Quixote's True Blue slated to move into Bender's Tavern space at 314 E. 13th next month
Quixote's True Blue has relocated a few times since first starting out sixteen years ago on 9150 East Colfax in Aurora as a place where Deadheads and kindred spirits could gather after the passing of Jerry Garcia. Next month, the now iconic Denver bar will move again into Bender's Tavern -- the space at 314 E. 13th Avenue, that fittingly, has been through a number of incarnations over the years, from Club 314 to Onyx -- as Quixote's current location at 2151 Lawrence Street, where it's been for the last five years, is slated for demolition to make way for condos.
While Quixote's owner Jay Bianchi has been successful booking jam bands over the years, Bender's owner and King Rat frontman Luke Schmaltz hasn't had quite as much success with the punk and rock acts he brought in to Bender's, and that's the chief reason that Schmaltz, who took over Bender's in 2009, is closing up shop.
"I've been trying to do this thing for so damn long," says Schmaltz, "and my business formula, my business plan of booking local shows and having a local tavern is a viable plan. But in order to fit the bill for the square footage of the place is just absolutely too much."
"I thought if maybe five percent of the bands I book did twenty percent of the work that is supposed to be done by a band then I would have a successful business," he adds. "But 95 percent of the bands I book do zero percent of the work. They're just booked somewhere, and they think they'll just show up and there will be a huge crowd there waiting for them, and that's not the case. You have to build your own audience."
Schmaltz says being in a rock band these days is like a rite of passage, like getting your wisdom teeth out, or leaving home at eighteen or going through your first breakup. "That's what everybody does," he points out. "Everybody's in a rock band. That lowers the importance of it. Being in a rock band is easy because all you have to do is pick up a guitar and play a few chords and act like your favorite band, and then you're in a band.
"And you imitate your favorite band, but you're just doing it to stoke your own ego and you're not really trying to further any new ideas about music," he goes on. "I don't think that -- I know this for a fact, because I've seen it front and center -- that the demise of rock and roll is everyone is doing an impression of their favorite band.
"There's not a whole of original ideas going on. I don't expect original ideas," he adds, clarifying, "I expect original conception, meaning that any band anywhere needs to treat their band like that is the number one band and not just an impression of another band, or just like a hobby or just like a bunch of bullshit. But they're treating it like it's just a hobby, and it's just a bunch of bullshit."
Bender's will end its run on Wednesday, October 31, and Bianchi says Quixote's will have its soft opening on November 8 and celebrate it's grand opening on Thursday, November 15 with Magic Gravy. Bianchi says he'll be renting the venue from Schmaltz during November and officially take it over in December.
As for Quixote's, Bianchi says you can expect the same kind of vibe as the previous Quixote's locations. Since Bender's has a separate room for shows where people can decide if they want to see shows or just hang out at the bar, it will have the best of worlds of Quixote's and his other Capitol Hill bar, Sancho's Broken Arrow.
"I think Quixote's on that side of Capitol Hill can make that area just more happening," he says. "I think it should be a good thing for Quixote's, and I think it should be a good thing for Capitol Hill."
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