Kinfolks is a bar, disguised as a gear store, fronting as a music venue. Originally starting as a outdoor store that focused on climbing and hiking, Kinfolks has shed most of its gear store identity and has morphed into one of Manitou’s most popular bars. Close to some of Manitou’s best trails, including the Intemann Trail and the Incline, Kinfolks is one of our favorite spots to recharge with a great beer. Long and cozy, the bar area is surprisingly spacious, especially considering the fact that the front part of the store/bar is still dominated by gear racks. Kinfolks has the best microbrew tap in the town; providing a revolving selection of micros from around Colorado and the West Coast.
Kinfolk’s small stage, which hosts small shows throughout the year, fits cozily near the back of the bar and provides enough space to host about 30 to 40 seats with additional standing room. The shows here are generally small bands and solo acts which tend to focus on folk music. Not exactly rockin’, but still a fun place to see some good local acts.
Each bar in town has its own little following. Kinfolks is the Patagonia/Columbia/up scale mountain hippie crew, which provides for an interesting mix and a good respite from some of the more drinker intensive watering holes in town. The best part about this bar, besides the beer, is that dogs are definitely welcome.
Location: 950 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, CO 80829
Hours: Sunday 12PM to 8PM, Monday and Tuesday 3PM to 1oPM, Wednesday and Thursday 11AM to 10PM, Friday and Saturday 11AM to 11PM
Contact: 719-685-4433, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes the best approach to competing in a city full of amazing breakfast places is to not compete. Instead of filling your menu with creative omelets and interesting meat and waffle pairings start with one basic food item: the buttermilk biscuit. From there, build a small menu that has nothing more complicated than a fried egg. Open a two table, three stool diner, get there early to get the smell of fresh baked biscuits going, supply your customers with Stumptown coffee while they wait, and watch the customer line pile up outside the door.
Pine State Biscuits has executed this strategy to perfection and as a result it has become one of the most popular breakfast joints in Portland and one of our favorite places to start the day. Their biscuits are huge and flaky and provide the perfect platform for menu items like the Moneyball (biscuit and gravy topped with egg over easy) and the Reggie (fried chicken, bacon and cheese, topped with gravy). Too much? Get just the biscuit and some of their amazing jam. Regardless of your order, the food is guaranteed to be good, the service fun and quick, and the line outside the door full of interesting people to talk to to pass the time. We love this place. As will you.
Pine State Biscuits
Location: 3640 SE Belmont Street, Portland, OR and at the Portland Saturday Farmers Market
Hours: Monday thru Sunday, 7AM to 2PM
Contact: (503) 236-3346
Located in Southeast Portland near the underside of the Hawthorne Bridge, River City Bicycles is a landmark Portland bike store that should be a required stop when visiting the city. Stocked with the latest in road, cyclocross and mountain bikes, along with the required necessities (think a LOT of racks of spandex, supplements, shoes, etc), River City has created a brand all of its own. In addition to selling bikes, the store sponsors its own cycling team, and participates in a ton of community outreach throughout Portland. The staff is young, attractive and helpful and they all look like they could crush your soul on the bike. In a nice way. My favorite part: the store always provides free coffee. River City Bicycles is a great place to tap into the Portland cycling scene, and grab some cool stuff while you’re at it.
River City Bicycles
Location: 706 SE MLK Boulevard, Portland, OR 97214
Hours: Monday thru Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 10 to 5, Sunday 12 to 5
This is the first in our new series which provides short profiles of stores and places in the various cities and towns that we visit that we highly recommend checking out. First on the list of “TWW’s Cool Places” is Swirl Wine Emporium, located in Manitou Springs, CO. Swirl is a wine shop for people who want to know more about wine. The unique open and airy space (it’s a former bank) contains a large selection of bottles from throughout the world, including some excellent Colorado wines. Additionally, the owner and sommelier Sharon Palmer puts together a wine rack of excellent $12 or cheaper bottles. On top of the wine, Swirl offers a number of wine classes and tastings to broaden people’s wine knowledge (their blog is a good way to stay updated). Swirl also stocks a ton of great microbrew bottles and six-packs from throughout the West. The space plays hosts to a lot of local art (all for sale), and is quickly becoming a gathering point for the locals. Put simply, Swirl is one of Manitou’s best places to visit and explore and has become a new anchor point for the town.
Swirl Wine Emporium
Location: 717 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, CO
Hours: Monday-Friday 12PM-9PM, Saturday 11AM-9PM, Sunday 12PM-8PM
Contact: (719) 685-2294, Sharon@swirlwineemporium.com