Discover Denver: Back to the Future

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Tour Compiled by Danielle Krolewicz
Art by Book Williams Jr.  

The 80s were an era of great music, great fashion, great movies, and groovy style. To find the 80s vibe in Denver, you won’t need a DeLorean. South Broadway is a haven for retro-themed spots. In addition to all the antique shops, here are a few favorites on the strip.

1

Start at Bowman’s.

Bowman’s is always slinging records and cocktails. They’ve got records for sale and for listening, and the retro-deco inside is the perfect environment to enjoy your favorite cocktail and album from the 80s, or whichever decade you choose.

1312 S. Broadway  •  bowmansvinylandlounge.com

 

2

Head a few blocks south on Broadway to Fifty-Two 80’s: A Totally Awesome Shop.

Fifty-Two 80’s stands out amongst the shops on Broadway because they’ve done the rummaging for you and curated their shop for the piece of you that grew up in the 80s. Even if you’re not in the market to buy anything, perusing their eclectic assortment of toys, games, and clothes is half the fun.

1874 S. Broadway  •  the80sareawesome.com

 

3

Just a couple of blocks down, you will find Grandma’s House.

Didn’t get in enough Atari at Fifty-Two 80s? Or maybe playing made you thirsty. Either way, stop at Grandma’s House next. The brewery serves beer flights in Welch’s jam jars – just like grandma would’ve. Plus, it’s decorated like you haven’t seen since the last time you visited grandma, including crocheted beer tap handles, wood-paneled television, and a plethora of board games that have been gathering dust in her basement since the 80s (because, you know, grandma can’t throw anything away). Check Facebook for events as they set a list of weekly happenings like craft night on Monday, Bingo on Tuesday night (grandmas encouraged to attend), and cross-stitch on Sundays (BYOGrandma if you need a tutorial).

1710 S. Broadway  •  grandmasbeer.com

 

4

Take the 12 bus down Downing to 1UP Colfax.

1up has two locations in Denver, one on Colfax and one in LoDo, so you can play retro arcade games all night if you’d like. But we recommend the Colfax location, which is more spacious and hosts concerts on some weekends. Be sure to pack plenty of loose change. 1UP’s machines take quarters and, in our experience, the intake of alcohol correlates to poor hand-eye coordination and loss of lives.

717 E. Colfax Ave.  •  1up.com

 

5

Make your way down 15th street to finish the night at the Shag Lounge.

If you prefer something more chill, look no further than the Shag Lounge.  With daily and late night happy hour, this spot is a dive in the heart of downtown.  

830 15th St.  •  facebook.com/ShagLounge

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Be sure to check out the city’s many popular 80s Nights.

There are lots of options to spend a night in the 80s in Denver. Every third Saturday of the month, Exdo Event Center transforms into a giant roller skating rink for “Roll.” 700 pairs of skates are available to rent and skaters come dressed to different themes like Lisa Frank, Super Smash, and plenty of 80s-inspired nights as well. If Goth was more your thing during that time, then Milk is the place to be every Wednesday and Saturday when they host 80s and 90s retro-goth night. If you’re torn between the decades, 80s vs. 90s night is a battle of the bands style event where two coves bands, one from the 80s and one for the 90s, compete to be your favorite. Don’t miss the big one: on August 12,  Lost 80s Live comes to Denver at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater.  

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