social craft bar night.jpg

Social Craft Stair

We think that a good measure of successful a commercial district is when its side streets are activated with street level retail and restaurant uses.  Similarly, individual streets themselves are truly successful when the spaces below ground and upper floors are activated with restaurants and retail.  Such is the case with Mountain Avenue (and several other Fort Collins streets) within the first block on either side of College Avenue. 

The keen minds behind the now wildly successful bar “Social” saw an opportunity in an underutilized basement under 1 Old Town Square for a speakeasy type cocktail bar.  The main problem was access. 

We were asked to help create an entry stair for the new bar in the right-of-way in front of a successful clothing store to provide a memorable address and convenient access. The primary challenge was assuring approving bodies that an easement in the right-of-way would not impede pedestrian flow, but would in fact add to the vitality of the public realm. We pointed out multiple examples of exterior stairs in downtown spanning the past 100 years or so, creating a strong precedent. There was also the question of appropriately recognizable, yet subtle, signage, for which we proposed a street clock that would be both a public benefit and a simple marker of the bar’s presence—in essence a street mounted blade sign.

We are pleased to see its evolving positive impact on an already great street. 

LOCATION: 1 Old Town Plaza, Fort Collins, Colorado
CLIENT: Social Craft Bar
SCOPE: Entitlements
COMPLETION: 2014