Supporting local isn’t difficult to do in Fort Collins. Our city is swimming in small businesses, independent craft breweries, hyper-local eateries and unique venues. Basically, you could just walk through Downtown Fort Collins and step into the first business you see. Or, you could seek out the ones that are new to the small business scene, the ones that are inherently FoCo, and the ones which have earned your support over the years.
To help you on your #SupportLocal endeavor, we’re celebrating 14 local spots we’ll be supporting in 2018 with a balanced mix of old favorites and brand new spots. While it’s not a complete list, it is the perfect start to a brand new year in the city we love.
If you’re looking for even more opportunities to support the Fort Collins community of creators and entrepreneurs, check out 14 Colorado Brands That Got Their Start in Fort Collins!
The Gold Leaf restaurant opened in 2017 from the team behind Fort Collins’ beloved Silver Seed food truck. We talked to them shortly after opening day and shared our interview, An Inside Look at The Gold Leaf Collective, Fort Collins’ New Hyper-Local Eatery.
Throughout the year, they’ve experienced an exciting grand opening, a short-lived closing and a joyful reopening. Today, they’re still serving the hyper-local and plant-based eats we love, sourcing everything within 400 miles of the restaurant. We can’t wait to see what they do in 2018!
In 2016, Mental Floss named Everyday Joe’s the best coffee shop in Colorado and in 2017 the volunteer team behind this little neighborhood spot kept that reputation going. Brewing the beans of Color Roasters out of Eagle, Colorado and Oddly Correct out of Kansas City, the nonprofit coffee house is run by about 30 volunteers and operates as FoCo’s living room. Stop by in 2018 to catch live music, peruse local art and taste some outstanding coffee.
In November 2017, the long-awaited Ginger and Baker opened the doors to their café, market and bakery, restaurant, teaching kitchen and rooftop bar located inside the historic Northern Colorado Feeders Supply building. Now, we have an all-day dining and drinking spot, a shopping destination and an exciting educational opportunity all rolled into one! Stop by once and you’ll be coming back all year.
Photo courtesy of Gilded Goat Brewing Company and Mark Darrough
This Fort Collins brewery opened in March 2017 and the community fell in love hard and fast. Head brewer Charlie Hoxmeier and his team brew bold and balanced beer influenced by the Colorado lifestyle. The brewery itself was born from a love of old-world European pubs and a desire to recreate that community atmosphere back home. We think they’ve succeeded. Stop by for yourself in 2018 and explore the beers and atmosphere of a truly local brewery that has quickly settled into FoCo’s craft beer culture. If you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity, visit on Firkin Friday — they celebrate every week!
Photo courtesy of Purpose Brewing and Cellars and Max Poling
In December 2016, Fort Collins’ 1933 Brewing closed for rebranding and has now become Purpose Brewing and Cellars. The new brewery celebrated opening day on September 23, 2017, and they’ve been settling in and impressing local beer lovers ever since. The brews come from Peter Bouckaert, once the Brewmaster at New Belgium, and his team of beer aficionados so it comes as no surprise! Using special ingredients — from fruit and coffee to spices and wood — Purpose strives to create beers that will inspire you to pause and appreciate the craft, the surroundings and the community.
Even if you’re not a Fort Collins local, chances are high you’ve heard of this neighborhood eatery. Offering a rotating menu of seasonal soups and salads, the cafe operates as a nonprofit and is entirely donation based. Pay it forward or pay what you can, but either way, stop by FoCo Cafe. The team often hosts or co-hosts events in-house and around the city; follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date and RSVP.
Photo courtesy of Funkwerks
One of the Fort Collins breweries featured on our blog post, Great American Beer Festival 2017 Winning Beers from Northern Colorado Breweries, Funkwerks won a gold medal this year for its famous Saison. Chances are, if you’ve been in Fort Collins very long, you’ve already stopped in at Funkwerks and you’ve likely already tried the Saison, but this local favorite is a must year after year. They are iconic FoCo, after all.
Check out all the GABF 2017 winners here and give them your support in 2018, from FoCo to Loveland and over to Greeley!
Photo courtesy of Rare Italian
Rare Italian is the perfect combination of comfortable and classy. With a menu of classic Italian fare made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, they’ve nailed down the dining out experience — from Old Town atmosphere to drool-worthy (and Insta-worthy) meals. And it just gets better year after year, seasonal menu after seasonal menu.
Wilbur’s has been Fort Collins’ favorite spot for hunting down the best wine, craft beer and spirits since they opened their doors in 2004. It may not be hard to find these things in FoCo, but it is often hard to narrow down the choices — and the staff at Wilbur’s includes experts on that very subject! Stop by if you have questions, cravings or if you just want to shop with your dog. That’s right, they’re one of our favorite dog-friendly businesses in town!
Photo courtesy of Downtown Artery
The Downtown Artery is the home of artistic expression and creativity in Downtown Fort Collins. Serving as a music, show and comedy venue, cafe and bar, retail store, gallery, lounge, and an overnight Airbnb spot, the two-story, 14,000-square-foot building has everything an artist or art appreciator may need. With help from their in-house artists/employees, they’re building a community around art and providing an environment conducive to growth as a professional creative. Join the fun!
Roughing It In Style is a family-owned furniture, home decor and interior design store originally founded in 1997 in Wisconsin. When they opened their third and newest location right here in Fort Collins, the family brought their unique brand of lodge style and personalized service to the homes and the locals of NoCo. Ever since, we’ve known just where to go to #ShopLocal for rustic and reclaimed barn wood furniture as well as lighting, art, custom cabinetry, gifts and more!
Fort Collins’ new Elizabeth Hotel isn’t just an overnight tourist destination — though it’s definitely worth a stay. Their December opening brought The Emporium Kitchen & Wine Market, Sunset Lounge and Magic Rat Live Music right to the heart of Old Town. All located inside one building, you can eat locally sourced, upscale meals, grab house-made bistro items, wines and snacks to take home, sip a cocktail in the all-weather and open-air rooftop lounge, and jam to live music in a uniquely Fort Collins venue. Trust us, you’ll want to visit in 2018.
The Light Center has been family-owned and locally operated in Fort Collins since 1971. Today, they feature the same hospitality and expertise they always have, employing the design and lighting professionals to help you transform your spaces and fuel your home inspo. In 2017, they teamed up with Roughing It In Style to do just that in our own home away from home: The Group’s Harmony office! See the results here and let us know which design projects you’re planning in 2018.
Washington’s hasn’t officially opened its doors yet and they won’t until February 3rd when Trombone Shorty hits the stage for the sold-out grand opening show. But Fort Collins is already buzzing about this new music venue! Located inside the historic Old Town building that once housed Washington’s Sports Bar and Grill, the new venue will have a 900 person capacity and feature a tiered balcony level and two full-service bars.
The team’s smaller, 200-capacity venue, The Armory, is already hosting intimate shows in town. And come February, Washington’s will bring even more music!
In the comments below, let us know which local Fort Collins businesses you’ll be supporting in the new year.