Paris on the Platte is an unusual name for a coffee shop that sits at the edge of I-25 and downtown Denver. When Faye opened the shop in 1986, Platte Street was still part of a decaying industrial area and hard to find. There was nothing significant about the street excepting, the legendary My Brothers Bar sat kitty-korner at the end of the street. People didn’t just go down there, but, it was a little known back-street-route to the highway from downtown Denver. You probably remember when the 16th Street viaduct was still there, then it was gone. I can’t even remember where it stood now.
PoP is funky and cool. The old used books section is gone replaced by a solid wooden bar and dining area lined with original brick walls. I still cherish a book I bought there in the early 1990’s, Best of Vanity Fair, 1930-1940’s, with the original cover sleeve, tattered & torn, but so lovely.
The grit and bricks have been power washed. The original atmosphere has remained the same by utilizing few changes in the once dark coffee house. The Paris has stayed in step with the now hip Platte street restaurants, outdoor patios, Colorado Outdoor shops, dress stores, the REI anchor store, Natural Grocers, the Kayak shop, bike shop. There’s colorful public art tucked between the high-rise apartment buildings. When you’re there, you’ll want to end your errands at the park along the Platte, relax on the steps and benches which line the sidewalks and river. The REI deck is perfect for sipping Starbucks, watching bikes, babies, tubing, kayaking and dogs enjoying a hidden playground in the middle of Denver. P.S. there is a dog park on the other side of the Platte on Little Raven.
The Paris opened with artists in mind. Nowadays, the coffee shop, wine bar and cafe continues to display art by local artists. Friday & Saturday nights feature live music. The Paris has shifted slightly to accommodate the local trends on the street which is teeming with people day and night. People live, work and play there. All dogs are welcome along the two block neighborhood. I like to think of it as Denver’s bustling European village tucked away on the other side of the river.
Rebekah Robinson’s work is displayed through May. On the day I met Candice for coffee, we saw Rebekah and a few other long time locals who still wander in from time to time.