When some bark-eating Boulderites discovered that the Nitro Club (1124 Lawry Lane), a full-on nudie joint, had opened in the alley behind Old Chicago, right off the Pearl Street Mall, they exploded. Plenty of people would like to see Nitro shut down, but I'm not one of them. Hell, I like the joint so much that after spending a few hours there two weeks ago, I returned with a buddy a couple of nights later. And before anyone starts calling me a perverted son of a bitch, let me just say I've been to strip clubs maybe three times in the past decade or so — I'd gotten to the point where going to one left me feeling a lot worse than not going to one — so I was making up for lost time.
Unlike those strip joints that left me cold, Nitro feels like a first-rate establishment, classy without being overly refined. Two of the dancers I met there used to work at Saturday's, and they said they liked working at Nitro much better. They also said they felt safer at this club, and I understood why after watching a few security guys swoop down in seconds flat on some drunken Germans who'd touched the girls and taken pictures.
I spent much of my first visit across from the sectioned-off VIP area, where a jovial guy was sitting by himself, smiling at the dancers while he pulled out wads of singles. And he had a reason to be smiling: He was the only one in the place who was drinking. Nitro doesn't have a liquor license — since the club didn't apply for one, that's one reason it slipped under the Boulder radar — but if you pay $45 a month or $500 a year for VIP privileges, you don't have to pay the normal $10 cover charge and can bring in booze (and Nitro will store any leftovers). This guy had his own bottle of vodka and jar of green olives, each tagged with his number. Dude even had a pack of toothpicks.
After an hour or so, two more guys and a woman moved into the VIP section. They had a bottle of booze in a brown bag, and I'm guessing the woman had already consumed plenty, because every few minutes she'd lean back in her chair and stick her legs in the air, black ankle boots pointing toward the ceiling. While this gal was good for some comic relief, I was much keener on watching the dancers, especially the tall gal (hell, they all seemed tall with those thick platform heels) with dyed red hair and glasses, who likes reading books and listens to metal and Smashing Pumpkins. I'm not going to get into how I found out all of that — but it cost me $25 plus a tip, and I was alone with her back in a corner for the duration of one song.
As far as I'm concerned, Nitro is the bomb.
Club scout: While it may be a few more months before the new 15th Street Tavern opens at 1028 Park Avenue West, you can catch owners Jeneye and Myke Martinez every Tuesday at Old Curtis Street Bar (2100 Curtis Street), where Jeneye will guest-bartend while Myke (aka DJ Head Trauma) and his guest DJs spin harder stuff, but not straight-up metal. Myke is also spinning at the Larimer Lounge (2721 Larimer Street) on Sundays.
Starting February 1 at 11 p.m., Eric Matelski and Hektor Munoz will host the Square Lounge variety show every first Friday at Dazzle (930 Lincoln Street). Each month, they'll feature a new group of dancers, musicians, poets, comedians, writers, filmmakers and more, for a Cabaret Voltaire-meets-campy-old-TV-shows experience.
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