On a two-mile stretch of South Broadway in Denver, Colorado, it is said that there are more legal cannabis shops in a closer proximity than anywhere else in the world. There are no less than 15 dispensaries on as many blocks.
Some called it “Broadsterdam”, others called it SoBo, but the “Green Mile” nickname stuck. Blame Stephen King. This was long Denver’s Antique Row before legalization, but there now roughly the same number of antique shops in the old storefronts as there are pot shops. The cannabis boom has helped spark a number of new restaurants and breweries in previously underutilized spaces. It’s still in the midst of change; one frowzy motel recently had a date with a bulldozer, and condos are coming in its wake.
The Great American Beer Festival and numerous offshoot beer events take over Denver Oct. 5-7, making for an especially good time to check out the Green Mile and its ample attractions. Here’s a guide to day-tripping Denver’s Green Mile.
1. Visit a Dispensary
2251 S. Broadway, (303) 862-5016
Why go? The Green Mile outpost for local dispensary group LiveGreen has been a Green Mile stalwart since opening in 2009. It’s now home to medical and recreational sales counters in a comfortable central room with a wide selection of flower, edibles, extracts, topicals, and vapes.
1568 S. Broadway, (303) 722-1227
Why go? Part of one of the leading dispensary chains in metro Denver, Colorado Harvest Company is owned by the founders of O.penVAPE, so its selection and knowledge of vapes stands out, but Colorado Harvest Company has won a loyal following with its quality bud and overall inventory.
When it comes to Medical cannabis, what do you look for in a dispensary? Large selections? Higher dosed edibles? Inexpensive cannabis options? More knowledgeable budtenders? Let us know. We want to hear your feedback.⠀ ⠀ #Harvestlife #ColoradoHarvestCompany #CannabisCommunity #CannabisCulture #DenverDabbers
1724 S. Broadway, (303) 733-3113
Why go? Known to throw an annual party for members that’s been headlined by Dean Ween of the rock group Ween. In recent years, Wellspring is a slick retail operation that’s fortuitously sandwiched between a coffee shop and a craft brewery. There’s an impressive selection of flower, edibles (jerky to truffles), and extracts on the shelves here.
Lucy Sky Cannabis
2394 S. Broadway, (720) 379-7295
Why go? Co-founder Tenicia Bradley now has three locations, including these medical and recreational shops in a converted duplex on the south end of the Green Mile. Her co-founder, Tyler Sapkin, heads up a cultivation facility staffed with technicians who wear scrubs and work in an environment comparable to a clean room at a pharmaceutical company.
FOOD PAIRINGS: There are a growing number of good restaurants on the Green Mile. The latest and greatest, Post Chicken & Beer offers some seriously tasty fried chicken and Southern standards.
For traditional Mexican and standout green chile, El Tejado is the spot on the south side of the Green Mile.
On the north end, Adelitas offers addictive margaritas along with creative (and often healthy) takes on tacos, rellenos, and other standards. Just to the south, Pasquini’s is the standby for Italian and pizza, Maria Empanada specializes in the traditional Argentinean dumpling of its name, and the new La Chiva Colombian Restaurant has won some early raves.
South of Evans Avenue, Morning Collective is a hip new breakfast spot that makes “elixirs” and inventive breakfast and lunch entrees. Across the street, Turtle Boat makes poke salad with sustainable seafood and healthful ingredients.
For a caffeine fix, Corvus Coffee roasts its beans on-site and offers hot and cold drinks of all descriptions, including hopped coffee on tap. Come happy hour, Bowman’s Vinyl and Lounge is a hybrid between a record store and a watering hole, with a classic bar and a living room with cushy furniture and rock posters.
For more music, longtime rock club Herman’s Hideaway has hosted more than 30,000 bands on its stage over the years. South of Evans, the new South Broadway Country Club offers golfing simulators and lessons, with a bar opening soon; and Cana Wine Bar, in a converted house, offers a nice selection of wines, as well as craft beer and spirits.
2. Drink a beer — or three!
With the Great American Beer Festival bringing 8,800 beers from 2,260 American breweries to the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver Oct. 5-7, the annual fall extravaganza — the largest beer event in the U.S. — offers an opportunity to savor the wares of the Green Mile by day and sample an endless array of IPAs, sours, chile beers, wild ales, and every other imaginable beer by night.
But watch out for the so-called crossfading effect: Alcohol has been shown to double absorption of THC into the bloodstream.
Back on the Green Mile, you’ll find Grandma’s House Brewery, one of the quirkiest taprooms in the city with crocheted taphandle covers and enough bric-a-brac from the local thrift stores behind the bar that you’ll discover something new every single pint; and Black Project, a brewery focused exclusively on spontaneous and wild beers
. Three blocks west of Broadway, Declaration Brewing Company has a taproom, kid-friendly beer garden, and a long list of IPAs and other beers.