From a beleaguered neighborhood where graffiti was the predominate local art, the Tennyson Street’s Cultural District in Denver has redeveloped into a fresh mix of hip independently owned shops, trendy restaurants and also hosts the innovative BookBar.

Born while reading a book and sipping on a glass of wine, Nicole Sullivan’s imagination was sparked to combine the best of both worlds and the foundation of the BookBar was established. It was slow to develop, but she wanted to ensure not only having good books and drinks, but also an inviting atmosphere that encouraged hanging out, reading and visiting about books while also embracing a relaxed ambience. Her BookBar expressed her passion on how important independent bookstores are to not only the community, but to authors as well.

Many people equate bookstores being a rather stale environment that combines rows of books on shelves with the stillness of a library. To the contrary, the BookBar is far from the normal bookstore. From the moment of walking in, visitors feel welcomed from the friendly staff and cozy atmosphere. Several rooms, stuffed with books, are linked throughout the repurposed building, to even include an upstairs apartment for rent known as the BookBed. Furniture in conspicuous places call out to visitors to sit down and put their feet up and unwind. Out back, the patio hosts an inviting fire pit where visitors can enjoy delicacies from the small yet exquisite menu.

Can the BookBar match Amazon’s prices? Nope. Nicole is a neighborhood mom who can’t compete against the wealthiest man on earth, but she offers so much more to the community. Activities at the BookBar include, but are not limited to, book launch parties, author signings, poet open mics, neighborhood story times to encourage childhood reading, local author happy hours, literary trivia nights, BookBar’s BookClub, book and wine pairings, wine and beer tastings, and literacy learning sessions. Plus, their inventory is available online!

Why am I rambling on and giving props to the BookBar? Well, I always admire the entrepreneurial spirit and, on a more selfish level, the BookBar made room on their shelves for K9 Rocky. Here’s hoping an occasional browser will notice Rocky’s story among the 3,000 titles and be intrigued enough to get to know him better.