First Avenue Hotel

  • Blogs

    June 5, 2013

    Reader: South Broadway needs more (good) Mexican restaurants

    Pizza joints are popping up along Broadway, which lost a couple of Mexican mainstays last month. Although Adelita's Cocina y Cantina opened a few weeks ago at 1294 South Broadway, that's still a mile south of where Juanita's and El Diablo closed their doors. Will the opening of a sixth Illegal Pete' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2013

    Reader: A bummer to have another empty spot on Broadway

    The face of Broadway is changing -- fast -- and the stretch heading south from First Avenue saw plenty of changes in May. Sketch and El Diablo closed at the start of the month, ending one chapter of the long-running saga of the circa 1906 First Avenue Hotel. And at the very end of the month, Dylan M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2013

    Reader: First Avenue Hotel renovation should continue -- Broadway deserves a hip hotel

    The latest chapter in the First Avenue Hotel saga -- the closing of both El Diablo and Sketch at the end of service on May 2, right before the city's latest notice to vacate was issued for May 3 -- got some punctuation on Friday, when the building's windows were boarded over. Whatever the back story ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 10, 2013

    First Avenue Hotel now a blight, rather than a bright light, on Broadway

    Looks like El Diablo is really gone for good. The restaurant and its sibling, Sketch, held a final bash on May 2, then closed after last call -- right before the city's most recent notice to vacate the First Avenue Hotel was set to take effect on May 3. Earlier today, a crew was out covering the win ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2013

    El Diablo, Sketch want you to send them off in style -- tonight!

    Have El Diablo and Sketch reached the end of the line? According to El Diablo's Facebook page, the restaurants will be closing at the end of business tonight: "Please come by and send us off in style!!!" This is the culmination -- maybe -- of a ten-month-long fight with the city, which started with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    Reader: El Diablo gets notice to vacate -- seriously, again?

    El Diablo has big plans for Cinco de Mayo, but it has another important date earlier in May: Yesterday the city again handed First Avenue Hotel owner Jesse Morreale with a notice to vacate the building by May 3. Morreale opened El Diablo with a temporary occupancy permit from the city in August 2010 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2013

    First Avenue Hotel gets another notice to vacate -- but El Diablo, Sketch open for now

    Jesse Morreale was back at the Webb building this morning for yet another hearing involving his First Avenue Hotel, home to Sketch and El Diablo, winner of our Best New Bar in 2011 and a place that continues to pack in the crowds. The status of these spots, and the circa 1905 building that houses th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2013

    Best New Bar: Our winners over the past dozen years

    We've spent a lot of time in bars since the first Best of Denver issue made its debut in 1984, and sometimes we even remembered to give awards to those bars. One of our most popular categories? Best New Bar, snagged this year by Ace. Some years we didn't make an award in this category, and other yea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2013

    Judge grants restraining order; El Diablo and Sketch now open

    Update, 7:05 p.m., January 11: Attorneys for Morreale Hotels LLC filed a motion today in Denver District Court, asking a judge for a temporary restraining order against the City of Denver that would allow El Diablo and Sketch to reopen. And after a hearing that started at 2 p.m. today, the judge agr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 8, 2013

    Reader: Love or hate Jesse Morreale's First Avenue Hotel, but feel sorry for employees

    Last week, Patricia Calhoun wrote about the city's latest order to vacate directed at Jesse Morreale's First Avenue Hotel. Since then, readers have debated about the value of the hotel and the El Diablo restaurant associated with it -- but one commenter advises folks on either side of this argument ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2013

    Reader: Notice to vacate at El Diablo/Sketch puts 100 people out of work

    Six months after the city first slapped the First Avenue Hotel with notices to vacate because the structure was unsound, and five months after a Board of Appeals hearing determined that owner Jesse Morreale could reopen the two restaurants in the building -- Sketch and El Diablo -- while he worked o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2013

    Jesse Morreale's First Avenue Hotel slapped with notices to vacate...again

    Yes, that's the entrance to El Diablo, the restaurant in the big corner space of the old First Avenue Hotel building -- which was tagged, again, this morning with "Danger" signs and a notice to vacate...immediately. Two city officials, accompanied by a Denver police officer, posted the notices short ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 4, 2013

