I really want to write another column this week highlighting some more local businesses that I find interesting. But, looking at the list this week, I’m afraid you’re all gonna think I’m an alcoholic.
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Or that my mother will think that.
Oh, well. What can you do? She’s known me for a while, so…
I wrote in December about a fine winery we visited, which is just the other side of I-25 from Arvada. Well, it turns out, there is another fine winery less than a mile from there. Its energy is very different from Ballistreri, but in many ways, Kingman Winery is just as or more charming. The lady who greets you at the door is probably the owner; if it’s not, it’s likely her sister. Whichever it is, they’ll happily escort you to the back room—partitioned off by barrels of fermenting wine—where you can sit at a table in relative peace and quiet. And then they will patiently and gregariously guide you through their selections of wines, and regale you with the clever etymology of the names of their wines. Also, it makes a great place to host an event.
Wander closer to home, and you can find another winery right down in Olde Town. Silver Oaks has that same quaint air as Kingman. You walk in, and the décor is what jumps out at you first: bottles. Bottles everywhere. There’s really no mistaking the nature of the establishment. Unlike the other places I’ve mentioned, it is brilliantly located. Have a meal in Olde Town, walk around enjoying the atmosphere, and, hey, look! There’s this great little place to have a glass of wine to top off the night. Right before you call for your Uber.
Get to Olde Town a little earlier in the day, and you can walk into a recessed little grotto, sit amongst the beautiful foliage, and baste… uh, I mean, bask. Bask in the warmth of our little hamlet, and sample another broad selection of wines, as well as some cheeses, nuts and fruits at Flights. The last time my wife and I went, it was one of last summer’s 95+-degree days, so you might want to bring a hat. Or some sunscreen. But you really must sit outside—it’s wonderful.
Within walking distance of the house (no need for an Uber) is one of what seems to be an endless supply of new breweries around town, The Luki Brewery. A great selection of beers (mostly ales), an open, welcoming environment, very effective firepits outside, and, I must say, more than a couple of dogs are likely to greet you. Very low-key, very accessible, and very close to my house—many things to recommend it.
And last but not least on my alcoholics’ tour of greater Arvada is the brand new Colorado Tap House, located, well, just off the bike path. Which, I have to say, has the potential to set me up for some … interesting last miles home this summer. My first impression from this weekend was of an establishment that was extremely well-conceived. Two floors, a large, open patio which will (if spring ever actually arrives) be well-shaded by giant cottonwood trees, a rooftop patio, two spaces for live music, a couple dozen taps, a wall of whiskeys and wines, good thought given to the interior design, garage-style doors, with both self-contained food and a regular rotation of food trucks. I have no powers of prophecy (just look at my NCAA Tournament Bracket), but I think this place could make a nice run.
The world is open again, the clocks have changed, the sun is higher in the sky and soon the days will be noticeably longer than the nights. Get out and around our little corner of the world and enjoy some of your neighbors working hard and taking risks to make our little corner a nicer place.
Michael Alcorn is a former teacher and current writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Valkyrie’s Kiss,” a finalist in the ScreenCraft Book Competition, is available now at firstname.lastname@example.org. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.
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