If you’ve lived in North Denver more than a few weeks you probably know about businesses like Linger, Feral, Parisi, and other North Denver icons. We wanted to highlight a few North Denver Businesses you might not have heard of yet though. Some are new; some predate all of their neighbors, but all are worth checking out. Find a new business to love today!
Berkeley Inn: Tennyson Street’s Last Dive Bar
A pool table with two 9 balls? ✔
Patrons who actually choose George Thorogood on the jukebox? ✔
A guy in a bowling shirt permanently stationed at the end of the bar? ✔
Welcome to Tennyson Street’s last dive bar.
While there’s no shortage of great places to go on Tennyson St, there’s nothing else quite like the Berkeley Inn, at least anymore. The Berkeley Inn is one of the oldest bars in Denver and certainly the oldest on Tennyson St — it was established “in or around” 1934 according to the history on their website.
With affordably priced drinks, friendly staff, and an atmosphere you don’t find in newer bars, it’s well worth being included in a night out. With music bingo nights, karaoke nights, and a great crowd nearly every night, there’s no wrong time to stop in to the Berkeley Inn.
The Berkeley Inn is located at 3834 Tennyson St.
Bonacquisti Wine Company: Fill Your Growler With a Great Summer Wine
Tucked into a strip mall off Pecos Street, north of West 46th Avenue, sits one of Denver’s first urban wineries. Paul Bonacquisti, owner and winemaker, opened the doors to Bonacquisti Wine Company in 2006 after wrapping up as a DJ at Jammin’ 92.5. He and fellow owner Judi Diaz Bonacquisti, EdD, have been bringing people in North Denver together over wine and music ever since.
Paul Bonacquisti leverages Palisade, CO, grapes and an earlier chapter of his life making wine alongside his father to produce 3 new small-production wines every quarter. Wine club members are guaranteed bottles, but anyone can stop by to refill a growler or see what’s available on tap or from the rack.
In 2019 the winery’s Cabernet Franc earned 90 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. And Bonacquisti wines have scored well in the annual Colorado Governor’s Cup Winemaking Competition. The Tempranillo Franc has earned a Double Gold, ranking in the 12 highest-scoring wines of the competition.
A large garage door opens onto the parking lot for what local bands refer to as a “very easy load-in.” More than 20 local bands enjoy spots in the rotation. As you arrive, enjoy a glass of wine and the afternoon’s groove. Notice the artwork hanging behind the bar. Commissioned by Daniel Luna, it tells the family story. Linger for another taste or to smile at a baby in a stroller. Sounds from the band—or what’s spinning live on Denver Wine Radio—make their way around tall stainless-steel fermentation tanks.
You’ll enjoy the wine, yet your time at Bonacquisti is much more. Luna’s vibrant and colorful storytelling artwork surrounds you throughout the winery. Purchase a signature pot or run into Luna himself when he comes by to add pieces. With over 5,000 growlers out across Denver, it’s clear the winery is about community. Its unique blend of wine, music, and art brings friends and family together and helps forge new connections around what’s important to Northsiders.
And Bonacquisti’s popular Fridays Uncorked returns this summer! Catch New Orleans-style funk band Gumbo le Funque on July 23rd.
Stop in at 4640 Pecos St, Unit I, or check them out online at www.bonacquistiwine.com
Connie’s Antiques and Treasures: Finding That Unique Item For Your Home
A newly opened antiques store is almost a contradiction in terms. Most antique stores seem to be as old as many of the items they sell, but Connie’s Antiques and Treasurer’s recently reached their one year anniversary, opening Memorial Day weekend of 2020. Connie’s is owned and operated by Connie and Gil Rivera, who describe running the antiques shop as the “dream retirement job.” Gil has recently retired from his career in construction and Connie still works her day job but sees the shop as her full time job down the road. After being married for 45 years, they joked that they never thought they would work together but now can’t imagine doing anything different.
“It’s an adventure,” said Connie. “Every time I’m in here it’s an adventure.” Both love the location, describing Tennyson St as a vibrant community of merchants they’ve gotten to know.