    El Diablo slapped with notice to vacate...again

    Yes, that's the entrance to El Diablo, the Mexican restaurant in the First Avenue Hotel, which has been slapped with a notice to vacate...again. The note went up early this morning, and although it says that the building is structurally unsound and must be vacated immediately, owner Jesse Morreale p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2012

    City deadline for First Avenue Hotel has passed...but El Diablo, Sketch still open

    The October 31 deadline that the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development had given the First Avenue Hotel came and went -- without any new notices to vacate slapped on the building. On July 10 those notices, headlined with the word "Danger," as well as five different letters signed b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2012

    Photos: Rockbar's last call was a wild costume party

    Rockbar closed its doors after last call on Saturday night -- after an epic party full of costumed customers. After more than six years, the hipster hangout -- whose liquor-license renewal was denied -- rang out its final night in style, with hundreds of patrons lining up outside for a spot at the p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2012

    Jesse Morreale's First Avenue Hotel still faces an October 31 deadline

    Jesse Morreale has decided he can't fight city hall on two fronts. And so after last call on Saturday, he'll close Rockbar, the hipster hangout he opened six years ago. The other front? First Avenue Hotel at 101 Broadway, which could have a date with destiny next Thursday if the city holds to its mo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2012

    Jesse Morreale's fight with the city doesn't end at Rockbar -- the First Avenue Hotel is next

    Jesse Morreale has decided he can't fight city hall on two fronts. And so after last call on Saturday, October 27, he'll close Rockbar, the hipster hangout he opened in the motel at 3015 East Colfax Avenue that he bought almost seven years ago; the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses declined t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 23, 2012

    Denver police sting nabs four bars for selling liquor to minors

    The Denver Police Department's Vice 50 team, working with the District 4 SCAT unit, conducted an underage-compliance operation last Friday, October 19. Out of 53 establishments visited by underage, undercover cadets, nine locations sold them alcohol -- resulting in nine arrests for the sale of alcoh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2012

    Rockbar's request for special event cabaret permits denied

    And the hits just keep coming for Rockbar, the hipster hangout that Jesse Morreale opened six years ago when he bought the All-Inn at 3105 East Colfax Avenue. Last week, the city denied Rockbar's request to renew its hotel and restaurant liquor license, but extended its temporary license until Nove ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2012

    City denies Rockbar's liquor-license application renewal

    Tom Downey, director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, just issued his final decision regarding Rockbar's application to renew its liquor licenses for the hipster hangout on East Colfax. Downey's decision? No. And if that order stands, Rockbar will be high and dry within the month. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    Rockbar files response to recommended denial of liquor-license renewal

    The deadline for comments on the suggested denial of Rockbar's liquor-license renewal -- issued ten days ago by hearing office William Hobbs -- was 5 p.m. today. For In the meantime, Jesse Morreale, the owner of Rockbar, has been busy, with staff and supporters exercising a "three-tiered outreach ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2012

    City plans to extend deadline on First Avenue Hotel to October 31

    Today was the original deadline for Jesse Morreale to make required repairs to the First Avenue Hotel in order to keep it open -- a deadline set by the Board of Appeals on July 30, twenty days after the city had slapped the building with a notice to vacate, resulting in both El Diablo and Sketch clo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2012

    Jesse Morreale and the First Avenue Hotel have another date with the city

    Jesse Morreale has spent much of the summer in meetings with the city, which on July 10 slapped a "notice to vacate" on his First Avenue Hotel property - the circa 1906 building at 101 Broadway that holds Sketch and El Diablo, as well as Morreale's offices. And those meetings aren't over yet. Last ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2012

    Rockbar liquor license renewal hearing tonight

    Jesse Morreale has spent much of the summer in meetings with the city, which on July 10 slapped a "notice to vacate" on his First Avenue Hotel - which holds Sketch and El Diablo, as well as Morreale's offices. And those meetings aren't over yet. But his next meeting with the city doesn't involve t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2012

