After a lengthy run as Denver’s oldest blues club, Ziggies closed last October. Not long afterward, a team of four people took over the space and have been at work completely renovating it. They plan to reopen before the end of the year as Enigma Bazaar, an art bar and performance space.
“Our concept is to provide a space where people can meet, be inspired and experience art, music and performance in new ways,” says co-owner Autumn Eggleton. “We are trying to design an environment that is welcoming and focused on exploration.”
Co-owner Carly Howard adds that Enigma Bazaar will be a versatile performance and art space with a mystical, esoteric flair. The venue will host live music, art shows, film screenings, circus performance, immersive theater and anything else Denver creatives can think of doing.
Eggleton and Howard, along with co-owners Christine Samar and Chad Howard, most of whom have theater backgrounds, wanted to create a constructive, collaborative, spiritually alive community space that encourages intimate conversation, mindful drinking, revolutionary educational opportunities, creative interactions and learning experiences that transcend age.
While the owners looked at a lot of different areas, Eggleton says they fell in love with the Berkeley neighborhood building, familiarized themselves with the community and realized that people in the community yearned for a creative space.
“We want to pay homage to the history of the building having been a home to bars and live music since the 1930s,” she says.
After taking over the building late last year, Eggleton says, the team immediately gutted the side of the structure where Ziggies was and expanded that side to add a little more space.
“We also repaired the windows, returning them back to the style that would have originally been on the building in the 1920s,” she says. “We have plans to update all electrical and plumbing, and to increase the accessibility of the space. We have plans in the future to turn the other side of our building into a gallery and workshop space. In our renovation, we plan to preserve as much of the original historical integrity as possible.”
Eggleton says Enigma Bazaar will differ from other bars and venues in the city in that it will be a space that encompasses more creative aspects.
“We also hope to be able to provide a new opportunity for artists, and for the growing immersive scene in Denver,” Eggleton says. “Our mystic inspiration is a driving factor in the spirit of bringing people together.”
Howard says the venue will have two rooms with two different feels: The Moon Room will be cozy, small and cave-like, while the Sun Room will be large with high ceilings and will house the bar and a modular stage with theatrical lighting and an entire wall devoted to video art and film.
“The Sun Room will cater to circus performance, theater, film and live music,” Howard says. “There is also an outdoor patio in the back. There aren’t many bars in Denver where you can have a drink and watch an aerial performance. We also have an element of mysticism: The design of the bar is inspired by the Kabalistic Tree of Life. Our opening drink menu will be elementally themed: air, water, fire, earth and ether. We also plan on having astrologers and tarot readers.”
The drink menu will be focused on Colorado spirits, with seasonal craft cocktails; there will also be wine, beer and cocktails on tap. Chef Edwin Sandoval, who has worked at Beatrice & Woodsley and Invisible City, will create the food menu, which will use locally sourced, healthy ingredients.
Eggleton, who has worked in visual and performing arts for the past decade, say the venue’s first immersive show is an experience following the Fool’s journey through the tarot, and will incorporate live music, theater, circus performance, film, audience interaction and a culinary experience.
The venue’s moniker was taken from the song “Welcome to the Enigma Bazaar,” by local wilderness rock band Open to the Hound. Eggleton says the song, which was written by Howard’s brother, Garrison York (who will also be the venue’s tech manager and audio engineer), tells the story of a cosmic traveler's experience during a galactic pit stop.