After its RiNo store was shut down and another deal in Five Points fell through, a hat and clothing company has landed on Santa Fe.
Hat maker Grassroots Colorado has jumped over to a new storefront at 846 Santa Fe Drive. Company owner Ryan Connolly said they picked the location for its heavy foot traffic and relatively light rent bill.
“We love the First Fridays aspect and all of the art and people that come in for that,” he said. “And the rent is more competitive than the RiNo district, which was the other area we were looking at.”
Grassroots debuted its new shop at a soft opening event on Oct. 6 and last week’s First Friday art walk. Connolly is planning on throwing the doors open for everyday business on Oct. 24.
Their new spot is a roughly 1,500-square-foot retail building in the middle of the arts district. Connolly said he’s paying about $3,000 per month in rent, adding he was looking at a couple thousand more per month if Grassroots located in RiNo.
Grassroots is best known for its hats, but Connolly said they’ll also be selling some flannels and other clothes at the Santa Fe store. They’re still working on doing some buildout and stocking up on inventory before a grand opening later this month.
Santa Fe Drive will be the second spot Grassroots has had a store in Denver since first launching on Larimer Street in 2012. That original store was shut down last year when the company’s landlord evicted them after Denver police raided a marijuana smoking lounge Grassroots kept up next door.
Connolly then set his sights on Five Points, and planned a new 1,500-square-foot store at 22nd and Welton streets. But Connolly said the construction on that building took longer than planned and Grassroots got back out in the market to look for another space in May.
Grassroots Colorado is the third Grassroots store Connolly has opened. There’s also a Grassroots Chicago and a Grassroots Barcelona in Spain. Connolly launched the company as Grassroots California while living in that state in 2008. He moved to Colorado about four years ago and currently resides in LoHi.
Looking ahead, Connolly said that one store is probably enough for a city as big as Denver, though he may keep an eye out for a second in another part of town if the opportunity comes up. The company also has a warehouse at 6900 E. 47th Ave. in Denver.
Connolly said Denver is a key market for Grassroots because bands that they do work with and design clothing around often swing through for stops in town or out at Red Rocks, bringing both fans and potential customers.
“The thing we like about keeping a store in Denver is that whenever there’s a good concert in town, our store is convenient for fans looking for something to do during the day,” he said.
$3000 rent per month might be “light” for a retailer, but it’s a lot for an artist, or even a group of artists (like the one that used to be in that space). It seems like artists are getting price right out of the art district.