    Rockbar liquor license hearing moved to September

    Update below: Jesse Morreale has been spending a lot of time in meetings with the city recently, ever since the First Avenue Hotel, home of El Diablo and Sketch, was red-tagged on July 10. After a hearing before the Board of Appeals last week, he was able to reopen the two restaurants...but he still ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2012

    Reader: City's attitute toward restaurant employees is reprehensible

    Three weeks after the city red-tagged the First Avenue Hotel building -- causing the immediate closure of both El Diablo and Sketch -- both restaurants are back in business. For now. After a three-and-a-half hour hearing Monday, the Board of Appeals -- a mayor-appointed committee that considers ac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2012

    Reader: The city should pay for the damage done at El Diablo

    On July 10, the city red-tagged the First Avenue Hotel, ordering the building vacated -- and that meant that both El Diablo and Sketch had to close, at least temporarily. But after three weeks of fighting, owner Jesse Morreale managed to get a hearing yesterday morning before the Board of Appeals -- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2012

    Jesse Morreale will reopen El Diablo, Sketch today after appeal victory

    After a three-and-a-half hour hearing yesterday before the Board of Appeals that considers objections to decisions by the city's planning department, Jesse Morreale got the okay to immediately reopen his First Avenue Hotel building -- which had been closed by the city three weeks ago, slapped with n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 30, 2012

    Jesse Morreale has a hearing on the First Avenue Hotel this morning

    Three weeks after the city red-tagged the First Avenue Hotel, home of El Diablo and Sketch, the building remains dark while owner Jesse Morreale tries to figure out why the city suddenly decided the 106-year-old structure presents such a safety threat. This morning's Board of Appeals hearing could b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2012

    Jesse Morreale has a public hearing with the city on Monday

    More than two weeks after the city red-tagged the First Avenue Hotel, home of El Diablo and Sketch, the building remains dark -- while owner Jesse Morreale tries to convince the city that the 106-year-old structure where the restaurants opened two years ago under a temporary-occupancy permit is safe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2012

    Reader: Is the El Diablo story a trip to Imaginationland?

    The First Avenue Hotel saga continues, with El Diablo and Sketch remaining closed, and some of their specialties now served at Rockbar (above), also owned by Jesse Morreale. Much of the discussion concerns Morreale himself -- and how this story should be covered.

  • Blogs

    July 18, 2012

    Reader: Debate over El Diablo should be about whether it's safe to dine there, not if Jesse's a douche

    El Diablo and Sketch remained dark yesterday -- and as the comments and rumors fly, some people feel they're still in the dark about why the city closed the First Avenue Hotel building when it did. After all, the restaurants had been operating for two years in that space; why did Denver officials de ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2012

    Protesters gather outside El Diablo and Sketch, but the restaurants remain off limits

    Protesters gathered outside the First Avenue Hotel late yesterday afternoon, waving signs and asking the city to allow Sketch and El Diablo to reopen -- and for employees of those restaurants to start collecting paychecks again. They've also started a petition on the web -- at www.saveeldiabloandsk ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2012

    Reader: City attacks local businesses, rather than help them

    Two prominent restaurateurs are involved in very public spats with the city. Frank Bonanno, owner of Osteria Marco, among other restaurants, admits he can be a "dick." Especially when fighting the Denver Department of Environmental Health: posting missives on his blog aimed at Danica Lee, the depart ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2012

    Jesse Morreale's First Avenue Hotel slapped with notice to vacate

    If city officials find a hundred members of a gay men's chorus picnicking in front of City Hall today, they have only themselves to blame. The cast of Von Trapped, a coffee concert at the Buell this morning, were to have lunch at El Diablo -- but that was before the city slapped the First Avenue Hot ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2012

    The devil you say! City slaps El Diablo and Sketch with notice to vacate

    Danger. That's the sign on the door of Sketch, which is supposed to host an opening for a showing of 9News reporter Kirk Montgomery's photographs tonight. The sign -- as well as five different letters signed by Michael Roach, Building Official with Development Services in the Denver Department of Co ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 23, 2011

    Shine a little light: The First Avenue Hotel, El Diablo and Sketch turn on tonight

    Restaurateur Jesse Morreale has always gone all-out dolling up his eateries for the holidays, but since he nabbed the vintage First Avenue Hotel and opened El Diablo there, the corner of First and Broadway has become a real star, with more than 24,000 twinkling bulbs inside and out.

