March 20, 2023

9 Surprises in Olde Town Arvada

The train doors opened up, I stepped off, and all of a sudden I was transported back in time. The first thing I discovered was the inviting old-timey water tower standing near the train tracks. What was as soon as a provider of water to this little town is now the landmark of a community.

9 Surprises In Olde Town Arvada

Photo courtesy of Olde Town Arvada.
Image thanks to The Bluegrass

9 Surprises In Olde Town Arvada

Remarkably this was my first trip to Arvada because I have resided in Denver, and now I have no idea why I waited so long to go there.

9 Surprises In Olde Town Arvada

I walked off the train platform and noticed that no structure was over a number of stories which is why the water tower stuck out to me. The streets were filled with people casually strolling down the middle of them, and dining establishments outside seating spilled over into the street in an inviting method. I was welcomed by dining establishments, bars, ice cream shops, art shops, and bakeries. All of a sudden the world felt like it slowed down, and I let out a huge sigh of relief.

9 Surprises In Olde Town Arvada

Olde Town Arvada– A Small Town in the Shadows of a Big City

9 Surprises In Olde Town Arvada

The small neighborhood principle in cities has started to permeate Denver in the last decade. However the one drawback to this principle is unless you reside in that little community, its frequently difficult to get there if you do not wish to drive there or are a tourist visiting Denver. Olde Town Arvada and its small-town Main Street beauty is quickly accessible on the RTD light rail system in Denver!

9 Surprises In Olde Town Arvada

Twenty minutes and $6 will get you to and from Olde Town from Denvers Union Station. Its only 8 miles from the high-rise buildings of downtown Denver, but it feels like a totally various world.

9 Surprises In Olde Town Arvada

Olde Town Arvada Map

Be sure to check the RTD schedule for times.

Olde Town History

Arvada is complete of it if you are a history nut. When you leave the light rail, youll find a lot of informational indications about how Arvada was the website of the really first gold strike in Colorado. Plus, my preferred piece of history was that this rail commute I just did has actually been around for more than 100 years! In 1902 the Denver Interurban ran from Arvada to Denver on electric powered trolley cars and trucks. I had no concept that the Denver area had a trolley system traditionally.

Downtown Arvada is likewise designated on the National Register of Historic Places, which implies that many of these buildings on Main Street are original and add to that village feel.

9 Surprising Finds in Olde Town Arvada

My entire afternoon was complete of surprises as we experienced the restaurants and shops of Olde Town. Plus I got to fulfill and talk to a bunch of the shop owners which made it even more enjoyable to dig deeper into their concepts and products.

Here are 9 of my most significant surprises on my first journey to Arvada Olde Town.

In an effort to take pleasure in all of those things this year– I gathered up my going to moms and dads and headed to Arvada Olde Town! We had Colorado Rockies tickets, and decided to take the light rail to Arvada to experience their Main Street feel for an afternoon and then easily hop on the RTD back to the baseball arena in time for the night video game.

1. The Countrys First Craft Seltzery

Raised Seltzer in Olde Town made me a follower in the seltzer pattern. My father and I sat at the bar and did two flights of all of their seltzers on tap. My first idea was how strange it was to see this completely clear liquid coming out of a tap. It felt all incorrect. When I tasted their popular Cherry Lime difficult seltzer, it was all!

I didnt want to like it due to the fact that the idea of tough seltzer was a bit too primary stream for me and my unusual tastes. I believed it was simply some trend that sort of replays every 20 years or so. On top of it– this was a craft seltzer bar … which even irritated me more since of the overuse of the marketing word craft.

Flight of seltzers

Its just sugar, yeast, and water. They come in at about 100 calories for 12 oz. The seltzers range from 5 to 7.5% in alcohol which is comparable to beer.

I spoke with the bartender, Danielle, and she informed me that Elevated is the country and the states first independent seltzer business. They have 4 flavors that are always on tap (lemon lime cucumber, cherry lime, pina coloda, and acai), and the rest of the taps rotate with seasonal flavors.

