Suavecito's owner Craig Peña is a flirt. His wife knows it. Everyone knows it. Not that Peña acts on his overtures; he's just a romantic at heart. A romantic with a long streak of smartass. So when he met Holly Kylberg, Denver's reigning society "It" girl (see "The Importance of Being Holly," ) at a party at Rise Nightclub last month, he branded her with an Ese pass -- a sticker for his Chingaso Gear clothing line -- right on her caboose. And right in front of her husband. The result? A most unlikely friendship was born.
Now North High School will reap the benefits of the Peña-Kylberg hookup.
Peña and his partner, Jay Salas, created the zoot suits for North's spring musical, Zoot Suit Riots ("Zoot Camp," April 22), which is playing this weekend. And when director José Mercado told them that the department needed about $20,000, Peña asked the Kylbergs to help throw a benefit. The couple partnered with Mayor John Hickenlooper, PR doyenne Wendy Aiello and Disguises Superstore to host a Cinco de Mayo Celebration and Fundraiser, tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at La Rumba, 99 West Ninth Avenue.
But don't expect some buttoned-down society affair just because VIP tables cost $1,000 to $1,500 apiece. (Hey, that's not much more than a night of bottle service.) Those who roll large for the '40s-themed affair will get the vato treatment, getting picked up in show-quality low-riders and scoring front-row seats to the fashion show and performance by comedian Silver Dominguez. And free booze, natch! Even the goodie bags will have a street flair, with lolos (low-rider hats) for the guys and sassy hot pants for the dolls.
But being flashy and flush isn't the only way to go. Tickets are just $25 at the door, and the intimate club will afford everyone a good view. Call 303-825-7992 for information. -- Amy Haimerl
Shred of the Class
P.S. 1 pumps up the volume at Swallow Hill
Field trips were always the best thing about school. Permission slips, sack lunches, napping on the bus. But at P.S. 1, one of Denver's most highly regarded charter schools, field trips take on a whole new meaning. The school has set up the Discover Fund to make possible a wide range of what it calls "field studies": learning projects that involve travel, urban exploration and community outreach. To that end, P.S. 1 has organized the Discovery Fund Annual Fundraiser Concert this afternoon at Swallow Hill Music Hall, 71 East Yale Avenue. Musicians representing every genre from jazz and blues to African and pop are donating their time and creativity; among the performers are Jeff Jenkins, Clay Kirkland, Linda Maich, Bill Hill, Chris Macor, Timothy P. Irvin, John Davis and Mark Caldwell. Co-organizing the benefit is local guitar genius Neil Haverstick, who will perform at the event with bassist Mary Stribling and drummer Ernie Crews. Haverstick's daughter, Neela -- a student at P.S. 1 -- will provide the vocals.
Don't be tardy: The concert starts at 2 p.m., and admission is $15. Call 303-777-1003 or visit www.swallowhill.com for more information. -- Jason Heller
Eat for Life
Eat breakfast, lunch or dinner out today for a good cause: the tenth annual Dining Out for Life munch-a-thon. Over 250 Denver and Boulder restaurants have agreed to donate 25 percent of the money made from today's food sales to Project Angel Heart, a local nonprofit that serves meals to people living with HIV/ AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. "Dining Out for Life is an easy and fun way to support a great cause while enjoying a fabulous meal," says Angel Heart deputy director Erin Pulling. Today's goal: 50,000 people eating out to help raise over $300,000.
For a complete list of participating restaurants, log on to www.projectangelheart.org or call 303-803-0202. -- Julie Dunn
Armazem offers a taste of Brazil
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Mauricio Vieira and Blair Dunn have staked their claim on Colfax Avenue by raising a Brazilian flag above their Armazem bookstore & cafe. "Every town in Brazil has a general store, or armazem," says Dunn, "just like every town has a Wal-Mart here." The shop, which opened a little over a month ago, specializes in off-price tomes, Brazilian coffee and fresh pastries. But according to Dunn, it offers much more than books and beans. "We have Portuguese conversation groups for people who want to refresh their language skills, as well as community lectures, book signings and classes. You wouldn't believe how many people come here because they are looking for a Brazilian community."
"I had the book experience, and Mauricio had the coffee," adds Dunn. "When something is meant to be, it just seems to go your way."
Armazem, located at 3215 East Colfax, is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with extended summer hours. Call 303-398-BOOK for information. -- Kity Ironton