of cocktails whereas making each gratifying by itself. I can’t await that!
I favored individuals who tackle the massive guys, and I’m rooting for Elevated Seltzer to succeed. I completely cherished the Elderberry, Grapefruit, and Pina Colada flavors throughout our tasting. In actual fact, I may need even walked away with just a few cans! I’m a seltzer believer now.
2. It’s a city for Whiskey Lovers
I’m used to considering of Kentucky after I consider whiskey and bourbon. Arvada actually didn’t come to thoughts after I considered nice whiskey locations…till now. Simply stroll into Schoolhouse Libations and also you’ll be stopped in your tracks on the sight of their legendary whiskey wall. Simply search for on the rating board above the bar which has the variety of bottles of whiskeys on their library cabinets. It learn 1,882 which put them at one of many largest whiskey lists within the nation. That quantity additionally represents the yr that the Arvada one room public schoolhouse was established (1882); it’s now the house of Schoolhouse libations.
I stared at that wall of whiskey and questioned how on this planet they have been capable of find the precise bottle when there are 1,882? The bartender defined their stock system and the way he finds them. “It’s fairly straightforward to seek out what I’m in search of, except somebody places a bottle again within the improper place,“ he mentioned with fun.
I realized that the most costly 1 ozpour they’d was $320 of Eagle Double Uncommon (solely 299 bottles made on this planet), and the least costly pour is their properly whiskey coming in at $3. I assume you’ll be able to say they’ve one thing for everybody! I loved my glass of Talisker Storm from Scotland, it had a peaty, clean taste and it was solely about $13.
As you’re taking your time and sip your whiskey, you’ll be able to’t assist however be enthralled with the schoolhouse décor within the bar. It’s past intelligent, beginning with the bar product of #2 pencils. The partitions have outdated chalk boards on them, the ‘chandeliers’ are product of old-fashioned desks welded collectively, and the high-top bar tables have periodic desk parts on them…however the secret is that when they’re all pushed collectively into one giant desk they make up your complete periodic chart!
I might’ve stayed at Schoolhouse Libations all afternoon, however we had quite a bit left to cowl. Plus, I probably would’ve been drunk on whiskey and by no means made it again to the baseball sport!
3. It’s filled with Nostalgia
Scott Spears is a little bit of a legend in Olde City and for good purpose. Scott owns a number of companies, together with Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations. His companies are all extremely various; eating places, bars, ice cream, sweet, toys, and socks – however all of them have one factor in frequent. They’re filled with nostalgia and enjoyable.
Scott is a person who loves an excellent theme…a person after my very own coronary heart (ahem…I LOVE theme events). He has taken a few of these themes to ranges I couldn’t have even imagined. He has a watch for particulars. These particulars are what appeal to individuals and preserve individuals speaking about his companies; that’s simply good advertising and marketing. He creates an environment that pulls you in and overwhelms your senses.
Lots of his creations actually do lean closely on nostalgia.
Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations
I advised you in regards to the whiskey bar, however shock, there’s additionally a restaurant! Once we have been seated for lunch, it felt like a standard eating room and restaurant. Nevertheless, as I seemed round, I noticed it was a piece of ‘theme’ artwork. The chairs have been old-fashioned chairs, the lamps have been made out of world globes, the tables have been product of outdated fitness center flooring lower up, the cubicles have been made out of college bus seats, and the partitions product of bleachers! As I waited for my meals, I walked across the whole restaurant all the particulars, it felt kind of like a scavenger hunt.
Talking of the meals, I used to be equally impressed with the theme that continued on the Schoolhouse menu. Not solely did we get rooster and waffles on a stick (a chicken-tender coated in waffle batter and fried), however we acquired the sloppy joe with candy potato tots, and the peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crust lower off. It was all scrumptious and enjoyable…particularly the PB&J.
Be sure to make a visit to the restrooms; the theme continues there. Plus – the hallway resulting in the restrooms have presidential portraits lining the partitions. Nevertheless, upon nearer look, it lists the president and describes their ingesting habits. Do you know that Harry Truman was a bourbon fan and sometimes began his morning with a shot?!
