By Brian Turk
By Drew AIles
By Taylor Boylston
By Bree Davies
By Emerald O'Brien
By Gina Tron
By Jon Solomon
Jim Norris, who's part of 3 Kings Tavern (60 South Broadway) and Rockaway Tavern (2036 Broadway), knows how to get people into clubs — whether through live music or just lively programming.
For example, there's Panties at the Bar, hosted by some of the members of the Ooh La La Burlesque troupe, which has filled 3 Kings on Monday nights for several years. Although you don't have to drop your pants to enjoy the burlesque performances and live jazz from the Minor Note Orchestra, formerly known as the Pawn Shop Trio, you get free shots and cheap drinks if you do. And on Tuesdays, 3 Kings now offers Denver's Best Kept Secret, attracting folks with free pool and pinball and $1 PBRs. Norris, who sometimes spins records these nights, says he'd eventually like to do a lounge thing downstairs on Tuesdays as well, but first needs to find a solid lounge band that plays everything from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
Over at the Rockaway, Manly Mondays are being touted as the most masculine happy hours in town, with macho movies and cheap canned beers. And gals get free mustaches. "If Chuck Norris drank beer and whiskey, he'd be hanging out at Rockaway on Mondays," Norris says. On Wednesdays, the Rockaway hosts the Fine Gentlemen's Club, with comedians Sam Tallent, Nathan Lund, Chris Charpentier and Bobby Crane on the back patio; there's also a grindhouse party in front. "That's my anchor night down there," Norris says. "It's solid gold."
And while Norris has had good luck with these unconventional nights, Interstate Kitchen (901 West 10th Avenue) has done well with its Monday night Rock 'N' Roll Spelling Bee, which won Westword's Best Night for Word Nerds this year. And Slot Car Saturdays, which Interstate started in February, have built a small group of racing regulars.
And then there's Beauty Bar (608 East 13th Avenue), where owner Noah Ray McMahan says Martinis and Manicures — which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday — attracts Cherry Creek ladies, hipster girls and guys from the nearby tattoo shop. "Forty different kinds of women in one spot for happy hour is a surprise," he says.
A very pleasant one.
Club scout: The storefront at 218 South Broadway has been gutted to make way for Mauka Tiki, which is being billed as the world's highest-elevation tiki bar. It's slated to open in mid-September.
Denver's Best Burlesque competition continues at Oak Tavern (1414 Market Street) on August 3, with the finals on August 10, when one winner will be selected to dance at Chloe, the new Lotus Concepts venue at 1445 Market Street; she'll also receive $300. But all ladies are winners these nights, because they can drink free until midnight.