The house lights are turned up; the music is fading out. It's a little before 2 a.m., and a modestly dressed lady is hunched over on a bar stool. Her fist is loosely wrapped around a beer, and she's arguing with the bartender, who keeps asking her why she punched the guy sitting next to her in the face. She's slurring sentences as the lone doorman, clad in black, paces through the narrow club toward the raised voices. And then she enunciates so that everyone can understand: "He called me his girlfriend, and I'm not his girlfriend." After a drunken, minimal-contact wrestle, the lady is escorted out.
Welcome to Cherry Creek at last call. It's not exactly LoDo, but even the whitewashed interiors of the uppity shopping district have to get down and dirty sometimes. And one of those times is every Wednesday at Brix (3000 East Third Avenue), when the multi-armed DJ Musa Bailey brings in his record crate full of soul, groove and hip-hop. The immensely popular night (it has no official name) is "one of the longest-running hip-hop nights in town," Bailey says. And last week's incarnation proved that Brix, which is better known for its evening eats and easy camaraderie (it bills itself as the "anti-bistro"), can hang with the best of them when it comes to straight-up urban drunk-n-grind. The long, non-smoking bar was packed from end to end with the kind of ethnic and cultural diversity that's generally foreign to these parts -- unless you're browsing through National Geographic at the Tattered Cover. Hairstyles ranged from the new-age hippie ponytail to the gel-and-mousse business cut to white-boy dreadlocks to Afro-punk, with outfits just as varied. But the crowd all appreciated Brix's cheap drinks: Even the wine is a steal, with Pabst Blue Ribbon the bargain fallback. Now even lower-to-middle-class kids have an excuse to hang out in the Creek. And not just on Wednesdays: Monday night is industry night at Brix, and DJ Futter spins on Saturday until closing. For more information, log on to www.eatatbrix.com or call 303-333-3355.
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Bailey has another music venture under way, an as-yet-unpublicized downtown warehouse space that he hopes to start using for regular events. He's already hosted a few private parties, but the public will soon be getting invites, too. And with any luck, that public will be able to hop from Bailey's spot to another Brix, since the long-promised Brix Downtown, originally slated to open late last year, is still on track to open -- someday -- in the Ballpark neighborhood.