Downtown Montrose: An Afternoon on Main Street

[May 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage | By Kathryn R. Burke]
Images, Paul Hurschmann.

Spring to summer–it’s a time of transition. This is especially true in Western Colorado, where deep snows give way to roaring waterfalls. Wildflowers bloom, rivers run, and lakes fill as we head toward the June solstice, June 21st this year. Farmers and ranchers rejoice—it’s a time of new growth. Adventurers rejoice—it’s time to get out the mountain bikes and hiking boots. For all of us, no matter how we spent the winter, spring is a season of renewal. Summer is opulence, and we can’t wait for it to arrive.

This transitional period is also when we do a traditional ‘spring’ cleaning, tossing out the old, replacing with some new. Winter gear, coats, and snow boots get packed away. Out come sandals and our brighter, lighter clothes. Put away the crock-pot and get out the plastic picnic wear. Plant vegetables, buy flower baskets, toss the old gardening gloves, and buy new ones. Goodbye beef stew and hot toddies by the fire. Hello barbecue and margaritas on the patio.

In the process of deciding what to keep, what needs to go, and what should be replaced, we make donation piles. We load up the gotta-go’s and haul them to secondhand resellers and charitable sales outlets. Then, we take an inventory of what’s left. And, realize we need stuff. Oh boy, do we ever. So, to celebrate the changing seasons and the traditional transitions that come with it … we give the solstice battle cry, “Let’s go shopping!”

That’s just what we did one fine spring day, when a group of us decided to make a day of it in downtown Montrose. Joining me were Deb Hawk, Silver Stage Fashion and Food editor, and her friend, Ellena Wenger; Ninah Hunter, our Real Estate and Ridgway editor; Lisette Riviere from Partners; Marla Matters from the Montrose Woman’s Club; and Margaret Kauffman, from the Montrose Arts Center.

SheShe store owner Kimberly advises Marla on jewelry.

SheShe Boutique & Gallery
340 E. Main St.

we began at SheShe Boutique. Everybody wanted out of their dreary winter duds and loved looking through the bright spring colors, soft summery fabrics, and all that goes with it, from top to bottom, inside and out. We didn’t skip the little things either—shoes, handbags, jewelry, and hats were not neglected. We tried on clothes, admired and commented on each other’s choices. “Does this purse go with that dress?” “Is this a good color for me?” “Are these earrings too much?” And as we are all 50-plus, a frequent question, “Do you have this in a larger size?”

They do! Store owner, Kimberly McGeehee, could definitely accommodate our requests. She carries a wide range of sizes and styles. We all found something we liked, from lingerie to casual day-wear to party dresses.

Deb, who also likes to host ‘Girlfriend’s Night’ at SheShe, hauled the biggest pile to the cash register. Ellena (left) wasn’t far behind. None of us left empty-handed. Kimberly bagged it all up for us, and off we went to our next stop.

Ninah shows Kate, Deb, and Lisette her fun finds.

317 E. Main St.

We were A bunch of happy shoppers when, laden with our purchases, we crossed the street to visit Fabula. Now that we’d taken care of our own personal wearables, we wanted to brighten up our houses, too. Billed as ‘home décor, gifts, and kitchen accessories’, this is definitely the store that can do it . . . and a whole lot more.

Owner Sonja Horn stocks just about anything you could want for your home, from a bright-red butter keeper to flower-shaped and scented soaps.

Besides pots, pans, and cooking utensils, her kitchen ‘gadget’ department rivals anything I’ve seen in the New York stores. How about a tea caddy shaped like a duck? A portable veggie and dip container that looks like a carrot—with a screw-off top? (Ninah bought one.) Salt and pepper shakers that masquerade as little cats (which went into my shopping basket). Fabula has dishes to die for, with all the table décor to go with, including napkins, placemats, candles, and serving pieces.

Marla was planning a dinner party and found everything she needed. Deb doesn’t cook, but she loves to entertain. She found some oversized wine glasses that had us all hoping we’d be invited to her next cocktail party.

Lisette bought some of the great cards Fabula stocks. They also carry personal accessories like jewelry, handbags, hats, and really fun socks—
I bought a pair with wine bottles and glasses. Margaret got a hat.

Just as we had at SheShe, we all loaded up here, too.

Deb and Marla peruse a book.

Maggie’s Books
345 E. Main St.

From cooking to cookbooks. Our last shop stop took us to the building on the NW corner of Cascade and Main, home to Sara Rinne’s Maggie’s Books and her husband Nick Rinne’s establishment, The Vine Market and Bistro, where we planned to wind up our day. It would be a natural progression to browse the bookstore then cut through the common hallway to finish our shopping celebration.

But first, we needed to wander through the bookstore to see what Sara has. A lot, it turns out. Formerly with the Montrose Regional Library, and a Montrose native, Sara is familiar with what people want to read and how to match her inventory to readers’ interests and needs.

We found great books on everything from cooking (to use all that wonderful stuff we got at Fabula); to mainstream art and history; to decorating, fashion, and children’s books; and more. (Maggie’s also carries San Juan Publishing books.) It’s not all just books, though. The store also has magnets, cards, journals, and other printed gift items.

A strong believer in community, Sara hosts ‘First Friday’ book signings and book talks, and Saturday children’s events.
Shopping is hard work! We all spent a little time resting and reading, before we gathered up our packages and headed to our final stop of the day, The Vine.

Happy hour at the Vine.

The Vine Market & Bistro
347 E. Main St.

Locals love this spot. From the day it opened on the corner of Cascade and East Main, it’s been a favorite. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner; coffee drinks or happy hour—any time is a good time to stop in when you’re downtown.

The Vine, Market and Bistro features farm-fresh, locally-sourced food; fresh-baked pastries; and ‘grab-n-go’ products including sauces, rices, and spices. It offers gluten-free choices. Besides wine and beer, The Vine has a full bar and is known for Happy Hour specialty martinis and other signature drinks, like the Fiery Fatale margarita or Purple Rain made with gin and blueberry lavender syrup.

Here comes restaurant owner Nick with two plates of the to-die-for truffle fries!

The Vine also caters. We’ve had them ‘do the food’ for events several times and have never been disappointed. The food isn’t just ordinary, it’s extraordinary. Don’t believe me? Check out their menu online, Then stop by and sample for yourself—like we did. Try the truffle fries. Oh boy. Since our visit was winding up the day, along with our wine and cocktails, Nick served us some of their signature appetizers: Baba Ghanouj and Hummus Plate; Mushroom Flatbread with Spanish Manchego cheese, a scrumptious antipasto plate, a salad with strawberries and goat cheese, and my favorite, truffle fries. We had seconds of everything.

We’re all looking forward to our next adventure.

Downtown shoppers for this story (flanking photographer, Paul Hurschmann) L-R: Margaret Kauffman, Montrose Center for the Arts; Marla Matters, Montrose Woman’s Club; Lisette Riviere, Partners; Ellena Wenger, retired business owner; Kate Burke, Silver Stage publisher; Deb Hawk, our Fashion and Food Editor. Not shown, picture-taker, Ninah Hunter, Coldwell Banker RE and Silver Stage Real Estate Editor.