By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
By Drew Ailes
By Courtney Harrell
By Kyra Scrimgeour
By Jena Ardell
By Mary Willson
By Bree Davies
It's been a rough year for the owners of the 15th St. Tavern. Last June, Mykel Martinez and Jennifer Raddatz were served notice to clear out of the club's original location, at 623 15th Street, which has since been demolished. Near the end of July, on his way to meet a property owner to discuss a possible new home for the club on South Broadway, Martinez hit a sinkhole while on his motorcycle. He ended up in the hospital with multiple fractures and head injuries.
The two were dealt another blow when they were recently denied a liquor license for the spot where they'd hoped to resurrect the 15th St. Tavern. They'd found the space at 1028 Park Avenue West last November, picked out a name for the new club — the Phoenix Tavern — and proceeded to rack up $30,000 in rent, lawyer and license fees. "Luckily, we didn't do any renovations to it," Martinez says.
But they did apply for the license, which Curtis Park Neighbors opposed, claiming that the programs of the nearby Denver Rescue Mission would be hurt by the club. "They have an alcohol program where they try to help people," Martinez says. "They thought we would kind of mess up their program by having a liquor license so close to them."
And there are already plenty of liquor licenses in the Curtis Park neighborhood: 64 liquor-licensed establishments, according to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, including 22 with tavern licenses and 38 with cabaret licenses.
"Curtis Park Neighbors points out that existing licenses in the designated neighborhood are more than adequate to meet the needs and desires of the designated neighborhood," the neighborhood group's objection states. "There is no unmet need because adult inhabitants of the neighborhood can easily obtain alcoholic beverages from existing tavern and cabaret outlets in the area. Curtis Park Neighbors assert that the neighborhood is 'over-served' by liquor-licensed establishments."
Although Martinez and Raddatz could fight the decision, they don't have the funds to do so. Instead, they're looking for yet another location — and Martinez hopes that people will make suggestions on the 15th St. Tavern MySpace page.
On the bright side, he's almost fully recovered from his motorcycle accident.
Club scout: Tempa Singer, who's hosted jams at Kokopelli's and Cricket on the Hill (both of which are now closed), just revived her Tantrums Jam at the Supreme Court (1550 Court Place), where it will run on Wednesdays starting at 9 p.m. Sugar House (1395 West Alameda Avenue), which recently added an upscale urban party on Sunday nights, is throwing its Sin City Fabulous Vegas-themed bash on Friday, May 9. Velvet Elvis will perform, and DJ Bedz will be on the decks. The night also marks the launch of Sugar House's Fly Away Fridays, with the club and One-FM giving away a trip for two to Mexico, Jamaica or Las Vegas every Friday.
The Roxy (2549 Welton Street) just started its Super Flavaz happy hour, which runs Mondays through Fridays from 2 to 9 p.m. In addition to DJs, live bands and an open mike, the club will feature $2 Bud Lights and $3 well drinks. Wyatt's Torch (3124 Parker Road in Aurora) recently started free hip-hop nights on Tuesdays, with Pinmo-X and DJ D. Johnson. And T.D.P. Records hosts live hip-hop on Fridays and Saturdays at Rumpshakers Night Club (8595 Pearl Street in Thornton).