My Top 5 Denver Coworking Spaces

Mugs at Creative Density. Photo from 2012.
Mugs at Creative Density. Photo from 2012.

In honor of the upcoming Denver Coworking Week (May 16 – 20)--which is a full week of celebrating Denver’s growing coworking space with free coworking days plus fun activities–I want to highlight my top five coworking spaces in Denver. Even though I have not talked about coworking much on this blog, I have tweeted about it quite a bit over the years (I even have a Twitter list called Coworking Rocks!). I began my journey into the coworking world in late 2011/early 2012: I LOVE the concept of sharing a professional working environment with others and building that community. Once I started my first business in 2012, coworking spaces became a lot more enticing to me (versus working from home or hanging out at a coffee shop).

I chose these five coworking spaces in Denver because either I was/is a member of the space, or I have visited the space for a day pass and enjoyed the vibe. What I love about all five spaces is that they are locally owned and operated and maintain great atmospheres in their spaces to foster community growth.

Check out these five superb coworking spaces in Denver:

My Top 5 Denver Coworking Spaces

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Finding My People in Denver

 

Living in Denver has provided me a lot of great opportunities to find my group of people to spend time with on a regular basis.

This past week marks my one-year anniversary being a part of Women of Denver, a growing professional organization in town founded by the amazing Krystal Covington. I was a little hesitant at first to join the group, but over the past year, I have made so many meaningful connections through the organization: not only potential and current clients, but great friends. Krystal has been a wonderful force of motivation for me, encouraging Hashtagitude to expand past social media services and provide video services (by way of Ryan), plus getting me out of my shell and doing workshops and interviews within Women of Denver.

My Time in San Francisco vs. in Denver

While reflecting upon this one-year anniversary this past week, I came to the realization that the reason why I have enjoyed my time here in Denver over these past four (almost five!) years has been because I have found “my people” living here. When I lived in San Francisco–while still an enjoyable experience–I never felt like I truly belonged to a constant group of people I could turn to on a regular basis. Yes, I still have several good friends (and also family) living in the Bay Area, but I never felt like I had a solid and constant group of people, either professional or personal, that I could spend time with.

My last day at ELI in 2010; got flowers for my departure. I miss Rimi and Masako!
My last day at ELI in 2010; got flowers for my departure. :) I miss Rimi and Masako!

 

I made a lot of friends while working at ELI, but many of them were the students, who came and went as they completed their program at ELI. I felt a sense of loss when students would move on from the school, either going back to their home countries or moving on to the local city college/universities. Plus, during the time I lived in San Francisco, my own job situation wasn’t too steady either, so as soon as I felt like I was making friends at one job, the job would soon be over or someone (or myself) would move on to the next job.

Finding Leads Group 7 in Denver

Moving to Denver in 2011, at first I felt like I was again in transient situations: I only did one year of graduate school at the University of Denver, so once I left the program, I felt like I lost some good connections there. I floated around in tech/startup meetups for about a year and a half, trying to find my people in those groups, but I never felt like I belonged in those groups. Only when I joined Leads Group 7 of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce did I start to feel a sense of belonging: less than six months into being a member of the group, I felt like they were indeed my chosen family here in Denver. To this day, I am still a part of Leads Group 7 and look forward to our weekly meetings on Wednesdays.

Hanging out with Leads Group 7 this week at our monthly social event. Yay for bowling!
Hanging out with Leads Group 7 this week at our monthly social event. Yay for bowling!

I recently joined the Gold Member Alliance Program (GMAP) at the Chamber as well, and am already feeling like the members of the group are also my people; being a part of Women of Denver this past year has definitely shown me that another aspect of my people are also in that group. I am so grateful for these opportunities to be around people who have similar experiences in their work lives (and sometimes even personal lives).

Yes, I have found my people!

Hopdoddy Burger Bar & Denver Bloggers Club: Fun Times in Denver

Hopdoddy Burger Bar & Denver Bloggers Club- Fun Times in Denver

 

Two weekends ago, I got to attend my first Denver Bloggers Club meetup, which was graciously sponsored by Hopdoddy, an Austin-based restaurant with a hot location here in Denver at Union Station.

Ryan ordered the El Diablo: Angus Beef, Pepper Jack, Habaneros, Serranos, Caramelized Onions, Salsa Roja, Chipotle Mayo. Photo taken by Ryan Kane.
Ryan ordered the El Diablo: Angus Beef, Pepper Jack, Habaneros, Serranos, Caramelized Onions, Salsa Roja, Chipotle Mayo. Photo taken by Ryan Kane.

