The best vintage stores in Denver for unique finds

Small Vintage Horse in Louisville. Photo by John Bear

Culture

Where to browse quirky clothing and merchandise on Broadway and beyond, while making sustainable purchases.


Retail therapy doesn’t always mean having to buy something shiny and new – it turns out that a lot of those shoes and clothes you buy could end up in a landfill. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, of the 17 million tonnes of textiles produced in 2018, Americans threw away 11 million tonnes of textiles in the same year, the majority of which were discarded clothing. Another three million tonnes were burned. So instead of buying new, potentially unnecessary things – and further fueling the garbage fire – could we suggest buying sustainably (read: vintage) toys, memorabilia, vinyl records and, yes , clothes ?

Fortunately, Denver is full of vintage shops on Broadway. (You can basically throw a rock and hit one.) So stop clicking online sales and start exploring on foot. Who knows, you might get lucky and score that 1983 Aerosmith Tour jersey you always wanted.

Tucked into a narrow, deep storefront, Ten Penny Store features clothing from most of the 20th century, including jeans, hats, jackets, and t-shirts that commemorate everything from rock bands to the tornado outbreak. from 1980 in Grand Isle, Nebraska. They have a small, well-organized vinyl section (with a few cassette options) and a display case near the main entrance full of all kinds of antiques, including a silk bra from 1920. They also sell old pouches. matches. Do you remember the matchbooks? 250 N. Broadway; Open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A visit is like digging a tunnel through a source of darkness. In addition to the wide variety of denim jackets, concert tees, flannels, dresses and cowboy boots, you might find a few rare nuggets: a Mickey Mouse sweater hitting the runways, Gunne Sax dresses or a vintage Wrath of Khan tee. They also sell old stickers, patches, and other group instants – who doesn’t want a Flock of Seagulls cigarette case? – and classic vinyl albums (eg. The idiot by Iggy Pop, Fugazi’s Repeater) or lesser-known gems like the records of Danish punk band Iceage. While you’re there, check out the velvet paintings that cover the walls, as well as works by Margaret Keane. Unfortunately, art is not for sale. 227 N. Broadway; Open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Outside The Lovely Vintage on Broadway in Denver
The Lovely Vintage on Broadway. Photo by John Bear

The Lovely Vintage might be more upscale, but between gorgeous turquoise jewelry and Pendleton shirts, there’s something inside for every type of customer. T-shirts from old sports teams (like the Oakland Invaders), militaria from the 1940s, cacti, sherpa jackets, everything has been given a makeover and dressed like new. The boutique also offers handmade candles in a variety of scents, from fig to brown sugar to Kentucky bourbon, which are elegantly housed in retro coffee and beer tins. 42 N. Broadway; Open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Want to relive your childhood? Choose from a range of Care Bear plush toys and Company of Three collectible cards in this time machine. Geek’s paradise is filled with vintage Broncos jackets, old-fashioned games like the beepy, handheld Electronic football, and well-preserved Timex calculator wristwatches. The place even has “The Clapper” TV commercials on repeat (which could actually turn into torture after a while). This is perfect for 8-bit gifts and those who never grew up with the original Super Mario Bros. and Duck hunting, or those nostalgic for a Robie the Robot from RadioShack. 1874 S. Broadway; Open Wednesday to Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.

Bonus Spot is worth the detour …

Little Horse Vintage’s location in Louisville – there is one in Fort Collins as well – spans two venues with a wide selection of vinyl records, from jazz to country to new wave, as well as furniture and rugs. At least one salon guitar is usually available for sale, for Delta blues fans. (A luthier in the basement workshop recently restored a Paul Languedoc guitar.) What if the array of artwork, pocket knives, stereo equipment, and exhibits on the book counter by Charles Bukowski doesn’t do that for you, a separate hallway outside the store has a collection of luscious books, CDs, and low-cost vinyls that can be purchased on the honor system until 9 or 10 p.m. time. Just slip your money under the front door. 820 Main Street, Louisville; Open every day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(Read more: The Ultimate Colorado Gift Guide for Food Lovers 2021)


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