  • Dining

    August 4, 2011
  • Blogs

    August 2, 2011

    El Diablo is a devilish revival of an old Broadway hotel

    Mark Manger​In the three years since Jesse Morreale bought the old First Avenue Hotel on Broadway, the two restaurants he's opened on the bottom floor of the property -- Sketch and El Diablo -- with chef and partner Sean Yontz have completely transformed the corner.

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2011

    Disco Biscuits open pop-up store on Broadway

    Photo: Britt ChesterIn 24 hours this will be Hotel BiscoIn commemoration of it's third consecutive year of Denver being the host city for their famed Bisco Inferno kick-off, the Disco Biscuits are opening up pop-up shop on south Broadway. The store will be JAM-packed with Biscuits merch and there's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 24, 2010

    Tonight: Get Lit at El Diablo and Sketch

    ​El Diablo (101 Broadway, 303-954-0324) and its sibling Sketch (11 West First Avenue, 303-484-9305) will host the first annual Get Lit celebration at the the resurrected First Avenue Hotel at 7 p.m. tonight, a celebration and lighting of the building (with 24,000 lights!) featuring music, food ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 24, 2010

    Tonight: 101 Broadway gets spectacular, brings on the reindeer

    Light 'em up! And get me some reindeer.​It's been a long, ongoing, dirty process of restoring the First Avenue Hotel at 101 Broadway -- for the last year and a half or so, owner Jesse Morreale (of Rockbar, La Rumba and Mezcal, among others) has been slowly but surely pecking away at restoring ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2010

    Today: El Diablo celebrates Day of the Dead

    Lori Midson​ El Diablo is already full of incredible art, but the cantina at 101 Broadway got all decked out for Halloween, with giant spider webs reminiscent of what Jesse Morreale found when he took over the old First Avenue Hotel, spooky lights and hanging skulls. The partying went on all w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2010

    Marathon man Jesse Morreale offers happy hour all day Sunday at El Diablo

    ​Denver's first Rock 'n' Roll Marathon takes to the streets on Sunday, October 17. The race web site offers tips on where spectators can watch the sold-out event -- but we have a better idea than going to a park "oasis": Head directly to the old First Avenue Hotel, now home to Sketch and El ... More >>

  • Dining

    September 9, 2010
  • Blogs

    June 30, 2010

    Jesse Morreale is back on track with El Diablo

    ​After an unexpected stay in the hospital -- he fell and cracked his head the weekend that the first big press on his latest restaurant, El Diablo, came out in the Denver Post four weeks ago -- Jesse Morreale is back on the phone. And on the job. And when I talked with Morreale today, he sai ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2010

    El Diablo lives up to its name -- even before opening

    The First Avenue Hotel in its original incarnation.​El Diablo may be the most appropriate name ever for a restaurant. Jesse Morreale, who took on the massive project of renovating the old First Avenue Hotel at First and Broadway, turning the front area into a restaurant he named El Diablo (an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2009

    Simple things at Sketch Food and Wine

    Sean Yontz will be pleased to meat you at SketchI was several whiskeys to the good on a recent school night when I found myself propped up against Sketch's salumi bar, canting sharply like a ship taking on water.  I asked for the menu, gave it a cursory glance, then pushed it back across the da ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2009

    Get a job! Jesse Morreale's job fair

    You drink at Mezcal -- why not work there? Jesse Morreale and his crew have close to a hundred positions to fill in their group of restaurants/bars --  Mezcal, Tambien, Rockbar, La Rumba, Sketch and a "new location," which we're guessing is that big front room at the First Avenue Hotel, right i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2008

    How much did Jesse Morreale pay for the 1st Ave Hotel building?

    The First Avenue Hotel in 1917. Denver restaurateur Jesse Morreale (Mezcal, Tambien, La Rumba, Rockbar) recently announced he was taking the next step in building the nascent hotel empire that started with the All-Inn at 3015 East Colfax Avenue by purchasing the historic/empty/decrepit 1st Avenue ... More >>

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