Now, let me back up the story here a little: I have a hard time describing myself as a blogger, even though I have been more or less blogging since the early 2000s (oh, Livejournal). Since the inception of this website and blog, I have tried multiple times to brand the blog in a certain way, starting with my creative writing and then branching over to a San Francisco theme to a Denver theme to a business theme…and on and on to where now I just consider this blog more or less my musings of the moment, which changes a lot as I grow older. I’m glad that Jenny Finke, the founder of Denver Bloggers Club, finally helped me figure out how to ‘categorize’ my blog: lifestyle! Yes, that’s it!

Even Hopdoddy's Kennebec Fries were delicious and Ryan actually liked them (he doesn't like fries usually). Hand-cut daily! Photo taken by Ryan Kane.
Even Hopdoddy’s Kennebec Fries were delicious and Ryan actually liked them (he doesn’t like fries usually). Hand-cut daily! Photo taken by Ryan Kane.

Anyway, back to the outing: I loved going to Hopdoddy, since I had been to one of the original locations in Austin in 2014 and really enjoyed the burger that I ordered while there; alas, I don’t remember the name of that burger, but I do know that the one I chose two weeks ago was just as tasty: The K-Town Belly! A diverse mix of Korean and American flavors mixed into this burger makes for a delicious and slightly spicy mix. Yum!

K-Town Belly: Grass-Fed Beef, Braised Beeler's Pure Pork Belly, Kimchi, House-made Gochujang, Korean Rice Crispies, Mayo, Basil Leaves. Photo taken by Ryan Kane.
K-Town Belly: Grass-Fed Beef, Braised Beeler’s Pure Pork Belly, Kimchi, House-made Gochujang, Korean Rice Crispies, Mayo, Basil Leaves. Photo taken by Ryan Kane.

The Denver Bloggers Club had the honor of listening to the Denver location’s general manager, Melissa Withem, talk about the history and craft of Hopdoddy, and we even got to view the meat-grinding room and learn what “Narnia” means for each restaurant location. What makes Hopdoddy unique is that they have a huge emphasis on freshly made ingredients, from daily-grinded meat patties, daily-baked bread, to made-from-scratch sauces. Melissa was excellent with her professionalism and vibrant personality, which just added to the overall enjoyable experience that weekend.

Me & Melissa Withem, the general manager for Hopdoddy in Denver. Photo taken by Ryan Kane.
Me & Melissa Withem, the general manager for Hopdoddy in Denver. Photo taken by Ryan Kane.

We bloggers also spent some time discussing about general strategies and tactics with one another about increasing blog traffic: I know I want to do more with my blog soon, so having this group will help me out a lot!

Yum. We had to end our meal with a Caramel Oreo milkshake. Great combination! Photo taken by Ryan Kane.
Yum. We had to end our meal with a Caramel Oreo milkshake. Great combination! Photo taken by Ryan Kane.

Thanks to Hopdoddy for the amazing hospitality and to Jenny Finke for organizing such a fun outing! I hope to stay motivated and active with my blogging through Denver Bloggers Club.

My Adventure into the World of Beer & #GABF

Urethra Franklin beer from Renegade Brewery at 9th/Kalamath in Denver.
Urethra Franklin beer from Renegade Brewery at 9th/Kalamath in Denver.

Before I moved to Denver, I preferred wine or mixed drinks. Beer was rarely ever on my radar before Denver: my earliest memory of beer was when I was a kid and noticed one of my uncles loved drinking Budweiser. I snuck a taste of the beer and immediately went, “Blech!” So ever since then, I wasn’t interested in beer…

…until I moved to Denver. I didn’t know beforehand that Colorado was very proud of its craft beer culture, but once I started making more friends in Denver, I discovered the diverse world of beer. I met Adrienne Rinaldi, aka Beer Snob Chick, and started attending Brew Asanas (yoga & beer events organized by Adrienne); I gradually went to more networking events and experienced many more varieties of beer; and then finally, I met my boyfriend, Ryan.

Ryan enjoys a good IPA but loves trying other kinds of beer out as well. I discovered early last year that I, in fact, could not stomach IPAs as well as I’d thought, so these days, I stick to porters, lighter ales, and recently discovered sour beer. Yum!

