It’s not unusual to get drawn into the Poor Richard’s complex in downtown Colorado Springs and not emerge again for hours. The complex, tucked conveniently between the downtown and Colorado College, features (try to keep track) Poor Richard’s Bookstore, Poor Richard’s Cards and Gifts, Rico’s Café and Wine Bar, Little Richard’s Toystore, and Poor Richard’s Restaurant. We’ll start at the south end in this eclectic maze in restored buildings. The bookstore originally opened in 1975, and today features new and used books along with collectible and rare volumes, maps and guides.
The card and gift shop is an eclectic boutique with locally made art and jewelry. Rico’s Café is a newer, sleeker space in the complex, with a full espresso bar, more than 20 wines that are changed out regularly, gourmet beers and 30 loose-leaf teas. There’s live entertainment here – a quirky combination of jazz, folk and world music. The toystore specializes in learning toys, board games and a massive collection of stuffed animals. Most of the toys here are powered by humans, not batteries. And the restaurant, at the north end of the complex, has been serving brick-oven pizza for nearly 40 years. The back of the restaurant features a castle play area with a children’s art space and lending library of children’s books.
What makes it great:
Locally roasted coffee, nearly three dozen loose-leaf teas, and Belgian hot chocolate are on the beverage menu at this downtown café. A menu features tapas, cheese and meat plates and pasta, as well as offerings from adjoining Poor Richard’s Restaurant (beloved for its pizza). Check out the Dubliner cheese plate, roasted walnuts, pecans and almonds, or the veggie Reuben with mushrooms subbing for corned beef. At night, Rico’s is transformed into a wine bar featuring more than 20 wines, with live music Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Who will love it:
Poor Richard’s appeals to people for many different reasons. Some seek unique gifts. Others are drawn by the narrow rows of books (organized into 165 categories). And still others crave the pizza with homemade sauce and a tantalizing list of toppings to choose from: zucchini, feta cheese, pesto, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic and steamed broccoli are among the more unusual offerings (and there’s also vegan cheese).
Directions, fees and regulations:
Located in downtown Colorado Springs, from 320 N. Tejon Street to 324 ½ N. Tejon Street. The bookstore is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The wine bar is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Toystore hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. And the restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
Have you been here? What did you think? Leave your comments here or post a photo.