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, it's a sad sight on Broadway, which has become an incredibly vibrant neighborhood.
For better or worse, according to some readers.
See also: - First Avenue Hotel now a blight, rather than a bright light, on Broadway - El Diablo, Sketch want you to send them off in style -- tonight! - First Avenue Hotel gets another notice to vacate
This neighborhood deserves a hip hotel. Denver, in fact, deserves a hip hotel and this is the place to do it. This neighborhood is changing. ALL neighborhoods change and are in fact in constant flux. Sometimes it's discernible and sometimes it happens slowly until you wake up one day, and.... there it is. Putting a hotel or condos here is better than letting this building fill up again with crack junkies the way it was before the Morrealle activity. 'Like' Jesse or not, he made a positive impact that made the neighborhood better; even if he didn't seem to finish the effort. Now, somebody can pick up where he left off and finish the job.
I've been laughing at some of the folks that write this absurd, intangible 'keep Lodo out of Baker' garbage. This renovation of the 1st Avenue hotel will undoubtedly spark more of that hipster|hippie dribble. But the fact is, this neighborhood, long ago, was a thriving economic district -- then there were decades of dark times -- now there is economic life here again. Nothing stays the same, EVER. This building needs to be renovated and the only way to do that is with A LOT of money. Money doesn't invest without economic factors being right. Looks like those factors are in place for this building to continue within the commercial resurgence of this district. This will create more jobs for the complaining hipsters to gobble up (and they will certainly gobble them up). Old men and the intentionally obtuse beg for things to stay the same. Jesse was part of a movement in this district that began around 2009. A movement that began after a separate quality movement played out that lasted from 1999 - 2008. Somebody will fix the building issues that he could not, and I'm looking forward to seeing it happen.
On a slightly related note: a town without Sean Yontz cooking is a lesser town. Somebody find that guy a fucking job so that the universe is right again.
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What do you think of the changes on Broadway? What would you like to see happen to the First Avenue Hotel? And where would you like to see Yontz land? Share your thoughts below, or join the conversation already under way here.