I’ve been a longtime champion of Greeley. Over the years, it has suffered from a reputation that’s perpetuated by people who haven’t visited the town in more than a decade or who have never visited at all. Considering this, I think their new tagline, “Greeley Unexpected”, is rather apropos.
Earlier this month, Ryan and I spent the day shopping in downtown Greeley and discovered that, in addition to a good variety of restaurants and fun bars, the town offers an interesting array of boutiques appealing to everyone from clock fanatics to gamers.
We started our outing at Aunt Helen’s Coffee House. The shop is filled with quotes from Aunt Helen, who at the ripe old age of 105, has a lot of snarky wisdom to pass along such as, “It’s important to recognize your lack of talent early in life.”
It’s likely that owners Aimee and Bob Hutson will be working when you stop at the coffee house (Helen is Aimee’s aunt), and they’re always willing to tell you the latest Aunt Helen story.
Coffee in hand, we were off to Sassy Bagz & Flirtitude, a boutique owned by Greeley native, Raquel Jandreau.
Nearly eight years ago, Jandreau opened her store with a few bags and a dream, and today, her shop features bags, jewelry, clothing, small gifts and is the only retailer of LipSense in the area. Sassy Bagz & Flirtitude is the kind of place where it’s hard not to leave with just a little something for yourself, even if you are shopping for someone else.
Our next stop was King’s Clocks. They are one of the last places in Colorado offering clock repair services. Even if you’re not in the market for a grandfather clock this holiday season there’s a lot to browse at King’s, plus, they’ve brought in some great stocking stuffer gifts.
I’ve been visiting Greeley for more than a decade and one of the places I always stop is Woody’s Newsstand. Woody’s is a Greeley institution that’s been selling newspapers since the mid-1940s. In addition to newspapers, coffee and books, it’s one of the last places to pick up a magazine, and they have a huge selection.
From an old Greeley standby to a new Greeley hot spot, our next stop was at Warm Hugs. Suzanne Sereff started by selling baking and cooking mixes at craft shows in 1994, but now she and her husband’s beautiful corner retail store sells everything from clothing to accessories, and they still sell the mixes, which are an especially popular around the holidays.
Pizza always hits the spot, so we popped into Right Coast Pizza for a slice. The first Right Coast Pizza opened in Wheat Ridge, but one of the owners, Justin Vogel, hailed from Greeley, and that’s how the second store ended up on 8th Street in 2015.
We sat at the bar and devoured pizza and a salad, plus an adult beverage each for under $25. This Jersey style pizza joint is worth the drive to Greeley and I recommend a slice of the St. Vincent.
Right Coast Pizza is next to The Nerd Store, which is the type of establishment that my husband can’t pass up. The Nerd Store sells a lot of board games, video games and hosts all kinds of games in-house, like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon leagues. We walked out with a new board game because Ryan never passes up the chance to buy one from a local business.
At this point in the afternoon, we were ready for a little responsible adult drinking, so we met up with my friend Heather Bean, owner of Syntax Distillery. Greeley’s only distillery recently announced that they were moving. Bean bought the Greeley Elevator Building at 700 6th Street and will be renovating the space to house her distillery operation and tasting room.
I enjoyed a Burning Man, a fall bourbon cocktail, while Bean told me her plans that involve a move in the spring of 2018. As we talked, Ryan cuddled with Gustav, the famous Syntax Distillery cat. Gustav was recently joined by Jack, another orange tabby, and together the two keep the distillery mouse free.
The distillery is also home to Dubbs, the stray chihuahua mix that showed up one day and never left. There’s really only one rule at Syntax, Must Love Animals.
Syntax’s new location is a stone’s throw Weldwerks Brewing, our final stop. Weldwerks is one of five award-winning breweries in Greeley and home to one of my favorite beers, Juicy Bits, a New England style IPA.
Weldwerks has become a hot spot in downtown Greeley and their beer has gained a national reputation. This fall, they took home a Great American Beer Festival gold medal for their much-in-demand Medianoche, a wood and barrel-aged strong stout.
On our way out of town, we stopped into another Greeley tradition for a slice of pie to-go. Celebrating 35 years in Greeley, Fat Albert’s is comfort food with an Irish twist.They also sell amazing, seasonal pies, which makes them an ideal stop for the holidays.
We only scratched the surface of what Greeley has to offer. Other stops like Lincoln Park Emporium, Mariposa Plants & Flowers and Kress Cinema & Lounge merit mention. We also didn’t make it to Florio’s, a shoe store operated by the same family for 95 years.
Read the first post in my three-part shopping series: The Mayor Goes Shopping in the Choice City, Fort Collins, Colorado
Read the first post in my three-part shopping series: The Mayor Goes Shopping on Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, Colorado
This post sponsored by First National Bank.