S ummer evenings in Boulder mean sun filtering over the Flatirons, Ponderosa Pine scented breezes and an irresistible urge to go out. Whether that means eating, drinking dancing or people watching, Boulder County has no shortage of options.
Experience the new stuff
You couldn’t do these things last summer because they didn’t exist then. Shake up your summer routine with these new establishments, ideas and ways to enjoy the warm nights.
Shine (2027 13th Street, Boulder), the new restaurant and hangout opened by the Emich triplets — Jennifer, Jessica and Jill — is a prime spot for p.m. entertainment.
“We have been open four months and are rockin’,” says Jill Emich, Shine’s bar manger and music director. Shine is on board with Boulder’s local food movement, sourcing things like eggs, beef and mushrooms locally, but the drinks, which they call elixirs and potions, are unique. Designed to do everything from aiding digestion to quelling anxiety and slowing aging, the elixirs (fermented probiotic drinks) and potions (brewed with herb, flower and gem essences) are homemade and virtually non-alcoholic. Sip an Owl Eyes to increase your perception. Feeling stressed? The Liquid Hush has you covered. Among others brewed up especially for summer is Very Merry Sparkleberry, which just plain sounds fun.
The Bitter Bar is completely revamping its patio in time for summer (835 Walnut Street, Boulder). The addition of outdoor couches and shade plants is intended to create a space one can lounge away the evening in. Enjoy a cocktail from the restaurant’s new summer drink menu and catch some live music at 5:30 on Wednesday evenings.
Fan of the Kitchen restaurants? Then you’ll be happy to hear about the Kitchen Concerts series that kicked off in March. Every Sunday night from 7-10 p.m., The Kitchen Next Door will host local bands ranging from indie rock to soul (1035 Pearl Street, Boulder). “We seek to cultivate a fun and lively environment… one which fosters collective positive energy,” says Karen Feder of The Kitchen Next Door. Enhance those good vibes with half-price pitchers of Colorado beer.
To enjoy even more beer, head to Rueben’s Burger Bistro, where 30 more taps have just been installed, bringing the total to a not-so-shabby 42 (1800 Broadway, #150, Boulder). Twenty-eight of the taps are always pouring Belgian brews, 12 are devoted to domestic beers and microbrews, and the last two are rotating.
Finally, soak up some evening sun and swap tapas with nine of your new best friends on Café Aion’s outdoor patio (1235 Pennsylvania Avenue, Boulder). Communal patio dinners designed for ten guests started this April and will continue on Thursdays throughout the summer. Reservations required.
Shine’s an option here, too — drop by on the first Friday of the month for Brazilian night and ask about other dance nights.
If grooving to the sounds of a turntable is more your style, Tahona Tequila Bistro turns into a dance club on Friday and Saturday nights with new and improved DJs (1035 Pearl Street, Boulder). The restaurant-to-club transformation takes place Friday and Saturday nights at 10 p.m.
It’s 10:30 p.m. and you’re wandering the streets in search of food. At this hour? No worries, Boulder County boasts an abundance of late-night eats. The trick is knowing where and when to go.
In downtown Boulder, Oak at Fourteenth serves a condensed version of their high-end menu until midnight on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (1400 Pearl Street, Boulder). Head back to Rueben’s to fill up on 50-cent chicken wings starting at 9 p.m. More alcohol-absorbing food options are offered up at 10 p.m.
On the Hill, Café Aion hosts an all night happy hour every Tuesday. This means treats like stuffed grape leaves and Moroccan spiced pork sliders can be yours for just a few bucks.
Head to Longmont to grab pub grub and microbrews at the Red Zone (540 Main Street) or Oskar Blues Home Made Liquids and Solids (1555 South Hover Road). Both happy hours start at 10 p.m., every night at Red Zone, Fridays and Saturdays only at Oskar Blues.