2 bros, Hunter and Warren, began this organization in 2019 when they ditched developing beer and started making seltzer. They also have strategies to expand into the world of cocktails while making each one satisfying by itself. I cant await that!

I liked people who take on the big guys, and Im rooting for Elevated Seltzer to prosper. Im a seltzer follower now.

” In a market controlled by corporate giants, we wanted to take things into our hands and do things our way.”

2. Its a town for Whiskey Lovers

When I think of bourbon and bourbon, Im used to thinking of Kentucky. Arvada certainly didnt come to mind when I considered great bourbon destinations … previously. Simply walk into Schoolhouse Libations and youll be stopped in your tracks at the sight of their famous bourbon wall. Just search for at the score board above the bar which has the number of bottles of scotches on their library racks. It read 1,882 which put them at one of the largest bourbon lists in the nation. That number likewise represents the year that the Arvada one space public schoolhouse was established (1882 ); its now the home of Schoolhouse libations.

Library of bourbon

As you take your time and drink your whiskey, you cant be however help enthralled with the schoolhouse decoration in the bar. Its beyond creative, beginning with the bar made from # 2 pencils. The walls have old chalk boards on them, the chandeliers are made of traditional desks bonded together, and the high-top bar tables have table of elements components on them … however the secret is that when they are all pressed together into one large table they make up the whole routine chart!

I mightve remained at Schoolhouse Libations all afternoon, but we had a lot left to cover. Plus, I likely wouldve been intoxicated on whiskey and never ever made it back to the baseball video game!

I stared at that wall of scotch and questioned how in the world they had the ability to find the best bottle when there are 1,882? The bartender explained their stock system and how he discovers them. “Its quite simple to find what Im trying to find, unless somebody puts a bottle back in the incorrect location,” he stated with a laugh.

I found out that the most pricey 1 oz put they had was $320 of Eagle Double Rare (only 299 bottles made in the world), and the least costly put is their well whiskey can be found in at $3. I think you can say they have something for everybody! I enjoyed my glass of Talisker Storm from Scotland, it had a peaty, smooth taste and it was just about $13.

3. Its full of Nostalgia

A number of his productions truly do lean heavily on fond memories.

Make sure you make a trip to the toilets; the style continues there. Did you know that Harry Truman was a bourbon fan and frequently began his morning with a shot?!

I told you about the whiskey bar, however surprise, theres also a dining establishment! The chairs were old school chairs, the lamps were made out of world globes, the tables were made of old fitness center floorings cut up, the cubicles were made out of school bus seats, and the walls made of bleachers!

Careless Joe and tots
PB&J with the crust cut off

Scott is a male who likes a great theme … a guy after my own heart (ahem … I LOVE theme parties). He has actually taken a few of these themes to levels I couldnt have even imagined. He has an eye for details. Those information are what draw in individuals and keep people discussing his services; thats simply good marketing. He produces an atmosphere that pulls you in and overwhelms your senses.

Innovative decoration

Speaking of the food, I was similarly pleased with the style that advanced the Schoolhouse menu. Not just did we get chicken and waffles on a stick (a chicken-tender layered in waffle batter and fried), but we got the careless joe with sweet potato tots, and the peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the crust cut off. It was all delicious and enjoyable … specifically the PB&J.

Scott Spears is a bit of a legend in Olde Town and for good reason. His companies are all extremely varied; restaurants, bars, ice cream, sweet, toys, and socks– however they all have one thing in common.

Schoolhouse Kitchen and Libations.

Super Zoom Bang Toy Store


We tried the fried brussels sprouts and the kaleidoscope salad and ate it up similar to Ms. Pacman consuming ghosts! If you like street art, the 80s, or vegetarian food– then stop here!

Its not your typical toy shop– its full of fond memories and special toys.

