You’ve Gotta Visit This Gnome-Themed Sandwich Shop in Denver!

As part of our ongoing series about gnome-themed businesses around the world, wanted to share a bit about our recent visit to The Grateful Gnome Sandwich Shoppe & Brewery in Denver, Colorado.

The Grateful Gnome is an authentic Italian-style delicatessen that doubles as a microbrewery, because well, this is Colorado after all. Being only established in March 2018, it’s pretty new on the local restaurant scene but makes an awesome addition to the hip Berkley neighborhood on the northwest side of town.

Dan Appell is the brains and heart behind The Grateful Gnome, inspired by his dad’s Parsippany, New Jersey sandwich shop when he was a kid. Meanwhile, Bess is the expert brewmaster who provides the sandwich shop with well-balanced and tasty beers.

As you might expect, The Grateful Gnome is decked out with gnome figurines, banners, signage, and merchandise for sale. Look behind the bar for a big collection of gnomes, and then stroll around inside to find “hidden gnome gems” that will make you smile. My husband and I sat outside on the restaurant’s patio because it’s dog-friendly out there if you tie your pup to the side of the fence and we had our “Monkey” with us.

The restaurant’s sandwich menu is extensive and pretty overwhelming with at least 54 options to choose from, plus dozens of toppings and add-ons. At the Grateful Gnome, you’ll also find a kids’ menu, soups, salads, fries, and other surprises. And don’t forget about the beer! You’ll find about 12 beers on tap here, as well as a cider and a non-alcoholic root beer. Get a sampler if you can’t make up your mind or want to try a few different gnome-inspired varieties.

I’ll admit that the menu is a bit challenging as a vegetarian because it’s very meat-heavy, but they have a great “vegwich” that tastes great with the Giggity IPA and Hibiscus Saison. The service was good, the t-shirts are cute, and the neighborhood is fun to walk around. Better yet, The Grateful Gnome offers live music sporadically throughout the week and updates its Facebook page with details about who’s playing when. So next time you’re in Denver, stop by The Grateful Gnome and tell the gnomies we say hello!

Get Your Very Own Gnome-Shaped Snow Cone in Texas!

In the summertime, it doesn’t get much more refreshing than a cool and delicious snow cone. If you’re lucky enough to live in or be traveling through Texas, you can enjoy a gnome-themed snow cone to cool off and embrace your love of gnomes!

Gnome Cones is a small snow cone business that was launched in Argyle, Texas in 2017. The founders created the world’s first gnome-shaped shaved ice treats with all-natural ingredients, rather the artificial syrups and dyes that are common in this industry.

While recently traveling in my RV from Texas to Oklahoma, I couldn’t resist hopping off Interstate-35 to make a pit stop at Gnome Cones to try one for myself!

Gnome cones come in many different flavors and are served in cute cups with gnomes’ faces on them. I ordered a “Troll’s Blood” flavor, which is a combination of cherry, strawberry, and coconut. You can even get a scoop of vanilla ice cream underneath your shaved ice treat, which is delicious and highly recommended.

I can honestly say this was the best snow cone I’ve ever tasted, and that’s not just because it’s shaped like a gnome!

The adorable Gnome Cones stand has a few picnic tables outside to enjoy your treat. Take some time to check out the shop’s diverse gnome collection that surrounds the building. It’s also next to a local food truck called Bumbershoot Barbecue, which has a large and lovely seating area that’s cozy and shaded. Both areas are pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your four-legged companion along. The Gnome Cones staff serves you while wearing red gnome hats, which adds a fun touch to the whole experience. Gnome Cones also sells gnome-themed merchandise, so I made sure to buy a “Don’t Mess with Gnomes in Texas” t-shirt and a fun keychain for my purse to take home as souvenirs.

Gnome Cones in Argyle is open daily from noon to 9pm, and shortly after my visit, it opened up a second location in the nearby town of Denton. The new downtown Denton location is much larger, has a covered patio, and offers an extended menu with soft-serve ice cream, pastries, and hot drinks too.

So, if you’re ever passing through this part of Texas, consider treating yourself to something delicious and supporting gnome-loving businesses like Gnome Cones!

Jaw-Dropping Gnome Collections Around the World

When it comes to gnome collecting, there’s no such thing as a collection that’s too big or too small. In fact, some of the most interesting collections around the world focus on niche types of our red-hatted heroes, such antique gnomes or zombie gnomes.

But while the world of gnomes truly is very small, gnome enthusiasts are always intrigued by those enormous, jaw-dropping collections that make our heads spin!

Based in North Devon, UK, the iconic gnome collector and artist, Ann Atkin, holds the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of garden gnomes. Her impressive collection stands around 2,042 gnomes strong, and her “Gnome Reserve” is visited by over 25,000 people each year. When you visit, you’ll get your very own gnome hat to borrow and wear as you stroll through the lovely four-acre property filled with carefully crafted gnome scenes. There’s even a quiz just to make sure you’re paying attention, and freshly cut sandwiches and local cream teas are served are served at the onsite Gnome Kitchen to satisfy your taste buds after a self-guided tour.

Another UK gnome collector legend, Ron Broomfield, who is sadly no longer with us, collected over 1,800 gnomes before his death – a collection that he built over the course of over 50 years. The retired window cleaner was a locally famous figure who raised money for charity and chose to be cremated in the gnome outfit that he wore on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, an Austrian woman and pensioner named Helga Eidenhammer has spent over 25 collecting an estimated 4,443 garden gnomes. She may put these other collections to shame in terms of sheer numbers! Helga received her very first gnome as a gift from her husband, and her collection continued to multiply from that moment forward.

