Enjoy a neon signage scavenger hunt at local businesses as you search for the perfect Instagram shot!
The neon lighting tube has been around since 1915, but neon signs are becoming a modern social media phenomenon in Denver. The retro signage is frequently photographed and shared on Instagram, giving local businesses free exposure.
Morry’s Neon, the famed Denver neon sign-maker, has seen a “surge of requests” for the glowing signs recently, according to Tina Weseloh, who helps run the business.
“Retro is in right now, and a lot of people see neon as retro,” said Weseloh. “Also, people are looking for something different than the average — and in my opinion, boring — LED channel letter sign. You just can’t get the feel of real neon any other way.”
Weseloh says the craft of creating neon signage takes years to learn. It involves the bending of gas-filled glass tubes into letter shapes, an old-school process that only select artisans are able to offer. But these sought-after signs are gaining popularity with Denver businesses.
“It has always been a staple for your typical bar, but it definitely has gotten more attention as a funky detail in modern or minimal interiors,” said Maddie Bonthron, designer at RiNo Sign Works. “It has a nostalgic quality that is really appealing, and it photographs well at night, which any business will love for that free shout-out on Instagram.”
Are you ready to go on a neon scavenger hunt? Discover the neon signs at these local Denver businesses.
The Ramble Hotel
The 10′ by 12′ “Wish You Were Here” sign makes a stellar vacation photo.
“The Mountains Are Calling” and “I love you to Denver and back” signs in the bathrooms at this rooftop bar perfectly complement the mountain views.
This neon sign features a classic David Bowie quote: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
courtesy of Urban Farmer
The Way Back
Inspired by a Wendell Berry poem, this bright yellow neon sign reads “Wild Things.”
The owner wanted a sarcastic sign at this bar, and ended up choosing one that reads “So glad you’re not here.”
Explore tons of neon art inside this LoDo food hall, from the “Lou’s Hot and Naked” sign to one that reads “Gimme Some Sugar.”
courtesy of Milk Market
Punch Bowl Social
Sit by the fireplace and warm up under the glow of this “Holiday Lodge” sign.
Ace Eat Serve
Bought from a liquor store, this “Cut Rate Liquors” sign now hangs at this Asian fusion restaurant. The owner said, “…neon possesses a creativity and connection to roadside eateries, bars, drive-ins and motels that we wanted to honor and preserve at both Steuben’s and Ace.”
The two neon signs at this Denver restaurant are wildly popular: “Guests comment on our signs frequently and they are often the subject of social media posts, especially the bathroom sign, almost as a rite of passage to have visited Call,” said owner Craig Lieberman.
In addition to neon signs at businesses in the building, the vintage “Stanley” sign hangs outside. It dates back to 1954 and is beloved by long-time Coloradoans.
What are your favorite neon signs around Denver? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to post a photo!