Paul Piciocchi likes intimate, cozy spaces where you can have fun without huge crowds. As the owner of Tryst (1512 Larimer Street) and Sutra (1109 Lincoln Street), a club that Piciocchi recently sold to its manager, Mark Strazisar, he's done pretty well with smaller spaces. So when he took on the former home of Alto, at 1320 15th Street, he kept his less-is-more concept and split it into three smaller venues: The Drink, Mix Music Lounge and Rack & Rye.
"We're trying to get LoDo back to being a fun, intimate, cozy part of town," Piciocchi says. And he's succeeded with the Drink, which on November 20 became the first of the trio to open. It's an inviting, hip tavern with a huge projection TV, and one of several upscale sports bars to appear in the neighborhood over the past few months: Francois Safieddine's Oak Tavern (1416 Market Street) opened in July, and last month, Strazisar and Lure owner Jetmir "Tito" Zymeri opened the SportsBook (1434 Blake Street) in the former Lure.
LoDo doesn't have a lot of live music, Piciocchi points out, but Mix, which is slated to make its debut this weekend, should change that fast, with an open-mike night on Mondays, blues on Tuesdays, reggae on Wednesdays, funk on Thursdays, '80s music on Fridays, special guests on Saturdays and karaoke on Sundays. Mix will also serve up Kobe and venison hot dogs, chipotle buffalo sausage and burgers. Burgers are on the board at the Drink, too, along with sandwiches and appetizers.
Meanwhile, Rack & Rye, which opened last weekend, is a self-styled gastropub that offers comfort food with a twist. Think gooey, sticky, cheesy and crispy.
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Club scout: The resurrection didn't last very long for Club RA (821 22nd Street). This reincarnation of an Egyptian-themed club that from 2003 to 2005 was in the space now occupied by Andrew's on Lincoln (1111 Lincoln) appeared in August in the former Loft location (which was Evolution and Muddy's Coffeehouse before that). But this second RA recently went dark, and the two-story, 10,200-square-foot building is for sale.
Rockstar Aaron just started a new residency on Saturdays at the R Bar (3209 East Colfax Avenue), which occupies part of the old Cafe Star space next door to what is now a second Trattoria Stella. Aaron has also started up his Blender dance parties at Bender's on Thursdays. He'll be there December 10, then take a break for the holidays until January. In addition to his new gigs, he's still at Rockbar (3015 East Colfax) on Mondays and Fridays, and at Sketch (101 Broadway) for Wino Wednesdays.
Finally, on Friday, December 11, Tyler Snow and Mike Disco will host another installment of the Disco Nouveau at the Meadowlark (2701 Larimer Street). The cosmic new-disco, house and techno dance parties, which have been running for a year, take place on the second Friday of every month.