Eclectic, quirky South Broadway in Denver has morphed over the years from an industrial, slightly grubby thoroughfare to a hip, fun district with memorable cafes, antique and specialty shops and fun performance venues. For adventurous types who want to give their dates a memorable day or evening, South Broadway is a great way to go.
Heather Gair, professional matchmaker/senior membership director at It’s Just Lunch Denver, a matchmaking service for busy professionals that personally connects clients, says the neighborhood is a perfect place for “a wide variety of casual date spots or low-pressure places where you can get to know each other over fun moments and experiences. Plus, there’s something to do day or night—whether you want to meet for brunch, lunch or after-hours.”
Gair recommends Punch Bowl Social as a great casual date destination that “serves up festive cocktails, fancy bar food, games and bowling. If you’re on a first date or your tenth, this could be a fun way to learn something new about each other and have a wonderful time doing it!”
Gair also suggests grabbing a treat at Sweet Action Ice Cream, a true Broadway “hot” spot. “Not only does it offer an award-winning and unique selection of flavors including Stranahan’s Whiskey Brickle Ice Cream, the shop itself is entirely powered by wind,” she said.
Gair suggests “tiered dates” that involve more than one element. She suggests starting with an espresso at Sputnik or a drink at the Adrift Tiki Bar, “always a favorite place to find a unique experience and most drinks are made to be shared,” she said, then heading to Mutiny Information Cafe for a live band or comedy show.
“The South Broadway area is perfect for a tiered date because you can have fun, try something new, and have an opportunity to either extend or end the date, depending on how things are going,” she said.
For couples who want to wander and browse eclectic shops, there are plenty to select from, such as costume and magic shop The Wizard’s Chest, the tranquil vibe of community-owned Rosehouse Botanicals, and Decade Gifts’ plethora of random and often-budget-priced items for everyone from “bike lovers, bartenders, anatomy fans, unicorn obsessed, and even world travelers.”
Couples interested in nostagia, collectibles and vintage items can explore the nostalgia-themed Fifty-Two ’80s collection of all-things-80s, The Ten Penny Store’s vintage clothing and random curiosities, or a few of the nearly 100 other stores in the 18-block Antique Row that specialize in everything from high-end antique furniture to mid-century modern finds and from collectible toys and dolls to antique clocks and watches. Something for everyone!
Art and Books
Then there are the art galleries around the corner on Santa Fe. Combine a First Friday Art Walk with a stop at a local brewery, and you’ve got a great date. Or stop in at the two independent bookstores that specialize in rare and collectible titles, Gallagher Books, which also carries vintage WWI and WWII posters, and Printed Page Bookshop, located in a charming Victorian house. Or for an art-house film experience, take in a flick at Mayan Theatre. Built in 1930, it is one of just three Art Deco Mayan Revival style theaters still standing.
For a date meant to impress, Beatrice & Woodsley, an aspen grove-themed restaurant, is both rustic and romantic. “It offers a more intimate feel and is perfect for couples looking to enjoy time chatting over higher-end, new-American small plates and craft cocktails,” Gair said. “You’ll want to make sure to get a reservation, however, because it’s quite popular.”
Another romantic spot, La Cour French Bistro & Jazz Club, serves traditional French fare in a casual environment enhanced by nightly live jazz from 7-10 pm, no cover charge.
Shake It Up
With all the great places to explore on South Broadway, individuals and couples could easily spend an entire weekend there.
“All of these locations in the South Broadway area are great places to meet people, too,” Gair added. “I always tell my clients at It’s Just Lunch to try something new, something they’ve always wanted to do but haven’t tried.
“If you’ve always gone to the same restaurants, clubs or events, shake things up and try things out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised who you’ll meet!”