Tremendous Zoom Bang Bang Toy Retailer
One of many issues I favored most about Scott’s enterprise technique to create a powerful group in Olde City was his want to find out what was lacking (by way of primary road companies) in Olde City, and what might deliver extra individuals that might assist your complete group. He decided that each cool, hip city had a toy retailer. That’s how Tremendous Zoom Bang Bang was born.
Nevertheless it’s not your common toy retailer – it’s filled with nostalgia and distinctive toys.
I walked round and picked up a bit pink egg of Foolish Putty and thought, I haven’t seen foolish putty for years. There have been so many throw backs from my youth, it was a walk-through toy time. They even had an entire nook of kites! The perfect half is that you might contact and really feel the toys for a extra enjoyable expertise.
The very first thing I seen after I walked into So Radish restaurant was a mural of Michael J. Fox on the wall. Now that’s not one thing you see day by day. But it surely match proper in on the 80’s themed So Radish restaurant. One other one among Scott’s creations, So Radish contains a 100% plant-based menu with gluten free choices. I’m fairly positive that again within the 80’s I didn’t even know what gluten was!
Not solely will you be struck by the location of a Michael J Fox mural, however you’ll be stunned by all the unimaginable coloration and neon within the restaurant. Just like Schoolhouse, it deserves an excellent, sluggish walkthrough to catch all the 80’s nostalgia. And also you completely should take a look at the toilet…you may wish to deliver sun shades.
We tried the fried brussels sprouts and the kaleidoscope salad and ate it up identical to Ms. Pacman consuming ghosts! Should you like road artwork, the 80s, or vegetarian meals – then cease right here!
Don’t neglect the ice cream. Delicious was Scott’s first retailer in Arvada Olde City. It’s one of many first shops you see while you get off the RTD gentle rail. Nevertheless, we saved it until the top after which sat and loved our ice cream whereas we waited for the practice again to the Coors Discipline.
All the ice cream is made on sight with as many all-natural components as potential. I had the Scotcheroo ice cream – peanut butter, Rice Krispies, and chocolate– delish! The portion sizes are large…I had the children cup and that was the dimensions of most individuals’s mediums.
And if ice cream isn’t your factor (what?), perhaps you’re extra of a sweet individual. You’re in luck as a result of Delicious in Arvada can also be a sweet store. As soon as once more, right here you’ll discover nostalgic candies that may deliver reminiscences flooding again to you. I noticed candies there that I hadn’t seen since my childhood – hiya Enjoyable Dip and Slo Pokes. Plus, in addition they had distinctive objects like key lime KitKats!
You’ll positively depart Delicious on a sugar excessive.
4. Bought Spices?
Through the pandemic, I began ordering spices from Penzy’s Spices when a pal turned me on to them. They’ve a extremely tremendous tradition about them and I cherished their advertising and marketing. I do know what you’re considering – spice outlets have a tradition? Sure – surprisingly a spice store can have a tradition. You simply have to enroll in their emails to essentially perceive what I’m saying. I didn’t truthfully know the place the spices have been shipped from, after which I acquired off the RTD and noticed a Penzy’s Spice Store proper there in Olde City Arvada! I had completely no concept that they’d a retailer in Colorado!
Should you like to prepare dinner, this can be a should cease for you in Arvada. You will see that spice mixtures you hadn’t even thought of earlier than!
5. Actual German Streusel and Stollen
Es ist intestine! Stroll into Rheinlander Bakery, take a giant whiff, and put together to scent Europe. Oh…how I miss Europe. If that you must get your German streusel repair, otherwise you simply have an immense candy tooth to fulfill, cease at Rheinlander. Rheinlander Bakery, has been a group fixture in Olde City Arvada since 1963.
They’ve circumstances crammed with cookies, muffins, bars, and streusel. And the again is crammed with tons of bakers busily frosting and kneading, and reducing. It’s a busy place, however completely value a cease.
They even have one among my favourite German deserts for the vacation season – Stollen. You don’t discover many locations within the US that make Stollen, and while you do – you keep in mind it and be sure to return in December when they’re baking it!
6. So Many Socks
The theme continues at Scott Spears’ retail retailer Sock. As you may guess, it sells socks…simply socks…hundreds of socks. The little yellow historic house with a white picket tube sock fence is a enjoyable cease. Even should you aren’t into socks, you’ll be able to’t assist however marvel at simply what number of totally different designs there are on this little home!
