With so much happening in town, it's rare for me to get outside the Denver city limits these days, but on a recent Wednesday night, I happened to be near Park Meadows with a friend, and we decided to check out the Robusto Room (9535 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree). The place isn't hard to find once you know where you're going, but an initial visit can be tricky, since it's hidden on the south side of C-470 between the United Artists theaters and the Rio Grande.
The first time I'd ventured out there, it was to check out the jazz. But over the past year, the club has essentially phased out the jazz acts. On Saturdays, the Robusto Room now offers funk and reggae bands. DJ Kinetik takes over on Tuesdays, dropping the hip-hop, funk and old-school — but it's not easy to get your groove on, since the "dance floor" is a little bigger than a postage stamp. On Mondays, it's karaoke with DJ Magic Mike.
And on Wednesdays, guys, it's ladies' night. Listen up, Steve Horner: This is what ladies' night is all about, man. I mean, you've got ladies drinking free wells and Bud Lights from 9 to 11 p.m., with ladies even outnumbering the guys. The place was packed, but it's a pretty small (make that intimate) space in the first place, and any attempt at navigating though the bar meant that you were going be brushing up against quite a few ladies. We opted for a seat closer to the door, where it was less congested and provided a better view of the joint. I spied one group of four lovely girls in their early twenties, one of whom looked like a hipster version of Pocahontas. Seriously, the girl had this squaw thing going on: pigtails, lots of turquoise and an updated, more risqué version of a squaw dress. There were also lots of under-thirty gals in tube tops, and a lot of them were dressed up and sexed up.
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The four guys sitting next to us appreciated it, particularly when a blond gal came up and asked one for a light. Yeah, you can smoke in this joint: It started life as a combo club/cigar bar, and it not only sells a massive variety of choice cigars, but has a stogie-friendly lounge. Anyway, the dude and the blonde started hitting it off, although the music was so loud I couldn't hear much of their conversation. I did catch him asking how old she was, and then she asked how old he was. "How old do you want me to be?" he replied, leaning over the table, his mouth a few inches from her ear. Sadly, I had to leave before the bizarre mating ritual concluded, but the early stages were fun to watch.
Half an hour later, we were back in the city, at Pasquini's (1336 East 17th Avenue) for the debut of the spot's open-mike hip-hop nights. A live band and DJ were setting up, and by 11 p.m., cats like Dem, Thai Stick and Addie were showing off their freestyle skills. On future Wednesdays, the crew will have featured-artist MCs from 10 p.m. to midnight, and anyone who wants to hit the mike after that can do so. As far as I know, there isn't anything like this happening anywhere else in Denver. These guys could be on to something.
Club scout: A quick congrats to Don's Mixed Drinks (723 East Sixth Avenue), also known as Don's Club Tavern, which celebrated sixty years of slinging drinks to barflies, hipsters and frat types this past weekend. One of the city's last remaining true dives, the place looks like it hasn't changed much since 1947 — and that's a damn good thing. In its last days, the Congress Lounge was badly in need of an update — and now it's got it, with the very hip-looking Satellite Bar occupying that space at 308 East Colfax Avenue. And finally, welcome the Mystery Nightclub to 753 Santa Fe Drive, where it will offer live music on the weekends.