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Slow down and smell the roses

The Durango Business Improvement District encourages you to slow down and smell the roses the next time you are downtown.

There is a lot to see and do downtown, whether you are a local, just moved here or are just visiting. There are new stores and shops, new restaurants, events are returning and the bump-outs are back.

First, let’s talk about the bump-outs. While the city of Durango did the heavy lifting last year and this year to allow these new spaces to be used by businesses, BID is proud to have played a part in creating and maintaining the bump-outs. BID asks that when you are driving downtown to slow down to help make the dining experience better for restaurant patrons. Keep your speed and your volume levels low. Turn down that awesome song you have thumping, and please don’t rev your engine either.

There are several new businesses that opened in the past 12 months. The next time you are at 11th Street Station, take a stroll north and pop into Second Time Around. It is located at 1139 Main Ave., and is a boutique consignment shop with an amazing selection of clothes. Second Time Around has a long history downtown and now is on Main. Also be sure to visit Taco Libre at 1150 Main Ave. The restaurant offers fresh Mexican street food and modern mixology in its beautiful space. It also has a nice patio out back.

In the 800 block, stop by Stitch at 858 Main Ave. Stitch is a contemporary quilt boutique that offers the latest fabrics, patterns, books, classes and sewing machines. I stopped in there the other day to see my longtime friend and owner LeeAnn Vallejos, who showed me the new machines. Things have changed since I learned to sew in school back in the day.

Another good place to spend some time exploring is Parts Unknown at 777 Main Ave. The store is a fourth-generation, family-owned business, and Durango is its ninth location. Parts Unkown carries leather goods, men’s and women’s clothing, jewelry and tons of boots.

Twilight Toys just opened its second location in the area. You might have seen it on the plaza at Purgatory, and now it has a store at 600 Main Ave., Suite 105. Every toy and product in the store is hand-picked by owner Christina, and certified as fun by her two cute kids, who you will see in the shop from time to time. Twilight Toys has toys, of course, but also games and constructive activities to challenge your kids’ brains.

Fur Trappers Steakhouse and Bar is a fixture at Vallecito, and now has a downtown location, too. Stop by at 701 East Second Ave. It has a ton of variety on its menu and serves up amazing food in a family friendly atmosphere.

Events are also coming back, and my personal favorite is the San Juan Brewfest. This year, it will morph into a two-day event with fewer people attending each day, easing the crowding at this popular event. Dates are Aug. 28 and 29, follow it on Facebook for more details.

Slow down literally and figuratively the next time you are downtown.

Tim Walsworth is executive director of the Durango Business Improvement District. Contact him at timw@downtowndurango.org.