As partners in Strong Survive Promotionz for the past five years, independent concert promoters Travis Ragan and Ivan Ovchinnikov have booked shows at a number of venues around Denver, but they've never gotten a cut of the bar sales. So when they found out that the Roxy Theater, an old movie theater turned performance space at 2549 Welton Street, was up for lease, they jumped at the chance to have their own place.
While the two specialize in hip-hop shows, they don't want the 500-seat Roxy — which reopened last weekend — to be known strictly as a hip-hop club, Ragan says. Rather, they want it to be a venue that presents all kind of music, including blues and jazz. In addition to such national acts as Brotha Lynch Hung, who performed last week; Lil Wyte, who will be at there Friday, June 18; and Dirtball from the Kottonmouth Kings, booked for Saturday, July 9, they plan to book a lot of local acts, including an all-local metal show on July 2.
"My being involved in music, owning a record label and promotional company and a venue, I know what it's like for locals to get off the ground," Ragan says. "I want to work with hardworking locals in every demographic."
Although one of the club's previous operators had told them the liquor license had expired, there was actually a month left on it, so the partners were able to get it transferred. Now they're working on getting an all-ages license for the spot, which they hope will go through in the next three to six months. They also plan to turn a small room near the entrance into a kitchen so that they can serve breakfast from 5 to 10 a.m. and then reopen around 4 or 5 p.m.
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Since taking over the Roxy, they've installed new sound and lighting systems and repainted the interior; Ragan says they also spent about two days scraping gum off the floor with razor blades, since some of the previous tenants had just painted over the gum. But their work has been rewarded: Ragan says people are telling them that the Roxy has never looked as good as it does now.
Club scout: San Francisco-based house DJ Mark Farina has played some large venues in Denver, including the Gothic Theatre, but this time around he'll be at the intimate Jet Hotel (1612 Wazee Street) on Thursday, June 16, as part of Sojive's Heart and Soul night. Jasun Lovejoy, Frederick Gentry, Ejay, M.I.T.H. and DJ Shiva will also spin, and there will be a happy-hour set from Venus Cruz. Tickets are $15 at the door.
Jugz Sports Tavern recently opened in the former Nardo T's space, at 4343 Sheridan Boulevard. DJ Paco is spinning old-school jams there every week for Slammin' Saturdays, which feature $10 buckets of Bud Light and Corona, plus five Jäger and Tuaca Bombs for $20 from 9 p.m. to close.