Cold Crush will reopen at 7 p.m. tonight, Thursday, October 20. As Westword reported, the RiNo music venue and restaurant was shut down last week, labeled a public nuisance for the unlawful discharge of a firearm. The incident in question was a shooting on the morning of Monday, October 10, that injured one person and killed local rapper Tyrone "Boss Goodie" Adair Jr.
Following the citation, Westword spoke to Cold Crush co-owner Brian Mathenge, who expressed disappointment over the way the situation following the shooting was handled by the police, city and neighborhood leaders. "The police are making it seem like I'm a bad guy who lets gangbangers come to his club; it's so far-fetched that it bothers me," Mathenge said. "I'm not mad at those cops. I'm mad at the institution that's allowed this."
This week, however, Mathenge was able to sit down with Councilman Albus Brooks, RiNo Arts District co-chair Andrew Feinstein, Cold Crush attorney Bob Dill, Tyrone Adair's mother and others, and discussed further security at Cold Crush. "We sat, and with the city manager, figured out what was wrong, what Cold Crush was, what the violence meant," Mathenge says. "I explained to them what Cold Crush was supposed to be, which is a place for freedom of expression, a place for young artists to get their work seen, a place for community."
Through this dialogue, Mathenge says that the different parties concluded that Cold Crush's presence is good for the city, yet security changes need to be made. Some of these stricter security measures will be in place starting tonight: lighting the back parking lot, no loitering in the back parking lot, and a stricter enforced dress code with "no gang attire, no colors that have to do with gangs, no baseball caps."
"We didn't go as far as hard shoes and button-down shirts, because that would take away from what Cold Crush is," Mathenge says. He adds that there will be body-wanding at the door from Thursday to Sunday, to make sure there are no weapons inside the club. Cold Crush will also close earlier on Sunday night, with patrons leaving by 1:30 a.m.
In Westword's report on e-mails circulated among neighborhood residents, business leaders, Commander Calo and Brooks's office following the shooting, both Brooks and Feinstein expressed support for Cold Crush. Mathenge affirms their support, saying that they and the city manager were "a great assistance in coming to these changes and solutions."
"I just think that they didn't really understand what Cold Crush was," Mathenge says, "so giving that platform to express our side — we're thankful for that."
Cold Crush management released the following online statement regarding its reopening:
The City of Denver and Cold Crush have come together in mutual agreement and understanding of the best ways to serve our community. After addressing concerns and implementing strategies that will ensure the safety of all guests, staff and surrounding community members, Cold Crush will re-open tonight at 7 p.m.
We’d like to thank the City of Denver, the City Attorney, Cold Crush attorney Bob Dill, the Department of Excise and Licenses, Andrew Feinstein, Vice President of the RINO Neighborhood Association, City Councilman Albus Brooks, District 2 and the Denver Police Department and the residents who have worked tirelessly to prove that art, music and community connection are vital assets to Denver’s growth.
For our guests, we look forward to continuing the diversity that makes Cold Crush a great place for entertainment and the best possible representation of our city.
We can’t wait to see you.
-Cold Crush Management
Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Commander Mike Calo was in the meeting with city officials and Cold Crush ownership. Calo was not in the meeting.
Musa Bailey (left) and Brian Mathenge (right), owners of Cold Crush.
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Art on the side of Cold Crush.