You See CS : Poor Richard’s

9 October 2018

Israel Wheatley

iwheatle@uccs.edu

    Coffee? Wine? Tiny hands? Books? Surely, each and every one of us has wondered something along the lines of, “Where can I find all of those things in one place?” Amazon? Sure. eBay? Probably. But nothing comes close to Poor Richard’s in Downtown Colorado Springs.

    From its simple origins as a used paperback store founded by Richard Skorman (hence Poor Richard’s), the bookstore-café-toy store-pizzeria has perhaps reached landmark status in the city for its warm, home-like atmosphere.

    Walking north on Tejon from Acacia Park, you’ll run into the first section of the business: Poor Richard’s Books and Gifts which sells, of course, used books – and gifts – on countless subjects and topics, such as travel, philosophy, religion and foreign language. (If you’re looking to sell your used books, give them a call and see what they are looking for.)

    In the front of the store is the gift section, selling items like quirky cards and trinkets. Some of its more popular merchandise are the tiny finger puppets, such as the hilariously famous tiny hands, the less-popular tiny feet and the less-known animal finger puppets.

    Directly adjacent to the bookstore is Rico’s Café & Wine Bar, specializing in teas, coffee, wine, beer and pastries. Quite often will you even be able to catch a live music show. The hardwood floors and lighting (which dims after a certain hour) will suit your studying or socializing needs perfectly.

    Take a walk through a doorway and you’re now in Little Richard’s Toy Store, where you will find fun gadgets, puppets, colorful stuffed animals, puzzles and even educational games.

    If you have children that get bored with books or aren’t old enough for coffee. Take them for a stroll through this toy wonderland! It carries all the essentials for kids and reminiscent adults alike.

    Last in the seemingly endless building is Poor Richard’s Restaurant, which specializes in New York style pizza. Skorman, having sold and bought back the restaurant between the 80s and 90s, began serving New York style pizza in the restaurant after living in New York, so you can feel safe knowing you’re taking a bite of authenticity.

    The most striking yet unassuming section of the establishment can actually be found behind the building. Just walk straight through the café or restaurant, pass through the doors – which list “push” and “pull” in a variety of languages, from Greek to French – and find yourself in a mock Old-World patio, complete with a wooden awning, plants and a waterfall as a finish to an atmosphere you can sink into and relax. Just remember: try not to feed the squirrel.

    Poor Richard’s holds strong values towards sustainability and community development, which reflects in many aspects around the establishment, particularly in its involvement in solar energy.

    According to the website, Poor Richard’s has 117 rooftop solar panels, which are capable of powering half of the business’s energy on a sunny summer day. This means they emit less CO2 into the environment as a result of relying less on the city’s communal coal resources.

    Additionally, the business has immense support for locality: they regularly host local artists and artwork, carry Colorado-made products and serve fair-trade merchandise and organic and preservative-free food when possible, according to the website.

    With all of these wonderful reasons together, Poor Richard’s is an absolutely perfect spot for students and friends of all ages to hang out or pass through, study, eat good pizza (vegan options available) and drink good drinks.

    And, of course, play with tiny hands.

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