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The Loft leaves few traces of its coffeehouse origins

I was making the rounds and hit The Loft (821 22nd Street) on the last Saturday in October, the last night of the club's Rocktober series, which had featured two local bands each Saturday. On October 25, one of them was the ska/reggae act P-Nuckle, and as the musicians finished their set and started breaking down their equipment, there were still maybe fifty people scattered around the first floor. That didn't seem like a bad crowd for the end of the night.

But as I headed toward the back, I saw about twice as many people out on the massive smoking patio, which opened over the summer and has its own bar. Hell, the patio was big enough to be its own club. And upstairs, DJ Bedz was spinning to a packed dance floor.

It wasn't until a few days later that a friend reminded me that the Loft occupies the former home of Muddy's, a place where I spent many a night until it closed in 1997. With its slick decor, the Loft bears no resemblance to that venerated coffeehouse; beyond the actual address, the only thing that's roughly the same is the location of the bar — but Muddy's didn't serve alcohol. But my friend got me thinking about how the only times I ever smoked were when I was at Muddy's. It was also the spot where I first read Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions; I remember laughing out loud at the childlike sketches in the book. And how the hardwood floors squeaked when you walked by the bookshelves, the same spot where the Loft has put a row of booths.

After Muddy's closed, the building was vacant until 2004, when it was transformed into Evolution, a gay and lesbian nightclub. The Loft took over the space a little more than two years ago, and judging from Saturday's crowd, it seems to be doing just fine. The club is closed Tuesdays through Thursdays; on Privilege Fridays, DJ Chief Rocka spins hip-hop and top 40 upstairs while KDJ Above lays down neo-soul and old-school on the main floor. DJ Bedz spins top 40 and mash-ups on Saturdays, and on Sundays, the Loft brings in celebrity guests (Broncos, for example, if there's been a home game) or hosts fashion shows and live performances. Dirty Sexy Mondays are service-industry nights for the nightlife biz.

I still miss Muddy's, but the Loft keeps that part of town lively.

Club scout: Happy birthday to 24K (1416 Market Street), which will celebrate its first anniversary starting Thursday, November 6, with a fashion show by Anastasia's European Lingerie; ladies drink complimentary Perrier Jouët champagne and Pearl vodka drinks from 9 to 11 p.m. On Friday, the clubs hosts a model party with the girls of Beautiful Distractions, and anyone looking to get into modeling can meet with the owner of the agency and have her picture taken in a live shoot at 10 p.m. On Saturday, there will be giveaways from Family Affair local lifestyle gear store and salon. And all weekend long, 24K is offering a bottle package that includes a bottle of Perrier Jouët and a bottle of Pearl Vodka for $300.

Electro-soul band Bigwheel and DJ Vajra will combine forces — and duel — at a live remix show on Friday, November 7, at Herb's (2057 Larimer Street). If you can't make the gig, Bigwheel plays every Tuesday at the Appaloosa Grill (535 16th Street). And the Q Blues & Jazz Lounge (2817 East Third Avenue), which already featured live music Wednesday through Sunday nights, has added live acts to its Thursday and Friday happy hours, which run from 5 to 7 p.m. The kitchen is also now open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

 
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