Denver October 24, 2017
7 Stores That Anyone Who Grew Up In Denver Will Undoubtedly Remember
We currently live in a world of convenience. With options like free two day shipping and grocery delivery services, many shoppers simply don’t have to drop by the store like they used to. So, even though we get what we need super fast and without too much effort, it seems that we are missing out on some treasured memories that are created when taking a trip to the store.
If you grew up here in Denver, you might fondly remember some of the stores mentioned below. Unfortunately, some are no longer in business. But, thankfully there are a few where we can still walk through the doors and step back in time as we shop.
1. Bonnie Brae Ice Cream
When you're craving a scoop of cold, delicious ice cream you can still experience a blast from the past at Bonnie Brae Ice Cream. With the retro-styled atmosphere, including red vinyl seats and a handwritten menu, Bonnie Brae is still drawing in crowds with lines out the door. Denverites have been devouring delicious cones, sundaes, and thick shakes under their iconic red and white striped awning since 1986. The building, which is located in the Washington Park area, has quite a history with ice cream. Before Bonnie Brae took residence there, it was home to a drugstore with a soda fountain and then a Dolly Madison ice cream shop.
2. Cinderella City
When Cinderella City first opened in Englewood in 1968, it was the largest covered shopping center west of the Mississippi. Made up of over 1.35 million square feet, this shopper's wonderland was filled with over 250 retailers, restaurants, and a 600 seat theater, Cinderella City was the place to shop for decades in Denver. You may remember the exquisite fountain that sprayed 35 feet in the air or the handcrafted Italian double-decker carousel that could hold 70 people. This massive mall that was home to many memories, closed its doors in 1997.
3. Tattered Cover Book Store
If you preferred more of a quiet, cozy shopping experience over the fast-paced mall scene, you might remember the original Tattered Cover Bookstore located in Cherry Creek North on 2nd Ave. Open since 1971, this large indie bookstore and cafe was known to have the comforts of a smaller book shop. In the late 70s and early 80s, the original store began to expand into adjoining space and eventually The Tattered Cover bookstores started opening in different locations in the Denver area. In June 2006, the original Cherry Creek location closed and they moved to a renovated theater on Colfax Avenue.
4. May D&F
The distinctive Daniels & Fisher clock tower on 16th street mall is the last remaining remnant of the 1957 merger of May Company and The Daniels & Fisher Co. store. Many have wonderful memories of what this merger created... May D&F department store. Many of these memories took place in the winter time. With their awe-inspiring Christmas displays and ice skating rink in the front plaza, May D&F was more than just a place to shop.
5. Hammond's Candies
Today, Hammond's Candy is housed in a 35,000 square foot factory just north of downtown and has become a national name. But, you might remember the original Hammond's Candy shop on Bryant St. and West 29th Avenue that pulled in customers to taste their delicious "Mitchell Sweets" along with many other sugary concoctions. While many chocolate and candy makers have come and gone, this local treasure that became a national name is still in business after over 90 years.
6. Villa Italia Mall
What is now home to Belmar outdoor shopping center used to be one of Lakewood's hot spots, Villa Italia Mall. This Italian-American designed indoor mall opened for business in 1966 and housed over 120 store in its 500,000 square foot building. It was definitely one of the biggest malls in the area until two years later when Cinderella City came into the picture and began competing for customers. In the mid 80s the mall went through many updates including the addition of another floor. You may remember the terra cotta tile, huge columns, and roman statues that adorned this Mall which eventually had to close its doors in 2001.
7. Twist and Shout
Music lovers might remember the original Twist and Shout record store that opened in 1988 in a 2,000 square foot space on South Pearl Street in the west Washington Park neighborhood. After three decades of experience in the music business, Twist and Shout is known as one of the best places in the world to find rare, out of print, and import items. This store, which often features live performances, started as a vinyl store, then morphed into a CD store and has now come full circle with vinyl purchases topping sales once again.
This is only a sampling of the many stores that locals think back on with fond memories. Did you grow up in Denver? What are some of the stores that you remember? Please share in the comments below.
If you enjoy looking back at the history of Denver, take a look at
some of Denver’s oldest pictures for even more memories of the Mile High city in its early days.