A significant part of our business consists of bulk leaf tea sales to independent restaurants and cafes. This post is about one of our local customers, and one of my favorite places to go for tea and for the best happy hour in town!
The Hotel Boulderado is the best-known landmark in downtown Boulder. As you enter the hotel from the street, the hotel’s original foundation, made of large blocks of red sandstone mined from nearby Colorado mines, is clearly visible. Once you enter the lobby, you immediately notice the hotel’s famous stained-glass canopy ceiling. If you ever come in, you must check out the original water fountain to the left of the front desk – it dates back to the days when the Arapahoe Glacier supplied Boulder’s water.
It’s said that the hotel was named for the words “Boulder” and “Colorado” so that no guest would forget where they were staying. Seems like Boulder had a similar reputation back in the early 20th Century when the hotel opened as it does now! Famous guests have included Helen Keller, Douglas Fairbanks, Ethel Barrymore, and Louis Armstrong, according to a brochure in the lobby.
The hotel is home to two restaurants. On the right as you enter the main lobby is Q’s Restaurant. This location has gone through several major changes, from formal dining room to a casual 1950’s coffee shop, complete with soda fountain and prime rib dinners for $1.75 to Winston’s Seafood Restaurant in the 1980’s to Teddy Roosevelt’s Grille in the 1990’s. On the east side of the hotel is the popular Corner Bar, well-frequented every evening, and fully booked on its outdoor patio on summer nights.
The Hotel Boulderado has come full circle after going through many phases over this past century – a shaky beginning in the teens, Victorian luxury and prosperity in the roaring twenties, a fall during the Depression, deterioration, post-war modernization, and recently, restoration to its original grandeur. The hotel literature from the 1920’s states that “every guest may expect the best and get it.”
We like to think that the same holds true today. Both Boulderado restaurants have our loose-leaf teas on their menu, and serve them in Steepware Steeping Mugs. We recently had some fun taking photos of our mugs and teapots there, highlighting our Mod Teapot and our tea specialist, Bo Olson. So if you’re ever looking for the comfort of a first-class hotel in our fair city, and you love your tea, come hang out with us at Q’s or the Corner Bar.