Climbing up the stairs to Club Evolution, 2300 Champa Street, is a little creepy, as if the Ghosts of Debauchery Past are going to appear from thin air to haunt me. Over yonder, in the corner, is where my best friend Senzelle met her future husband, who sat there writing angsty poetry. Across the room, I did more than smooch with a hot guy with liberty spikes when I was fifteen. Friends sat here for hours, homeless, drinking coffee and discussing quantum physics and the lighter side of Sylvia Plath. Those were the days. Did I mention I was fifteen?
But that was Muddy's Java Cafe, Denver's famous defunct coffee shop, which any native worth their espresso has a torrid tale about. Daniel Landes, owner of WaterCourse Foods, even started his kitchen career there. Muddy's was more than a coffee shop; it was one of those rare nexuses that define a city.
And for more than a year, it's been Club Evolution. It took me a while to find the courage to go down memory lane, but Manicure Mondays, with $5 manicures and Absolut martinis, was the perfect excuse to head over there. Because, really, who hasn't had a cuticle emergency while out boozing? As I belly up to the bar, waiting for my 007 Martini (vodka, orange juice and 7-Up; no, I'm not a purist), I realize I don't hate Club Evolution. In fact, it feels more like a chic loft than a nightclub. There are curtained-off corners for getting cozy, small cocktail tables everywhere, and the bartender, Louie, is fantastic. He keeps my drinks coming all night and is charming and entertaining even when he has to break the news that the manicurists have called in sick. Ah, well, the cocktails are tasty, and there's always next Monday
Cocktail hour starts at 8 p.m., but don't expect manicures to start until after 9. For more information, visit www.clubevolutiondenver.com or call 303-296-4601.
Mondays, 9 p.m., 2006