This weekend brings the annual tour of buildings and places of interest around town known as “Doors Open Denver”. For no price, historic structures are open that may not typically be open to the public. Expert tours are offered and opportunities exist to visit all those places you’ve been curious about. The event has grown over the years under the auspices of the City. You can learn more about it here, and see the places and schedules. Last Sunday’s Post had a special section with much of the information…but they neglected to include a magnifying glass to read the poorly designed and produced piece. You may, or may not, have better luck with the website.
But, for Downtown residents, there’s an issue of Doors Closed Denver. Dean’s Urban Market, at 23rd and Market, recently closed after just a year of hard-fought business that did not live up to their needs. The store was located in a superbly re-furbished feed store at that corner. The operators were experienced in…and dedicated to…the grocery business. The store was always immaculate, energetic and well-stocked with quality food and basics like paper towels and detergent that you just can’t get at other specialty stores downtown.
But, nobody came. Thousands of residents in a growing Downtown population. And, nobocy came. That’s the problem with Downtown residents. Too many of them just don’t get it. Living Downtown means the possibility of really living Downtown. Shopping Downtown. Eating Downtown. Cooking Downtown. Staying Downtown. Out of a car.
Too many Downtown residents still choose to get in the car and drive a few miles to a big chain grocery store. To get the same things that are available, often in better quality and not often much different in price, right in the neighborhood. In fact, walking a block or two surely trumps spending money on gas and car to get the same thing. Convenience in shopping for Downtown residents is available, but only as long as Downtown residents support the retail structure.
Why do you think we have tacky souvenir shops on the mall? Tourist attraction chain retailers like H & M and The Gap? A congested Walgreens instead of a friendly, local oriented Farmaca? Too many of the people living down here are not supporting the local, truly local, businesses.
Not all Downtown businesses rely on just visitors to the area. Many need our regular support. Galleries, restaurants, services, and retailers have to make it every day, not just on Friday and Saturday nights or game days.
Think about that next car trip to buy something you could have picked up around the corner. Really live Downtown and keep more doors from closing!
And, speaking of closed doors, April 23 means no Wazee Supper Club pizza! “Two to three weeks,” they say. Closed for some long-planned and extensive remodeling. New bathrooms, kitchen moving, adding air-conditioning, a complete makeover, leaving just the bar and the floor. And, a new look is promised with more changes. All for the better? We have to hope so. But, for those three weeks, where do we get a pizza in this neighborhood?
Alright, only about a dozen other places. But, no Wazee!
One more closing. The Energy House at 15th and Delgany, and its near surroundings on the block across from the Museum of Contemporary Art, are about to go under the wrecking ball. Fences are up around the property and work is beginning on an apartment building from the Opus people. Just a few more months to enjoy the fine view of Downtown from the roof cafe at the MCA.
Keep the Doors Open…and be careful crossing the streets!