When he was in college, Brian Hart didn't own any furniture, but he lined his walls with framed art. He'd always loved art, so moving into the framing industry—a service geared toward showcasing everything from great masterpieces to sentimental items—was a natural step. After graduation, he spent six months working at local framing stores for free, studying the business and framing Vermeer's The Concert on the sly.
With help from his mom, Brian opened Frame de Art over 23 years ago. Though technology has changed—with industry innovations including the advent of computerized mat-cutting and visualization software—the store still takes pride in meticulous attention to detail, winning it a spot on ABC 7's A-list in 2008 and 2009 and was voted best custom framing by Denver A-list in 2013. An inventory of over 1,000 moldings encompasses diverse styles from modern metal pieces to rustic wood or bamboo frames. The staff helps customers give their works museum-quality looks and protection, finding the acid-free frame that best compliments each piece of fine art, photographs, sports memorabilia, or 3-D mementos.
FastFrame of LoDo's showroom houses more than 2,000 frame samples. Wood and metal boarders wait to enclose artwork, photographs, and 3-D items, from sports jerseys to musical instruments to Abe Lincoln's stovepipe-hat polish. The showroom also houses thousands of matte samples—including fabric, suede, and genuine leather.
All these options are on display to help customers find the exact frame and matte combination they want. But FastFrame of LoDo's professionals also recognize that not everyone can make a final decision without seeing what the finished product will look like. So they rely on Frame Vue, a computer program that snaps a photo of the client's artwork and then shows what it will look like with different frame and matte combinations.
Services like this earned FastFrame of LoDo the title of Best Custom Framing by the Denver A-List in 2010, 2011, and 2012. And people like Jarrod Perrott earned it 5280 magazine's Top of the Town award for customer service. The magazine's editors said: "The finished products FastFrame of LoDo puts out are spectacular—and, as a bonus, after picking up your wall-hanging, Perrott will send you a handwritten thank-you note (a wonderful, thoughtful touch). ..."
At Pot-Luck, it's true that patrons paint their own pottery?but that only skims the surface of what's really going on. Guests pick out and paint their own ceramic plates, mugs, and wizard figurines. The eclectic array of glazes, paints, and idea books complement their vast selection of ceramic pieces. When visitors are finished, the team fires their handiwork in the on-site kilns, transforming them from raw ceramic into pieces safe for a dishwasher, microwave, oven, or flaming cupboard.
Stocking a vast selection that features nearly a hundred sauces, over 150 spices and rubs, and natural hardwoods ranging from cherry to mesquite, Ruff's Barbecue Shoppe outfits pit-masters for year-round barbecuing and smoking. Wood chips from alder, hickory, and maple trees and low-ash, even-heat mesquite and hickory pellets smolder inside smokers from Traeger, American Barbecue Systems, and Big Green Egg. Ruff's year-round classes display the art of summery eating no matter the season, teaching students how to pack buns with pulled pork or train brisket to come when called.
Affordable Carpet Care revitalizes floors using the high-torque motors of the Rotovac 360 cleaning system, creating powerful steam baths that leave homes free of pollutants and dust. With each pass of the powerful machine, a confluence of vacuum slots, deep-scrubbing, and spray jets pulverize impounded stains with hot-water extraction. Floor surfaces benefit from 750 multidirectional cleaning passes per minute, sacrificing trapped dirt and long-lost LaserDisc remotes. Affordable Carpet Care can provide spot treatments on an individual basis.
Rising Roll dishes out a menu of paninis, melts, and gourmet wraps. The chicken and apple sandwich layers made-from-scratch chicken salad, hickory smoked bacon, and granny smith apples and is topped with bleu cheese dressing ($7.45). Vegetarians can sink flora-sharpened teeth into the Original Veggie, a combination of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, roasted red peppers, provolone, guacamole, and mayo ($6.99). Sandwichers choose from a lineup of bready foundations such as multi-grain bread, croissants, and sun-dried tomato wraps; decisions continue with a side choice of potato salad, pasta salad, or coleslaw. A selection of salads provides carb-conscious eats for diners restricted by diets or a soft spot for fluffy grains. The Maui salad packs crisp romaine with grilled chicken breast, crumbled blue cheese, mandarin oranges, and chopped pecans ($8.39).