By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
Third Avenue Grill and Opera House Billiards Club: 300 Main St., Longmont, 303-651-7773. The Opera House Billiards Club retains the feel of an old-time theater. High ceilings, red-velvet walls brocaded with gilt touches and a black stone bar contrast with the overall homey feeling of the place. Locals show up to play pool and listen to live blues and rock on weekends.
Trilogy Lounge: 2017 13th St., Boulder, 303-473-9463. Housing an upscale yet informal restaurant in front, Trilogy has expanded the musical activities in its back room, where a sparse interior is made cozier by a steady roster of eclectic Front Range acts.
Trios Enoteca: 1730 Wynkoop St., 303-293-2887. Jazz acts perform nightly in the front, while a back room looks as if it were stolen from a gentleman's club, with overstuffed chairs, dark decor and even a spittoon in the corner.
Two AM Afterhours: 1144 Broadway, 303-830-9324. This basement club is all about the music, which reverberates off the concrete floor. The sparsely furnished Two AM treats decor almost as an afterthought; the sheer wall coverings and translucent art tapestries are functional as well as ornamental. And the lighting's kept low, so you can easily hook up to the DJ's vibe and keep that 2 a.m. state of mind.
White Fence Farm: 6263 W. Jewell Ave., Lakewood, 303-935-5945. A working farm with a petting zoo, White Fence Farm is an adventure in agriculture as well as a unique place to hear acoustic music, C&W, bluegrass and gospel. How many venues have a large sculpted rooster outside the entryway? The wait can be long, as the place is often packed with diners as well as pluckers. String-centric artists perform on weekends.
Wits End Comedy Club: 8861 Harlan St., Westminster, 303-430-4242. Wits End Comedy Club lacks the pedigree of its local competitors; performers are more likely to be familiar from the grocery-store line than from HBO, and the lineup is hit or miss. But it still presents some quality standup comedy without the hassle of downtown parking and high ticket prices.
Ziggie's 4923 W. 38th Ave., 303-455-9930. Denver's blues institution is an unassuming venue with a reputation for hosting hepcats both near and far. Watch a local favorite, check out a visiting pro, or get up the nerve to join the fun at Sunday's open stage.