When Star Bar (2137 Larimer Street) received a liquor-code violation late last year, it had to close from January 1 to March 1, and the future looked dim for the joint, one of the last surviving saloons from the days when that section of town was considered as Skid Row in Denver.
But new owners just took over the place last week, and they hope to have it reopened by April 1.
According to real estate broker Ken Himel, one of the folks now in charge of the place, the previous owner, who'd had the spot for fifty years, was absentee toward the end, and just let Star Bar get away from him. But Himel, real estate developer Jonathan Bush and Justin Lloyd, former regional general manager of West Coast operations for ESPN Zone, plan to take a more hands-on approach. "It's still going to be a little bit divey," Himel says. "But it will be clean and safe, as opposed to downright dangerous and dicey."
They plan to make it a true neighborhood bar for a rapidly changing neighborhood. "We figured it was mature enough to where it needs a neighborhood bar, because I don't think it was a neighborhood up until three or four years ago," Himel says. "So now we're going keep a lot of the character."
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They'll also keep the name, the bar, the pool table and the carpet, which came from the Regency Hotel. But they'll clean up the place, put in some booths and make the whole room feel more intimate.
"It will be a really fun place," Lloyd promises, "very casual, with cheap drinks. A good, old-fashioned neighborhood bar, and completely different from anything else that's around here."
Sounds like a shining Star.