Downtown’s Most Unique Shopping Street Isn’t Where You Think It Is!

There’s no official name for the blocks of Platte Street running north of 15th Street. There should be. And, there should be more recognition for this eclectic group of shops and businesses and their owners. It’s not in LoDo and it’s not in Highlands, or LoHi, if you must. It’s Platte Street. And, it’s special.

Now, everyone knows where REI is, but not many people actually know that REI is located on Water Street. Even fewer people know that Water Street becomes Platte Street at 15th. Some people may know there is a grocery store on the corner where the pool hall used to be. But, with bad signage, even that goes unnoticed by the masses. It’s a great couple of blocks, though, and Downtown residents should walk over to enjoy it.

Elephant Ears Outside, Dog Ears Inside. Visit!

For food, besides the grocery kind, you have Proto’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Paris on the Platte for coffee, snacks and wine, Colt & Gray, some frozen yogurt, and a wonderful English tea shop called the House of Commons. Sushi Sasa is close. And, the smell of fresh spices is coming, of course, from the Savory Spice store.

On Platte Street, you can buy your mountaineering clothing or gifts for your dog. Buxom is a women’s fashion store. The Nosh Nest features an appetizing collection of kitchen essentials. Common Era is a unique boutique. Emage is where the hipsters get their latest skatewear. And, Salvagetti is the place for serious bikers to buy, fix or just talk about bikes…over a cup of their coffee.

Corks, the wine store, has been there for years, surviving and growing as the neighborhood finally took shape and grew too. And, for over five years, Sanctuary has offered a selection of gifts and home furnishings carefully selected by owner Wade Richards. Check out the fine Italian leather accessories!

Both Richards and Brenda Meyers, owner of Nosh Nest and rejuvaNest across the street, agree that this is a fine little area. Maybe “too secret.” They’d like to see more organized promotions and better signage to take advantage of the rapidly increasing pedestrian and commuter traffic crossing between Highlands and Downtown.

With new businesses like the Denver Beer Co. “stretching” the block, even more people are finally discovering this street, if only for a beer. More people are always welcome, but some shop owners are also very aware of new retail development just up the hill from them in the booming Lower Highlands area. Effective group marketing efforts will help the shops on Platte Street grow and maintain their share.

In all, though, the more retail everywhere in and around Downtown should continue to bring more people to the right places. Platte Street is one of those places. And, you can easily walk there from Downtown, Riverfront, Commons Park, even REI. Do something different this weekend and enjoy seeing your neighbors out shopping…on Platte Street. Make that the “new normal”!

(Photo: Diane Huntress)