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Off Limits

Bean and nothingness

Although the space at 2200 Champa Street was empty for seven years, there was always hope that somehow, someday, someone would bring back Muddy's Java Cafe, the coffeehouse that helped two generations of Denver youth define themselves. But now that hope's dried up. The building was purchased last year by Andy Mansfield, who's been steadily turning it into a two-story gay and lesbian nightclub, Evolution, slated to open next month.

Mansfield moved to Denver six years ago, so he never got the chance to spend any time in the hallowed -- if grimy -- halls of the Muddy's on Champa, much less at the coffeehouse's original incarnation, in the 2500 block of 15th Street. "I've heard plenty about it," he says. "I've even talked with the grandson of the man who built the building. But the whole thing is being rebuilt; we're only keeping about three walls of the original. It would have been much cheaper to just rip it down and start over, but it's such a beautiful building."

Former Muddy's owner Joe DeRose, now proprietor of the Carioca Cafe, agrees. "I'm glad to see the building being saved," he says. "It was such a piece of shit, I figured it was going to be torn down."

All physical reminders of Muddy's may be gone, but the memories remain as strong as that last cup of coffee at 4 a.m. Have a Muddy's story? E-mail it to muddys@westword.com; Off Limits will serve up the most stirring anecdotes in honor of Muddy's final days.

Clothes encounters: Two words: see-through catsuit. That was the best outfit at last Saturday's Fashion Forward show at Rise; unfortunately, the forward-looking statement was made not on the runway, but in the audience. As the models walked by with their I'm-so-bored looks, wearing clothes that would inspire just such a sentiment, Denver Museum of Nature & Science volunteer coordinator Jacqueline Close was providing a much-needed one-woman spectacle in beige.

Judging from the display on stage, the height of fashion for men in Denver is jeans, square-toed shoes and a button-down shirt, untucked. It's a fine look, a look that most men can carry off without fear of being labeled stray (straight-gay) or metrosexual, but at a fashion show that bills itself as "forward," you hope for something a bit more than walk-of-shame casual.

For women, the look was -- you'll never guess -- strappy sandals, short skirts and sexy blouses. True, there were some fabulous pieces from Eve and Bolderdash, but by inherent definition, anything currently hanging on the racks isn't "forward." And thanks for the great lingerie, SOL, but bare butts haven't been shocking since Victoria began airing her Secret on prime-time television.

In a town just popping with designers, it's a shame that no up-and-comers were included. We're not talking about society fave Gabriel Conroy-- he's way past arriving -- but designers like BaSheBa Earth and Nicole Beckett and Lynne Bruning, whose fashion is far more interesting than another Nicole Millerdress or Cosabellathong.

Organizer Kevin Larson did display a few moments of true inspiration, including a vignette in which the models were decked out all in black trimmed with neon-green el wire. The swoosh of a tiered hoop-like skirt illuminated by the faint glow of the wire was breathtaking. And while such truly avant-garde fashion may be completely unattainable for the average workaday woman, part of the joy of haute couture is creating the fantasy.

It was a good event for a great cause (the Gathering Place), but Fashion Forward shouldn't be billed as a night of "imagination, fashion and intrigue" if the most intriguing fashion is sitting in the spectator seats.

Scene and herd: Georgetown's former mayor, Koleen Brooks, is back on the pole at the Penthouse Club. "Her Honor," as the nouveau-riche strip joint is billing Brooks on its sign, has returned to her chosen profession after a brief interlude as a pol. At least her new clientele is happy to ogle her womanly assets, unlike the Georgetown residents who recalled Brooks in 2002, after a series of escapades that included flashing her much-enhanced breasts at a local bar ... Get ready for yet another fifteen minutes of fame: Informed sources say the next Real World city will be either Boulder or Austin. On September 21, folks between the ages of 18 and 24 can show the good people of MTV that Boulder has the potential for trashier story lines than even Days of Our Lives. Just show up between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the Foundry Billiards Club, where Tom Arnold and The Best Damn Sports Show Period filmed two weeks ago.


What's So Funny?

By Adam Cayton-Holland

When gold was discovered at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek in 1858, the find inspired a massive influx of fortune seekers to what had been the buffalo-hunting grounds of such Plains Indian tribes as the Cheyenne and Arapaho. Some natives fought the newcomers, others worked for peace. Cheyenne chiefs Black Kettle and White Antelope traveled to Washington, D.C., to plead for their land, receiving a large American flag and a medal from President Abraham Lincoln as thanks for their efforts. Still, tensions mounted. In 1864, with their tribes squarely divided, the chiefs came to Denver to meet with Territorial Governor John Evans and Colonel John Chivington. After a day of peace talks, the chiefs and their entourage moved on to Sand Creek, where they set up camp under the promised protection of Fort Lyon. The following dawn, Chivington and his Colorado volunteers descended on Sand Creek, slaughtering and scalping any man, woman or child they came across, while Lincoln's flag flapped proudly in the wind. By the time the dust settled, nearly 200 Indians had been massacred. The remaining Cheyenne and Arapaho were rounded up and shipped off to Oklahoma.

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