You need llamas – they’ve it. You need gnomes – they’ve it. You need unicorns – they’ve it. You need puffins – they even have puffins.
Simply stroll in and take a look at to think about the strangest factor you’ll be able to and ask the clerk standing behind the register ‘desk’ product of a washer and dryer what their strangest socks are. Don’t be stunned when she reveals you proper to the Bob Ross socks.
7. Jewellery Making and a Pet
The door learn, “Open slowly, store pet in coaching” – ummm sure…I’ll completely go inside and meet a store pet! Positive sufficient Balefire Items has a store pet named Bishop. He’s a stunning canine that loves an excellent scratch behind the ears. Bishop will observe you round as you browse round this lovely jewellery and artwork retailer that includes one among a sort handmade jewellery from small makers in Colorado and past.
Truly – it’s probably not a store – it’s a gallery. Should you love shiny issues like me, then you definitely’ll love trying round Balefire Items. Not solely have they got actually distinctive jewellery choices, in addition they have glassware, prints, they usually educate metalsmithing. After I was there, they have been making a phenomenal males’s marriage ceremony ring of gold. This isn’t your common jewellery retailer!
8. A Darkish Secret Speakeasy
Spirt Wine Provisions is a liquor retailer specializing in whiskey, pure wine, and mixology…and it has a darkish secret. There may be a speakeasy in again.
The Stockroom is simply that – an outdated, darkish stockroom. Nevertheless, if you end up let via the plain white door that claims “Staff Solely”, you’ll not solely discover a darkish stockroom, you’ll additionally discover tables, a clean bartender, and a easy trying bar stocked with the biggest number of bitters I’ve seen – 160 to be actual. My recommendation…strive a drink with the umami bitters.
Take a second to let your eyes alter to the darkness. In true speakeasy kind, the Stockroom retains a low profile. It’s a spot the place you must plan to disconnect out of your digital life, you gained’t get any cellphone reception right here. However a speakeasy is about socializing in a forbidden method, so put down that cellphone and choose up a cocktail.
You may order off the menu, however they finest solution to method this speakeasy is to speak to the bartender and allow them to know the kind of drinks you want. You prefer it bitter? Boozy? Candy? Sophisticated? Neat? And the bartender will create a drink for you on the fly. You may even get some flames in your glass! However no matter you’re going to get in your glass, it’ll be good.
In lieu of a password, all it’s important to do is cease on the money register of Spirit Wine Provisions and ask should you can “assist inventory bins” and you’ll be led previous via that unassuming Staff Solely door into boozy cocktail world.
This place is so new that it’s onerous to seek out data on it…in any case…it IS a speakeasy – so it must be onerous to seek out info on it! On the time of this writing, it’s open Wednesday to Saturday 4PM to shut. Additionally they do customized mixology courses for teams.
9. How Excellent it’s for Attending to a Rockies Sport
My last Olde City Arvada shock is simply how straightforward and low-cost it’s to get forwards and backwards to downtown Denver for a ball sport. We have been heading to a Rockies sport, and the practice ran like clockwork and drops you off 3 blocks from the stadium. You keep away from all the parking mess and it’s solely $6 spherical journey per individual.
Plus – should you park on the park and trip in Arvada, you’ll be able to hop on the practice, go to a sport, after which come again to Olde City for an evening cap or late-night ice cream!
Flip Your Olde City Arvada Go to right into a Progressive Dinner
I do know what you’re considering – how can I am going to all of those locations in a day or night?! I get it, there are such a lot of good eating places and bars right here that it’s onerous to determine which place to go. I’ve an answer…flip your go to right into a progressive dinner and take a look at all of them!
My dad and mom and I did simply that and ate and drank our method via the Olde City eating places. Right here was our route:
- Appetizers – So Radish
- First Drinks – Elevated Seltzer
- Fundamental – Schoolhouse kitchen
- 2nd Drinks – Schoolhouse Libations
- Dessert – Delicious
- Nightcap – Stockroom
- Tomorrow’s Breakfast – Rheinlander Bakery – take house some streusel!
I discovered 9 surprises in my brief afternoon in Olde City, and I can’t wait to return for extra. Subsequent time I’m not ready for a baseball sport, I’m simply hopping on the sunshine rail and heading there – it’s really easy!