The bar

Not just will you be struck by the site of a Michael J Fox mural, however youll be surprised by all of the incredible color and neon in the restaurant. Similar to Schoolhouse, it is worthy of a great, slow walkthrough to capture all of the 80s fond memories. And you absolutely must take a look at the restroom … you might want to bring sunglasses.

I walked and got a little red egg of Silly Putty and thought, I havent seen silly putty for years. There were numerous toss backs from my youth, it was a walk-through toy time. They even had a whole corner of kites! The very best part is that you could touch and feel the toys for a more enjoyable experience.

” We try to generate things that you cant discover quickly on Amazon or you cant find at huge box shops. The harder to find, cool stuff is always what sells the very best.”
Scott Spears

One of the things I liked most about Scotts organization method to develop a strong community in Olde Town was his desire to identify what was missing (in regards to main street companies) in Olde Town, and what could bring more people that could assist the whole community. He identified that every cool, hip town had a toy shop. Thats how Super Zoom Bang was born.

The very first thing I saw when I strolled into So Radish restaurant was a mural of Michael J. Fox on the wall. Im quite sure that back in the 80s I didnt even know what gluten was!

Radish Design

Their well-known brussel sprouts!


Do not forget the ice cream. Scrumptious was Scotts first shop in Arvada Olde Town. When you get off the RTD light rail, its one of the very first shops you see. However, we saved it till completion and then sat and enjoyed our ice cream while we waited for the train back to the Coors Field.

Scotcheroo Ice Cream

All of the ice cream is made on sight with as lots of natural active ingredients as possible. I had the Scotcheroo ice cream– peanut butter, Rice Krispies, and chocolate– delish! The part sizes are substantial … I had the kids cup which was the size of the majority of peoples mediums.

And if ice cream isnt your thing (what?), possibly you are more of a sweet individual. You remain in luck because Scrumptious in Arvada is likewise a sweet shop. As soon as once again, here you will find classic sweets that will bring memories flooding back to you. I saw candies there that I had not seen considering that my childhood– hey there Fun Dip and Slo Pokes. Plus, they also had unique products like key lime KitKats!

Youll definitely leave Scrumptious on a sugar high.

4. Got Spices?

During the pandemic, I began buying spices from Penzys Spices when a good friend turned me on to them. They have a truly incredibly culture about them and I loved their marketing. I know what you are believing– spice stores have a culture? Yes– strangely a spice store can have a culture. You simply have to sign up for their emails to actually understand what Im saying. I didnt honestly understand where the spices were delivered from, and then I left the RTD and saw a Penzys Spice Shop right there in Olde Town Arvada! I had absolutely no concept that they had a shop in Colorado!

This is a need to stop for you in Arvada if you enjoy to cook. You will find spice mixes you hadnt even thought about prior to!

5. Real German Streusel and Stollen

They have actually cases filled with cookies, cakes, bars, and streusel. And the back is filled with loads of bakers busily frosting and kneading, and cutting. Its a busy location, but absolutely worth a stop.

Es ist gut! Stroll into Rheinlander Bakery, take a huge whiff, and prepare to smell Europe. Oh … how I miss out on Europe. If you need to get your German streusel repair, or you just have an enormous sweet tooth to satisfy, stop at Rheinlander. Rheinlander Bakery, has actually been a community fixture in Olde Town Arvada because 1963.

They even have one of my favorite German deserts for the holiday– Stollen. You do not find lots of locations in the US that make Stollen, and when you do– you remember it and make certain you go back in December when they are baking it!

6. A Lot Of Socks

You desire llamas– they have it. You desire gnomes– they have it. You want unicorns– they have it. You desire puffins– they even have puffins.

Just stroll in and try to believe of the strangest thing you can and ask the clerk standing behind the register table made of a washer and dryer what their strangest socks are. When she shows you ideal to the Bob Ross socks, do not be shocked.

As you may think, it sells socks … just socks … thousands of socks. Even if you arent into socks, you cant help however marvel at simply how lots of different styles there are in this little home!

