Why You’ll Fall in Love With Downtown Greeley, CO

Find out what makes downtown Greeley so appealing and exciting.

By
Jessica Walker Boehm
On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 14:26
Greeley

With its many restaurants, attractions, parks and events, it’s easy to see why so many people have fallen head over heels for downtown Greeley.

“There’s something for everyone in downtown Greeley,” says Bianca Fisher, associate director of the Greeley Downtown Development Authority. “We’re unique because we have a lot of great recreational facilities as well as our core retailers and restaurants. We have all of these things in a close, condensed area, which I think is what’s so appealing about our downtown. It’s the heart and soul of Greeley.”

Restaurants and Retailers

There are plenty of places to grab a bite downtown, such as Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, The Jager Bar and Pizzeria, The Mad Cow Saloon and Eatery, Patrick’s Pub, Brix Taphouse and Brewery, Right Coast Pizza and Cranford Cove Tea Tavern.

One of the district’s newest additions is WeldWorks Brewing Co., a locally owned and operated craft brewery with a taproom. Prefer cocktails? Check out 1908 Speakeasy, known as "Greeley's best-kept secret." The restaurant and bar serves craft cocktails and dinner with choices like lobster pot pie and blackened salmon pasta.

When it comes to shopping, favorite destinations are Lincoln Park Emporium, which has antique furniture and unique home decor, and Hearne’s Fine Goods, a family-owned store with clothing, shoes and accessories. Florio’s Shoes, the second-oldest shoe store in Colorado, has been located in downtown Greeley since 1922.

“It’s the business owners and the community that make downtown Greeley so wonderful,” Fisher says. “You could go to a big-box store and get certain things, but when you go downtown, you feel so welcomed, and you can connect with the shop owners. It’s really exciting to see our downtown businesses flourishing and expanding.”

Culture and Recreation

Downtown Greeley is home to the Greeley Ice Haus, which is an indoor ice skating and hockey arena, as well as the 105,000-square-foot Greeley Recreation Center, the Greeley Senior Activity Center and several private fitness facilities. In addition, the area includes Lincoln Park, where many downtown events take place throughout the year.

The Moxi Theater is one of Greeley’s top spots for live music, while the Union Colony Civic Center showcases Broadway musicals, comedy shows and local musical acts such as the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and the Greeley Chorale. In addition, the UCCC houses the Tointon Gallery that includes works created by local, regional and nationally acclaimed artists. Downtown Greeley also lays claim to the city’s only independent movie theater, The Kress Cinema and Lounge.

Downtown museums include the Colorado Model Railroad MuseumGreeley History Museum and Meeker Home Museum, and local art is always on display at Madison and Main Gallery, an artists’ cooperative gallery that displays an ever-changing collection of pottery, jewelry, sculptures, photography and more.

Special Events and Festivals

Greeley’s downtown district also draws residents and visitors with its signature events. Taking place on the 9th Street Plaza during warm-weather months is Friday Fest, which features live entertainment from top performers. Art lovers flock to First Friday events, where local creations are on display at various downtown destinations, and beer enthusiasts enjoy OktoBREWfest in Lincoln Park.

Also held in Lincoln Park is the Arts Picnic, a two-day event on the last weekend of July that features more than 150 artists’ booths, a beer garden, a food court with international cuisine, two stages of live entertainment and a hands-on kids’ area. Locals celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the district’s Blarney on the Block event, and dozens of downtown businesses participate in Trick or Treat Street during the Halloween season.

“It’s fun to see the character and the life downtown Greeley has taken on in recent years,” Fisher says. “It’s not just one thing that’s made downtown so great – it’s the beautiful combination of events, retail, entertainment, recreation, restaurants, art and, of course, the people. It all comes together to create a wonderful experience.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jessica Walker Boehm is a journalism graduate of Belmont University and has been a regular contributor to Livability.com since 2010.