In Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, 900 East 11th has long been the home to a variety of grocery stores. Centrally located in one of Denver’s densest populated areas, the location has been the place where locals gathered and grabbed a wheat grass shot before shopping. Basket sizes were typically smaller than average as most people walked from the surrounding homes and apartment buildings. It’s close proximity to Cheeseman Park made it a popular destination for picnickers, festival-goers, and for those rushing home to grab dinner after a full day in the sun. Outside, bands would play on the patio to a full packed crowd, & inside artists hung their work in the café. Locals pinned index cards with photos of bikes for sale, stories of a missed connection, or their poetry for everyone to read on the community board. This was a huge corkboard hung on the wall adjacent to the juice bar. The bar itself was a massive wooden antique, a full relic of the western era, taken out of a tavern in the mountains. For a time, the store was a community gathering place.
Now, in the current state of a pandemic, with concerns about social distancing, the plan seems to be to get people in and out with minimal contact. No lingering. Clean efficient self check out lanes are prominent, as is a bar where you can order a beer or a kombucha while you shop, but seating is very limited.
The location that was originally a Safeway store in the 70’s, then FBC “Fruit Basket” in the 80’s, an Alfalfa’s Market in the 90’s, a Wild Oats Market in the 2000’s, then a Whole Foods Market in the 10’s, is now… Ideal Market.
Finally open after months of construction, we stopped in and snapped a few photos during the opening week.