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.
Through its mission of providing sustainable income to families in under-developed nations, Yobel Market serves responsibly harvested coffees and teas and sells the wares of myriad artisan groups. Purchasing a pound of BuyWell coffee in one of five different roasts ensures livable wages for global coffee growers ($10), while Divine cocoa powder benefits both Ghana's working families and whiny sweet teeth at 3 p.m. ($5.80). Those seeking a more tangible relic of sustainable spending may browse hand-crafted accessories, such at the Freeset jute freedom tree bag, a durable, earthy tote that captures the essence of urban flora ($15.99). Ugandan jewelry, including wild honey ovals ($10) or suubi confetti necklace ($17) adds polished, earthy accents to any ensemble.
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.
Tansi's 6,500-square-foot boutique beckons to passersby with a showroom unfurling with a variety of home accouterments and women's apparel plucked from fashion's frontlines. Grant living rooms the gift of light with one of the globally inspired lamps hailing from the John-Richard collection ($129+) or accommodate standing houseguests with hand-carved, wood-wrought chairs by Maitland-Smith ($1,200+). Complimentary one-hour consultations deploy expert designers to clients' homes, houseboats or converted meat lockers, where keen eyes help construct room layouts to suit homesteaders' tastes and needs. Chic women's apparel by Katherine Barclay and Focus 2000 avail themselves to feminine silhouettes ($54+), and a vast selection of purses ($72+) and jewelry ($48+) occupy arms more pleasantly than a diamond-studded cobra.
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.