The shop is filled with items you might not find anywhere else. The couple showed off an 1800’s whiskey dispenser that would be a striking feature of any home bar, a 1950s accordion, Soviet car figurines, and much more. There’s more modern vintage items as well, including a classic Pac Man arcade game (yes — it works).
While some items are purely decorative, others are incredibly functional as well. There’s stunning black milk dishware that you can use every day. White milk is more common they explain, and they have that as well, but the black pieces are distinct. They display the uranium glassware underneath a black light so you can see the glow (yes — it’s considered safe to use). Whether it’s just for display or brought out on Halloween, it’s eerie. Cast iron pans, a staple of many kitchens, are also a big seller.
One of Gil’s favorite’s is the collection of hardware for doors and light switches which would fit well in many older North Denver homes. Residents in more modern homes might find an antique trunk to be both functional and distinct, adding flair to a practical storage item.
During the interview, a couple from Illinois visiting their son in Denver came in and left with a metal plate of vintage John Deere machinery. “We’re from corn country,” they said as they bought it. Even people who aren’t big antiquers will be hard pressed to leave empty-handed. This writer didn’t.
Connie’s Antiques and Treasurers is located at 3832 Tennyson St.
E Force Bikes: When Your Bike Just Needs A Little More Force
Bicycling is an affordable, convenient, environmentally friendly, and fun way to get around, but anyone who has biked up Tejon St. from downtown knows why the area is called The Highlands.
E Force Bikes, the brainchild of Eric Guetterman, is an electric bike conversion company. Have a bike you love and want it to have a little more oomph? Guetterman can help. With a variety of motor and battery options, conversion can run less than $1000 or you can truly pimp your ride with all the electronic bells and whistles. Guetterman says most customers are looking to spend $1200 – $1500 on the conversion.
Guetterman did audio and lighting for large events, converting bikes as a side business. When the pandemic hit last year and events stopped, he dove into making it his full time job.
Why convert your existing bike and not buy one of the dozens you see advertised on Facebook (or will soon if you’re reading this story online — thanks creepy Google crawlers)? Guetterman explained that some of the new online-only companies use proprietary parts but the companies don’t stick around, meaning you can’t fix the bike later. At the time of the interview, he had two in his shop he was having to redo because they were bought from online companies that aren’t around any longer. Shopping locally also means you can ride a bike and make sure it’s comfortable for you.
Not sure if an e-bike is right for you? E Force also has bikes to rent for only $50 for a half day (5 hours) or $85 for the full day (10 hours). Guetterman says his business is split between locals and some tourists looking to explore the city. If you love it and want to convert a bike, you even get the rental cost as a credit towards your conversion.
Cycling has been his preferred mode of transportation for years and he thinks it can be yours too. “Denver is a pretty easy city to get around by bicycle,” he said. Adding that people sometimes ask if e-bikes are cheating. “What — at having fun?”
You can find more information at www.eforcebikes.com or by calling 303-246-7495. His shop on Tennyson St is open by appointment.
PeopleProud: For When You’re Proud of Your People
PeopleProud founder Samantha Farley started PeopleProud in her LoHi apartment. An employee appreciation gift box company, they create custom gift boxes employers can give to teams or individuals.
Farley sums up the business on her website: “I never felt like I was cared for by my company as a human-being. This company was created to show that people DO matter. Our boxes are meant to feel like they’re coming from another human, not a corporate gift box company.”
Farley started the company in January of 2020 and it was only weeks later that the world started to shut down. “For the first six months we didn’t get any sales,” she explained in an interview. That timing, though, would prove to be advantageous. As people settled into their work-from-home lives, businesses couldn’t do many of the normal employee appreciation activities they were accustomed to and by July the orders started to roll in. “We’re on track to double our revenue this year, if not more.”
Maybe you want a coffee gift box with coffee from a women-owned, sustainably sourced coffee company for the coworkers who always met at the coffee shop next to your office. Or a cocktail and champagne kit gift box to celebrate landing a new client. Whatever the reason, Farley and her team can help create custom boxes to make your gifts truly personalized for your employees. You can also start with a premade gift box from their website.
From their (home) office in LoHi, PeopleProud now includes Denver companies like Health Grades and national companies like Buzzfeed as clients. You can find them at https://www.peopleproud.com