Colfax Avenue: Grass Valley’s up and coming neighborhood

IN THE FOOTHILLS, MOST VISITORS ARE drawn to the historic downtowns—in Auburn, Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee.

But off the beaten path, Grass Valley has an up-and-coming neighborhood called “The Avenue.” Located a few blocks east of downtown Grass Valley, the Colfax Avenue corridor is walkable, architecturally intriguing and dog friendly.

It has plenty of parking but also is near a new $800,000 bus transfer hub, the Tinloy Transit Center. It also is next to tree-lined Memorial Park, with picnic tables, a playground and other features.

“The Avenue” is generating buzz with an eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes, eco-friendly stores, salons, a day spa, a B&B and a food and wine market.

The latest excitement surrounds Summer Thyme’s Bakery & Deli. Under Owners Chamba and Amy Cooke, Summer Thyme’s just moved to a bright, airy space in the Colfax Avenue neighborhood, with a new kitchen, cutting-edge design and more dining options.

It has other popular businesses, including Diegos Restaurant, Green Light Restoration, VJ’s Salon & Day Spa, Back Porch Market and Beam Easy Living Center. In late summer Emily’s Catering & Cakes plans to open a retail store for cakes, cupcakes, desserts and other items.

“The Avenue” includes some notable architecture, including Victorian and Craftsman-style buildings. One example: Elam Biggs B&B, a Queen Ann Victorian built in 1892 and named after one of Grass Valley’s most successful merchants.

A “Colfax Avenue” Facebook page can be found at

(Photo: John Burnett,

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