Looking for local restaurants and indie boutiques in the Mile High City? Tennyson Street in the Highlands neighborhood is exactly what you want. It's a bustling with walkers popping in and out of shops. Cafes and other eateries on every corner. It's a street where community and economy are happening.
I love exploring main streets, like Tennyson, to interact and observe. He loves back alleys and side streets. More often than not we end up finding hidden places like Common Grounds in Denver, CO. For over 21 years they've been serving coffee and creating a place for "meeting the people". They have hosted several presidential candidates and politicians such Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden over the years. Fostering community over freshly roasted coffee sounds like a good idea to me.
It's 73 degrees on a Thursday afternoon. There's patio seating. Dogs are welcomed with a water bowl and treats waiting. It's quiet. So quiet, that I immediately became aware of the pitch of my voice. Breeze blows through a room sized, open window at the front of the cafe. Sun pours in and the smell of coffee wafts out. I can easily read the menu from outside. That makes me happy. Patio seating with a dog usually entails several trips in and out to read the menu and order.
Anywhere that books abound is a place to visit. Old-school RnB loops in the background. I tune in on Weak by SWV. Anytime that song comes on you have to sing.
Green plants polka dot the room. Bookshelves are tucked all around. Wifi is free and reliable. Customer service was on the curt side for how cheerful those turquoise walls are.
Republic of Tea tin canisters line several book shelves. Buy them by the container or order a cup at the counter. Local bakeshops, like Bosco Baking Company, provide quiche options in the pastry case. If coffee isn't your cup of tea there's even Liks Ice Cream. Get a scoop or two of this gourmet ice cream based in Denver.
The menu is basic. Tip: sandwiches are all served cold. The kid in me appreciates a classic like the BLT. They served up an Italian BLT, pesto mayo added creaminess but not nearly enough. I added Meunster cheese. The bread was toasted and crunchy. My gums were not thrilled. Only after peeling off the crust could I actually enjoy each bite. The Chicken Pesto sandwich had cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. It was a pretty good balance of flavors and textures.
I could sit at Common Ground all day. Working would probably get put on hold for some reading but that's not the worst thing in the world!