I remember last year, Ryan had complained about how the tickets for the Great American Beer Festival (aka GABF, #GABF) had sold out within minutes of going on sale. He had wanted to go with a couple of his friends, but to no avail. When the ticket dates were announced for this year’s GABF, we banded together and attempted to get tickets. I sat at the computer at 10am in late July, ready to get tickets no matter what; after all, I love a good challenge! The Ticketmaster website was slow and it *seemed* like tickets were all gone, but I kept hitting ‘refresh’ and finally got to reserve two tickets. Exciting!

Hehe, Ryan with the Kane Brewing sign. Kane Brewing is located in New Jersey.
Hehe, Ryan with the Kane Brewing sign. Kane Brewing is located in New Jersey.

So as a belated birthday treat for Ryan, I bought the tickets for us to attend GABF. I didn’t think much about any ‘prep’ until the week before, and kept hearing about pretzel necklaces from others, but Ryan and I received mixed messages about whether we were to bring our own pretzel necklaces or to just bring our own yarn to string pretzels onto at the festival.

We attended GABF on Thursday, September 24th, which was the first day of the festival. Luckily we both had the day off (and the next day!), so we could enjoy the evening with no worries about the next day. We were already downtown pretty early and decided to start lining up around 3:30pm; as it turned out, many other people were already lined up for the doors to open as well. As the crowd grew larger, we realized we made the mistake of NOT bringing our own pretzel/food necklaces: we saw a large array of necklace combinations from other attendees, including necklaces with beef jerky sticks, cheese sticks, and even some fast food hamburgers!

Lots and lots of attendees at GABF! Photo by Ryan.
Lots and lots of attendees at GABF! Photo by Ryan.

Once the bagpipes started up around 5:30pm, we were one of the first attendees inside. Despite downloading the GABF app beforehand, we at first didn’t have much of a strategy and just approached one row of breweries and sampled all the beers down the line. After that round, we decided to be more strategic and hit up breweries from other states such as Virginia and Indiana before hitting up Colorado breweries. I definitely enjoyed a lot of the sour beers I tried! There were quite a few pumpkin beers and also chile pepper beers.

Some of my favorite beers from the evening:

Cannabis-infused beer from Dudes Brews Co.
Cannabis-infused beer from Dude’s Brews Co.

Of course, all the Colorado beers were fantastic. We even tried cannabis-infused beer from Dude’s Brews Co.! Alas, we couldn’t try EVERY beer there (we think it’s near impossible for ANYONE to do that, even if they attended all three days!).

Despite there being so many attendees, we ran into a handful of familiar faces as some of our friends were also attendees or volunteers pouring the beer samples. We were happy to finally catch our friend Jared at the name.com booth at the end of the night; he was busy filming video montages at the festival for name.com, such as this video about all the beards at GABF:

Overall, the night was so much fun! We were happy to have the opportunity to attend GABF and hope to attend (or volunteer) in the coming years.

Yay for beer!

I'm being a dork with Jared from name.com. Meanwhile, Jared looks relatively normal :P Photo by Ryan.
I’m being a dork with Jared from name.com. Meanwhile, Jared looks relatively normal :P Photo by Ryan.

Four Years of Denver For Me!

My first Colorado Rockies baseball game in September 2011
My first Colorado Rockies baseball game in September 2011

I forget the exact date I moved to Denver in 2011, but I’m celebrating my four years here in Denver this whole week.

Yay! Four years of Denver for me!

I feel like my life so far has gone through 4-year cycles: yes, I went through four years of high school and four years of college. But then I spent *nearly* four years in San Francisco: I moved to San Francisco on June 15, 2007, and almost made it to my fourth anniversary in San Francisco, if it hadn’t been for my meltdown in late January of 2011, which caused for me to move out of San Francisco on January 30th, 2011.

And now, four years in Denver.

Four years in Denver has made me quite quirky!
Four years in Denver has made me quite quirky!

What next?

Well, I don’t currently plan on leaving Denver anytime soon. There was a brief period of time where I fancied moving to New York City, but that feeling has subsided (well, at least for now).

The past four years in Denver have certainly been an adventure, and I believe the next four years will be even more adventurous.

 

 

Just a brief summary of what all has happened to me in Denver since 2011:

  • Started and stopped my MBA studies
  • Started three companies: closed down two and going strong with the third one!
  • Ended an abusive relationship
  • Began a nurturing, more fulfilling relationship
  • Spoke at three Ignite Denver shows
  • Rescued three cats (#crazycatlady)
  • Became more extroverted through networking, Leads Group 7, and social media
  • Met some of the most wonderful people in the world
  • And so much more…
You're awesome, Colorado.
You’re awesome, Colorado.

Here’s to the next four years….!