7. Precious jewelry Making and a Puppy

If you love shiny things like me, then youll like looking around Balefire Goods. When I was there, they were making a beautiful mens wedding ring of gold.

The door read, “Open slowly, store young puppy in training”– ummm yes … I will absolutely go within and satisfy a store pup! Sure adequate Balefire Goods has a store puppy called Bishop. Hes a charming canine that enjoys an excellent scratch behind the ears. Bishop will follow you around as you browse around this beautiful precious jewelry and art store featuring one of a kind handmade fashion jewelry from little makers in Colorado and beyond.

8. A Dark Secret Speakeasy

Spirt Wine Provisions is a liquor store specializing in bourbon, natural red wine, and mixology … and it has a dark secret. There may just be a speakeasy in back.

A simple door

In lieu of a password, all you have to do is stop at the cash register of Spirit Wine Provisions and ask if you can “assist stock boxes” and you will be led past through that unassuming Employees Only door into boozy mixed drink world.

The Stockroom is simply that– an old, dark stockroom. Nevertheless, when you are let through the plain white door that states “Employees Only”, you will not only discover a dark storeroom, youll likewise discover tables, a smooth bartender, and an easy looking bar stocked with the largest range of bitters Ive seen– 160 to be precise. My guidance … attempt a drink with the umami bitters.

Take a moment to let your eyes change to the darkness. Its a location where you need to prepare to detach from your digital life, you will not get any cell phone reception here.

You can order off the menu, however they best method to approach this speakeasy is to talk with the bartender and let them know the kind of drinks you like. You like it sour? Boozy? Sugary food? Made complex? Neat? And the bartender will produce a beverage for you on the fly. You may even get some flames in your glass! Whatever you will get in your glass, itll be great.

Storeroom makes their own chunky clear ice!

This location is so new that its difficult to find details on it … after all … it IS a speakeasy– so it should be hard to find details on it! At the time of this writing, its open Wednesday to Saturday 4PM to close. They likewise do custom-made mixology classes for groups.

9. How Perfect it is for Getting to a Rockies Game

Plus– if you park at the park and flight in Arvada, you can get on the train, go to a game, and after that return to Olde Town for a night cap or late-night ice cream!

My final Olde Town Arvada surprise is just how easy and low-cost it is to return and forth to downtown Denver for a ball video game. We were heading to a Rockies video game, and the train ran like clockwork and drops you off 3 blocks from the stadium. You avoid all of the parking mess and its only $6 big salami per individual.

Turn Your Olde Town Arvada Visit into a Progressive Dinner

picture thanks to Olde Town Arvada

I understand what you are believing– how can I go to all of these locations in an afternoon or evening?! I get it, there are so numerous good restaurants and bars here that its tough to decide which location to go. I have a solution … turn your check out into a progressive dinner and attempt them all!

My parents and I did simply that and consumed our method through the Olde Town restaurants. Here was our path:

In an effort to enjoy all of those things this year– I gathered up my visiting parents and headed to Arvada Olde Town! One of the things I liked most about Scotts business technique to produce a strong neighborhood in Olde Town was his desire to determine what was missing out on (in terms of primary street businesses) in Olde Town, and what might bring more people that might help the entire neighborhood. Scrumptious was Scotts first shop in Arvada Olde Town. I didnt truthfully understand where the spices were shipped from, and then I got off the RTD and saw a Penzys Spice Shop right there in Olde Town Arvada! My last Olde Town Arvada surprise is just how simple and inexpensive it is to get back and forth to downtown Denver for a ball video game.

I discovered 9 surprises in my brief afternoon in Olde Town, and I cant wait to return for more. Next time Im not waiting for a baseball game, Im just getting on the light rail and heading there– its so simple!

Appetizers– So Radish
First Drinks– Elevated Seltzer
Main– Schoolhouse kitchen
2nd Drinks– Schoolhouse Libations
Dessert– Scrumptious
Nightcap– Stockroom
Tomorrows Breakfast– Rheinlander Bakery– take home some streusel!