Clearly, Europe is a prime place to be for gnome collectors, and after all, gnomes did originate in Germany. But on the other side of the pond, there are some amazingly dedicated gnome collectors as well, especially in Northern California.

Liz Spera, president of the International Gnome Club, maintains a collection of over 2,000 gnomes in her barn-turned-museum and around her enchanting five-acre property in Placer County. Liz is a true gnome enthusiast in every sense of the word and embraces all eras, styles, and themes of gnomes in her outdoor gardens and beautiful museum.

Jean Fenstermaker of Sonoma County, California has created a picture-perfect “Gnome Man’s Land” in her backyard with various themes and over 1,200 gnomes in her collection. Jean is also a skilled gardener and offers tours to local garden and church groups that include wonderfully gnome-themed picnics and games.

Head over to Wellington Mill in Western Australia, and you’ll find a local attraction called Gnomesville that features an estimated 7,000 gnomes contributed by community members. Locals and visitors continuously add new gnomes to this collection when they visit, creating a collaborative gnome project that perfectly embodies the generous spirit of gnome collecting.

Yet big or small, diverse or themed, every gnome collection is unique, and that’s what keeps our community so alive and fascinating.

Is There a Gnome Festival Happening Near You in 2019?

As gnome enthusiasts, collectors, and artists, we often to think of our gnomes as homebodies. But there are actually a surprising number of events across the country (and around the world) that bring gnome fans together to share stories, make crafts, and be entertained. It often takes a some asking around town or some Googling, but I love searching for gnome-themed festivals and events close to home and in places I plan to travel to.

Some events are very well-established and draw in lots of people each year, such as the annual Festival of the Gnomes at Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park & Theatre in Joliet, Illinois. This gnome festival takes place in early December each year and is filled with live music, “gnomemade” crafts, red pointy hats, and even festive drinks. Of course, there’s the epic Australian Gnome Convention that celebrates Australia Day in the Blue Mountains at Glenbrook Park. This January event usually draw in around 8,000 visitors, has over 2,000 gnomes on display, and has everything from food to train rides and even dog demonstrations!

But there are also lots of smaller and more localized gnome festivals that take place at nearby parks, trails, and botanical gardens. For example, the Buffalo Botanical Gardens in Buffalo, New York hosts a Fairy and Gnome Festival in May that offers kids the opportunities to create their own miniature gnome garden or gnome house. The Oatland Island Wildlife Center in Savannah, Georgia offers an annual Fairy and Gnome Festival each May as well that encourages gnome costumes, crafts, face painting, and plenty of imaginative play for little ones.

Similar annual fairy and gnome festivals also take place in the spring at the AnnMarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center  in Dowell, Maryland, the Evergreen Children’s Center in Xenia, Ohio, and the Kimball Jenkins Estate in Concord New Hampshire.

Need some more ideas? Perhaps you can check out Gnome Fest in Townsend, Delaware, go on a Gnome Adventure Hike at Kroger Wetlands in Marietta, Ohio, attend the Seabrook’s Gnome & Fairy Festival in Washington State, or head over to the Fairy and Gnome Home Festival in Centerville, Utah.

As you can see, there are ways to embrace your love of gnomes all over the country! All of these local events are family-friendly and many accept volunteers. They’re also wonderful opportunities to get the little ones in your life interested in gnomes and to feel spirit of love, nature, and adventure that they represent. Is there a gnome festival happening near you this year? Please share details with us, and we hope to see you there!

St. Paul, Minnesota Has a Gnome Restaurant You Gotta Check Out!

Now more than two years into my nomadic journey as a full-time RVer traveling around the country, I sometimes find myself missing the gnome collection that I’ve been growing since my teenage years. There aren’t a whole lot of places to decorate with gnomes when your home is 33 feet long by eight feet wide, so the bulk of my collection is locked up in a storage unit. I’m sure they’re doing okay, but I’ll admit that I worry about them from time to time.

Although I don’t have the pleasure of spending time with as many gnomes as I’d like to these days, I make up for that by visiting gnome-themed places around the country! My latest gnometastic adventure was to a restaurant called The Happy Gnome in St. Paul, Minnesota. It’s easy to name a restaurant after gnomes because it’s clever, but this local spot really embraces its love of gnomes in the décor and overall theme.

The Happy Gnome has been in business for over 10 years and focuses on fresh and seasonal cuisine with local ingredients and a creative flair. The restaurant also has about 90 craft beers on tap, as well as a whiskey list with over 250 selections. I’m a pescatarian and my husband loves all-things-meat, but The Happy Gnome gave us the best of both worlds with an ahi tuna noodle bowl for me and a sirloin steak for him. Better yet, The Happy Gnome’s outdoor patio is dog-friendly, so our pup, Monkey, got to enjoy this gnome adventure right alongside us!

In addition to the delicious food, excellent selection of Belgian beer, and relaxing patio atmosphere, what I really loved about The Happy Gnome is how many gnomes call this restaurant home. Gnomes were everywhere you looked – from the menu to the glassware, the beer taps, in the windowsills, and sitting around the fireplace. My only complaint was that they didn’t have any merchandise available for sale, because I would have loved buying a souvenir from this awesome place.

So, if you ever find yourself in Minnesota, do yourself a favor and stop by The Happy Gnome. Your taste buds will thank you, and you’ll meet lots of little gnome friends to make your meal special. Unfortunately, the restaurant didn’t have any gnome friends that I could take along with me on my journey, but it made ME a happy gnome to be surrounded by such friendly faces.

Located in the Cathedral Hill Neighborhood at 498 Selby Avenue in St. Paul, The Happy Gnome is open on Sundays from 10am to midnight, Mondays through Thursdays from 11am to midnight, and Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 1am.