Ohana’s new shop “Townies” opens Thursday offering a creative space for creative company
On the west end of Steamboat a creative oasis awaits.
Townies, featuring a retro-beach-meets-mountain-lifestyle atmosphere, encompasses a word derived from the Hawaiian culture Ohana, something Steamboat’s local screenprinting shop is known for providing — “guest house,” a place welcoming all.
“We wanted to create a fun, mixed-use creative space for people to hang out in,” said Luke Dudley, owner of Ohana, located at 700 Yampa St., and Townies, at 1744 Lincoln Ave. “There is a great creative scene in Steamboat, but at times, there’s no place for a local to just sit and have a beer or coffee – instead you feel like you have to get your drink, eat your food and get out of the way. This just creates more of a laid-back, open space.”
Townies will introduce itself to the Steamboat Springs community from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday with a live, first-press event benefiting the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. The new bike-inspired designs will be unveiled, and attendees will have a chance to pick from four T-shirt colors and receive a unique, original shirt. For every shirt sold, the Dudleys will donate $10 to the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund.
The space, that previously housed Storm Peak Brewing Company, has been transformed into a creative outlet with teal walls where screen-printed clothing and accessories, postcards, jewelry and household goods, along with work crafted by a variety of Colorado artists, hangs.
Townies will also serve wine, Steamboat craft brews on tap and coffee from Steamboat Coffee Roasters next door.
As a focal point beyond the twinkling lights hanging from the ceiling, a geometric, vibrant mural by Steamboat artist Fernando Maldonado provides a source of inspiration and also encompasses the Ohana and Townies brand.
“We love the mountains and the ocean, and we try to portray that in our brand,” said Emily Dudley. “We wanted this space to be kind of funky – for lack of a better word – something that was different and that offered a unique experience for people.”
The Dudleys say the term “Townies” can have a lot of different meanings.
“We describe it as people who love the Yampa Valley and will do just about whatever it takes to make their dream of living here a reality,” said Emily Dudley. “We’ve worked just about every job in the books to try and make this place our home. We are Townies, we love this place. It’s a little broader and all encompassing than the term ‘local.’”
“I grew up here, and sometimes, I think there’s a negative connotation around the word ‘local’ because people feel like they have to prove something,” added Luke Dudley. “But for us, Townies is just people who love to be in Steamboat and care about this community. It doesn’t matter if you’re here for a month or 25 years, anybody can care about this town and really contribute to it. That’s what we consider Townies to be.”
As business at Ohana expanded, the Dudleys said they began looking for a warehouse space where they could do their screen printing and the former Storm Peak Brewing space became available. The idea then evolved to creating a mixed-use space for the community.
“People are so interested now in seeing where their products come from and seeing how things are created and connecting to a brand,” said Luke Dudley. “Creating that kind of a connection for our consumers was our goal.”
Now, a majority of the screen printing will be done out of the new space, and they will also sell larger artwork that they can’t carry within their smaller retail space. In addition, Townies will be the “hub” for monthly live printing events.
To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email @Audrey_Dwyer1
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