Paintings and other works by local artists festoon Cucuru Gallery Cafe, whose walls are painted with the rustic reds and deep greens of the Spanish countryside. Glasses of Spanish wines and specialty cocktails clink within the single-story house-turned-café, such as the Barista blended with espresso and brûlée liqueurs. Cucuru's drinks pair with tapas and other Hispanic-inspired dishes, such as crispy spiced patatas bravas with garlic-aioli dipping sauce and pollo oloroso, which tops a seared chicken breast, manchego cheese, and mashed potatoes with an oloroso-mushroom demi-glace. The café hosts live entertainment throughout the week, such as jazz, funk, and other genres, and opens on Tuesdays for sultry tango classes.
Since its founding by owner Bill Clark in 1962, Drive-In Autosound has expanded from an OEM radio-repair center to an automotive-enhancement hub with five locations. The audio department still doles out sonic toys such as stereos and speakers, as well as high-tech modifications including auxiliary ports, MP3-compatible sound systems, and plug-in a capella singers. The MECP-certified installers also equip cars with remote starters and GPS systems from more than 50 brands—including Kenwood and Pioneer—and factory-trained technicians augment rides with window tints and stylish wheels.
Strands of icicle lights punch pearlescent holes in smoke, which trickles from a doorway beneath a sign emblazoned with two pyramids. Inside Pyramid Hookah, patrons inhale cool vapor through hoses as shisha, a fragrant type of tobacco, smolders in bowls crafted from clay or fresh fruit. Smoke rings punctuate the low murmur of conversation and drift up toward the ceiling like letters addressed to astronauts. Beside hookahs, popcorn and cookies rest in bowls, and glasses of Egyptian tea and Turkish coffee click together against the baritone murmur of water bubbling in the pipes. Belly dancers show off on weekend nights, twisting and jangling between wreaths of fruit-scented smoke.
Garden of the Gods Trading Post was built in the 1920s by trader Charles Strausenback and continues to sell goods today, with an array of updated offerings such as keepsakes, Native American art, and café sandwiches. The Manitou Outpost feathers necks with gold leaf pendants ($12.99+), sheaths feet in soft suede and moosehide Minnetonka moccasins ($38+), and enlivens shelves with keepsakes such as miniature painted ponies ($32.99+), whose neighing registers as soprano squeaks. After walking among the Pueblo pottery ($465+) and Navajo weavings ($310+), guests at the Balanced Rock Grill can indulge in a buffalo burger ($7.50) or unwrap a dried tomato tortilla gorged with spicy chicken and cheddar cheese ($7.95). Patrons can also people-watch at outside tables while sipping from a tap beer ($4.50) and discussing the complications of fashioning mukluks from Yeti hide.
Tile adds a clean, creative look to kitchens, bathrooms, and patios, but it's also an eco-friendly flooring material that requires no harsh chemicals or maintenance to keep it gleaming. Staff members at A World of Tile help clients to upgrade living spaces with this environmentally friendly alternative through in-house design consultations and a range of ceramic, stone, and specialty tiles. They amass products from across the globe, offering unique designs and SunTouch heated options that warm toes during cold winter months and prevent chihuahuas from shaking the whole year. During free hands-on workshops, staffers teach customers how to correctly install tile themselves or provide referrals to local contractors.
The enthusiastic coaches at Soccer Buddies educate youngsters on the value of physical fitness and impart much-needed confidence through drills and practices that refine fundamental skills. Lessons aim to build on the foundations of balance, agility, and coordination for budding athletes as young as 10 months old. As kids get older and their skills begin to mature, they’ll also have the chance to advance through age- and skill-appropriate classes, which increase the chance that students will be fully prepared for advanced moves such as bicycle kicks and the act of kissing a World Cup trophy. Youngsters will find new physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges at every leg of the training track, and those who excel will be eligible for an invitation to the Soccer Buddies Select class, a higher-level learning environment for competitive-minded players younger than 12.