Platt Park Covid-19 Neighborhood Update, as of July 2020
Covid-19 edition part deux. In case you haven’t noticed that darn pandemic is still hanging around–not that you’d know if you swung by Washington Park to join a sweaty basketball game or wanted to jump in on a little volleyball action—looks a bit ‘life as normal’ out there on so many levels. I love my Platt Park home but have to admit escaping these four walls and engaging in some human social interaction has become quite appealing of late. Did some bike riding up in the mountains the other day, sans mask, I felt like a puppy let out of its crate. Recently enjoyed some social-distance dining at one of our local restaurants for the first time in like four months. The self-indulgent thrill of ordering from a menu and having it delivered by a smiling (I assume) waitress was overwhelming.
On the serious side I sincerely hope all has gone well for you and your loved ones. For some this has been a very trying time indeed. The pandemic can at times seem like much-a-do-about-nothing until it hits home or close to home then all that changes quickly. I have loved the spirit of ‘we are all in this together’ which has largely pervaded our neighborhood from my perspective. Don’t know what the immediate future holds but eventually this too will pass and we’ll have some great stories to tell down the road as “Pandemic Survivors”—ta da!
I poked around the Platt Park neighborhood some just to check in on some of our favorite business to see how they have survived all this. Here are a few of those stories.
It’s been an adventurous ride for Emily Rodriguez, owner of the Ruffly Rose. Amongst a few predictable upheavals Emily also gave birth to a little girl in April just to add a layer of excitement to all this. She said it was difficult pivoting when all this hit. The greatest financial challenge was all the weddings that canceled which represent a significant portion of her business–providing flowers for those events. Ruffly Rose during the height of the ‘stay at home’ order would set up flowers outside on Pearl St where people could, on the honor system take what they wanted and Venmo her the money. She said it worked well. Thought that was a cool reflection of all of you out there. Since things have opened up business has been great although the wedding portion will not return for some time. Overall, she is surviving just fine. I asked her if there was anything she wanted to say to the neighbors and she simply left it at “I love them”. Okay…mic drop.
Caught up with Brian Forrester the manager of Uno Mas which is a sister restaurant to Bird and Kaos Pizza. Brian said they immediately, during the shutdown went to the take-out only model. There are actually three Uno Mas restaurants now, one in the Cap Hill area and one in Fort Collins. Those shut down but the owner, Patrick Mangold-White elected to keep this, the flagship going—good news for us Taco lovers out there. Brian said the neighborhood response was amazing and because of that they were able retain 100% of their staff. The city allowed take-out alcohol which helped the bottom line considerably. Guess a little Margarita action smoothed the stay at home blues—who knew. Once the restaurant opened again in June, with the addition of the back-patio seating they have been running at maximum capacity. Revenue is still down about 20% over what would be a normal summer but they are getting by fine for now.
If there is an anchor business on Pearl Street it would have to be the Sushi Den empire. They opened around the first of July for dine-in at the Izakaya Den location. I asked how that is being received and was told they are staying 100% booked out for at least two weeks in advance. Anyone surprised? Side bonus fact: The Denshu Den construction project going on at the site of the old Gaja Bistro building has been put on indefinite hold till all this passes and we get back to some version of a new normal.
So, I’m sure each business, like all of us, is having their challenges but overall it seems our local business are getting along. The shops and restaurants on Pearl and Broadway add so much to what make this such a special place to live. Probably goes without saying but let’s keep patronizing locally whenever we can so when the Covid-smoke clears everyone is still standing!
New Business on South Pearl
There is one new business to highlight in this issue. Not a totally new business as it opened in 2019 but it slipped under my radar. Elite IV Lounge opened last year and honestly, I initially thought it was just a new name on the beauty parlor that previously occupied the location. Couldn’t be more wrong about that. ‘IV’ is not, in this case the Roman numeral for ‘4’ as I supposed but rather stands for IV as in Intravenous, you know like when you get the old needle in the arm and they put stuff in you (sorry for using such highly technical terms). I spoke with one of the owners Jessie Russell about the business. She said they use the IV treatment to get fluids, nutrients and medications into the body quickly and effectively. They offer treatments to anyone for a variety of things ranging from hangover recovery (must have been a doozy), altitude sickness, athletic recovery and performance, immune system boost and a host of other things. You can drop by for a single treatment or they sell packages so you can take advantage of their services on a regular basis. Trained nurses administer the IV and patrons can relax in their comfortable facilities during treatments. Takes about 30 minutes. Elite IV is located at 1229 S Pearl St or check them out at https://www.medicalspa-denverco.com/
Stay safe and healthy out there. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer!
See you around the neighborhood