Frank Schultz is bullish on the Ballpark neighborhood — and no one is more surprised by that than him. In 1997, two years after Coors Field opened, Schultz invested big in the area by opening the Soiled Dove at 1949 Market Street, but by 2005, he realized that with all its crowds and parking problems, the 1900 block of Market Street was no place for a live-music venue. In fact, with all the trouble from rowdy club-goers in the area, he wondered if it was a place he wanted to be in at all.
"I was going to get out of LoDo because it got kind of bad," he says. "I saw my sales drop every year. I had a buyer looking at it, and I almost had it sold, and then I thought, you know, Coors Field isn't going anywhere. Some of these clubs that aren't bringing in the best crowds are probably not going to be around forever. So I thought, let me reinvest in it and kind of hang in there, and it turned around quicker than I thought."
His reinvestment in the area started with the Soiled Dove building, which by June 2006 had been transformed into the Tavern Downtown (1946 Market Street), a classy-looking saloon that Playboy recently named one of the Top 10 Rooftop Bars in America. The Soiled Dove concept was transported over to Schultz's new project in Lowry, where he now presents music in the Soiled Dove Underground, located just below the Tavern Lowry, at 7401 East First Avenue.
At the same time that Schultz was renovating his LoDo building, the owners of Market 41, a controversial club just down the street at 1941 Market, were changing its name in order to hang on to their liquor license, transforming the place into the Cowboy Lounge. Schultz had told the Scheitler brothers that if they ever wanted to sell the club, he'd be interested in buying the spot — and this summer, he did. For the time being, Schultz plans to keep the Cowboy as it is, since it attracts a different crowd than the Tavern Downtown clientele. He also recently bought the building at 1962 Blake Street that houses the SportsFan.
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"I'm investing in LoDo because I believe in LoDo," he says. "And there are so many more residences going up around the area that you're not having to rely on baseball as much."
Club scout: I was at 3 Kings Tavern (60 South Broadway) last week for its new Monday-night Panties at the Bar night, when gals from Ooh La La Burlesque tend bar while wearing panties over their fishnet stockings. It's a great concept, but I did feel a tad uncomfortable sitting so close to all that flesh. One gal had so much cleavage popping out of her purple bra that in order not to come across as a full-on perv, I kept re-directing my eyes to the TV in the corner above the bar, where The Young Ones was playing. It got me thinking about how a few years after that hilarious British TV series first aired on MTV, while I was still in high school, I had my first strip-club experience at Saturday's (8315 East Colfax Avenue), where a totally naked gal on the stage crouched down right in front of me. And, well, I wasn't really sure where to look then, either.
Last weekend, I spent close to seven hours at the Fourth Annual Adult Film Star Ball at La Bohème Gentlemen's Cabaret (1443 Stout Street), which was heavily steeped in loads of delicious debauchery. But, hey, that's going to happen when you throw fifty porn stars, a bunch of dancers, a few ex-pro wrestlers and Dave Navarro into the mix. You can read more about my adventures here.