Keeping Colfax weird: Ten spots that give Denver's main street its culture and character
With the closure of Smiley's Laundromat and last month's bust and subsequent shuttering of Kitty's East, Colfax Avenue lost a little of its glittery seediness. Progress is a constant along this main drag, and has been for life of the city -- but still, Colfax isn't known for its betterment projects. Rather, the east-to-west strip runs right through the heart of Denver's history with its stretch of sights that are a little bit sketchy but always entertaining.
Pete's Kitchen: one of a handful of Pete's Colfax enterprises and one of many great Colfax diners.
From diners to dives to tattoo parlors, we've rounded up ten of the best spots to find the weirdo culture for which Colfax Avenue will continue to be famous (we hope).
10. P.S. Lounge
P.S. Lounge is a classic Denver dive in every sense: A place to retreat from our 300 days of sunshine, this cash-only spot is dimly lit no matter what the time of day. A nicely stocked jukebox complements the Colfax staple's low-key atmosphere, and there are booths or bar stools where you can do your drinking and commiserating. Plus, P.S. Lounge knows how to treat a lady: One foot in the door and you're offered a rose -- on the house.
9. Bastien's Restaurant
The sign says it all: Home of the Sugar Steak. Meat is what's for dinner here, and the restaurant's specialty is its sweetly marinated New York strip. But what keeps this spiral-shaped building uniquely Colfax is its interior. Carpeted like fancy dining spots used to be, the place is 1950s swank with a little bit of '70s bar-room leisure thrown in.
8. Bound by Design
Hardly sketchy but definitely an integral part of Colfax's weirdo culture, Bound by Design is one of many tattoo shops along the strip. The ultra-clean, super-friendly shop stands out as a mecca for the pierced and tattooed. For more than twenty years, Bound's expert artists have been putting first-timers at ease and developing longstanding relationships with return customers.
Continue reading for our top choices.