The Exchange is downtown Fort Collins’ newest hangout. The open-air market is canopied with string lights, lined with community-style picnic tables, and serves as the Fort Collins headquarters for some of the city’s and the state’s best eateries and businesses.
Since opening in 2017, this little block in Old Town has become the central quarter for food, drink and entertainment. During the warm months, families can enjoy movie showings and concerts in the plaza and, even during the winter months, the market is filled with events (and is still serving handmade ice cream!).
We rounded up all the businesses that call The Exchange home and make it one of our favorite new hangouts in town. Keep reading to find out where you can shop floral arrangements, take a fitness class, taste a handmade whiskey, sip a sour beer, snack on a freshly made donut, and enjoy chicken and waffles on-the-go.
Photo courtesy of bloom
This boutique flower shop has everything you might need in the floral department from single stem flowers, bouquets and potted plants to floral arrangements for events, corsages, paper products and even candles. In addition to traditional services, bloom also hosts DIY classes where you and five of your friends can come, enjoy the attractions of The Exchange, and design your own personal project!
Photo courtesy of Chick’nCone
Made famous on Instagram and Facebook, Chick’nCone brings together our favorite brunch meal into a handy, portable treat. The international franchise serves fork free chicken and waffles complete with crispy panko breaded chicken tossed in a signature sauce and served in a fresh waffle cone. The meal can be eaten without a fork and the entire company plans to go plastic free in 2018!
Club Pilates is a national sensation that began in San Diego in 2007. Since then, the club has expanded to bring more than 2.2 million workouts to hundreds of thousands of people across the country. In their Old Town location, the team offers low-impact, full-body workouts with a range of offerings that challenge the mind as well as the body. For more information click here, and don’t miss your chance to get a free intro class!
CopperMuse was the original business operating out of what is now The Exchange. They build upon Fort Collins’ legendary craft beer heritage and apply that love of craft to distillation. Their handcrafted spirits include vodka, whiskey, rum and unique liqueurs which can all be tasted in the Old Town Tasting Room. Here, they offer artisan cocktails and infusions alongside a chef-inspired food menu of tapas, salads and panini sandwiches. Home to one of our favorite local atmospheres, they have no TVs in the tasting room to foster real enjoyment and real connection.
Photo courtesy of Crooked Stave
Opening this winter, the Crooked Stave location in Fort Collins will begin as a taproom and add a brewery later. Though this sour-focused brewery took off after settling in its Denver home inside The Source, its origin story began right here in Fort Collins. Chad Yakobson graduated from Colorado State University in 2006, went on to earn his Ph.D. in brewing science in Scotland, then returned to Fort Collins for a job at Odell Brewing. Crooked Stave was born shortly after when he began fermenting his sour and wild ales at Funkwerks then selling the beer in bottles.
Following their triumphant return to Fort Collins, the Crooked Stave team will maintain its Denver facility and grow their beer program through their location in The Exchange.
This new, local gym hosts classes that can provide a full body workout in just 30 or 45 minutes. Open to all experience levels, their classes utilize The BodyBoard Program, a combination of resistance band training, high-intensity interval training, strength training, cardio and stretching. In addition to increasing muscle tone, strength and size, their team of fitness experts can help you reach the smaller muscles and ligaments, too, to create full body integrity and balance.
FoCo DoCo combines our love for local with everyone’s favorite food: donuts! Their Colorado-style treats use the best ingredients from around the state, like Palisade peaches and locally harvested honey, to craft donuts from scratch without adding unnecessary sweeteners or preservatives. With the help of their donut-making robot, every treat is made to order and fried in Colorado sunflower oil then served alongside coffee from Fort Collins roaster The Coffee Registry.
You may recognize this Denver winery by its now iconic cans and lovable monkey logo. Opened in 2008, the urban winery has no vineyard and no pretense; they just create great, one-of-a-kind wines. Over the years, their urban winery operation has grown to include two locations in Denver, one in Austin, and now one in Fort Collins! Scheduled to open this winter, we’ll be sipping wine slushies in The Exchange very soon.
Photo courtesy of Harry Warters via Old Town Churn
Old Town Churn is another Colorado headquarters for Little Man Ice Cream. Little Man’s original location can be found in Denver and is housed inside a 28-foot-tall cream can. In Fort Collins, the team opted for a 26-foot-tall ice cream churn to represent the city’s agricultural roots. From the window, you can order Little Man’s famous handmade flavors in addition to several exclusive to Fort Collins.
The Pizza Press is a build-your-own pizza parlor inspired by 1920s Americana and the era’s newspaper history. Here, you can order a signature pie named after some of the country’s most famous papers or you can publish your own and top it with things like bourbon bacon and pepperoni, artichoke hearts and Spanish black olives, caramelized onions and more.
Rather than frying, grilling or charbroiling, the burgers at Steamies Burger Bar are steamed. This burger joint originally began on Main Street in Telluride where they became locally famous for high-quality and healthier burgers, hot dogs and fries alongside other treats like frozen custard and margaritas. Their second and only other location is located right here at The Exchange.
The Fort Collins original serves up top-shelf tacos and tequila, premium margaritas, handheld burritos for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Mexican draft beer for dine-in, grab and go or outdoor patio dining. Their street tacos are some of the best in town and don’t miss their soft serve churro ice cream either!
Header photo courtesy of Harry Warters via Old Town Churn.