Bar Back looks at the year in club scouting
A number of new venues opened in 2011, while others changed hands. Here's a look back through a year's worth of club scouting:
After a seven year-run at 2401 Blake Street, in June 2010, Blake Street Tavern moved a block south, to the former Club 303/Polly Esther's space at 2301 Blake Street. And in February, Blake Street opened the downstairs space as The Basement, which sports a lighted dance floor in homage to Polly Esther's and serves as a dance club on the weekends; it can also be rented out for private events and parties.
Chuck Persichetti, who ran the old Brewski's, at Highway 36 and Pecos, for a decade, as well as several other spots during his 45-year run in the business, resurrected Brewski's Pub & Grill at 2100 East 104th Avenue in Thornton in February. The new spot brings in live bands four nights a week.
The opening of Chloe in July at 1445 Market Street was preceded by a marketing campaign that featured a fictitious, jet-setting socialite who would appreciate what the club had to offer. The most extravagant property in Francois Safieddine's Lotus Concepts' empire, the 6,600-square-foot space (which is broken into three areas: Mezze Lounge, Discothèque and Garden) features a twenty-foot LED wall, an under-lit onyx bar, exotic snakeskin wallpaper and a fireplace.
The Roxy Theatre, at 2549 Welton Street in Five Points, has changed hands many times since it opened as a movie house eight decades ago, and the venue got another overhaul in June, when Travis Ragan took over the 4,800-square-foot spot and added a new sound system and new lighting rig. He's now booking local and national hip-hop acts and metal shows in the 500-person venue.
In August, Celebrity Lanes opened at East Arapahoe Road in Centennial. The 50,000-square-foot family entertainment venue pays homage to Denver's legendary Celebrity Sports Center with 32 bowling lanes, but it also has two four-lane VIP suites with Avalanche and Denver Nuggets themes, as well as a Rocky's Kids' Zone Arcade and Soft Play Room — and for the adults, the Altitude Sports Grill & Taphouse, with forty draft varieties.
New owners took over the Atrium Bar & Grill at 554 South Broadway, gave the space a much-needed scrubbing and then reopened it as The Bar in September. They're booking bands on the weekends, and also brought in Jay Ryan to host open-mike nights on Tuesdays and Al Chesis from the Delta Sonics to host blues jams on Wednesdays.
The fourteen-year-old Dave & Buster's at 2000 South Colorado Boulevard became the first of the chain's locations nationwide to get a full-on facelift as part of the company's rebranding process. Unveiled in November, the new look gives the 65,000-square-foot venue a much hipper, almost club-like vibe.
In mid-December, Michael Olsen finally managed to open a club in Cherry Creek, after earlier efforts to take over the former Tambien space were stymied. Cherry is at 231 Milwaukee Street, in the former home of Bar Luxe, the Milwaukee Grill and the Bay Wolf. The new dance club, which offers bottle service and has a private VIP room, is geared toward thirty- to fifty-somethings, not the younger crowds that favor LoDo. It also sports custom-made cedar liquor lockers.
Club scout: Our online New Year's Eve listings include hundreds of events, but here are a few of the more notable ones. Lotus Concepts is again offering its Passport Packages, which will get you into some or all of the company's clubs, depending on the package. Pre-sale individual tickets start at $20; Passport Pass (entry into Suite Two Hundred, 24k/Oak and Chloe) is $60; the Dinner Package, which includes a three-course dinner at Chloe, dessert for two guests and a bottle of wine, is $120; Bronze through Platinum packages run from $300 (for four guests) to $1,400 (for twelve guests).
Regas Christou's clubs will also host a number of New Year's events. Reuben Wu of Ladytron will headline at City Hall (1144 Broadway), with boyhollow, London Dungeon and DJ Shannon von Kelly warming things up; pre-sale tickets are $20. Also at City Hall, hip-hop legends Slick Rick and Too $hort will be on the main floor, with DJ Mu$a, Tenastadi and Kraddy; pre-sale tickets are $35. Chicago-based house DJ Heather is at Bar Standard (1037 Broadway) with Uriah West & Steve Synfull + EMP, while Cowboy and Lady Gaga's DJ/producer KON-FLIKT will be at Vinyl (1082 Broadway). The Church (1160 Lincoln Street) will host En La Catedral, with DJs spinning the best in Latin-style beats; Milk (1037 Broadway) will offer a New Year's party with DJs Roland and Mike Rich; and Max Renn & Denver's Best Kept Secret will fill the Living Room (1055 Broadway) with Motown and dance tunes.
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