Another classic watering hole has dried up. After 73 years, the Zephyr Lounge has reached the end of the line.
Barry Melnick purchased the building at 11940 East Colfax Avenue in 1947, and turned it into a mainstay for mid-century tourists traveling Route 40. His son, Myron Melnick, inherited it in 2003 and brought in live music; in recent years the bar had become a hangout for workers at the nearby Anschutz Medical Campus as well as old-timers in the rapidly changing neighborhood. But those changes, coupled with the challenges of running a venue during the COVID-19 pandemic, inspired him to close the Zephyr on November 1 and sell the property (it will be replaced by apartments).
"Once we get a handle on the virus," Melnick said in his social media farewell, "perhaps we can have a celebration of all things Zephyr, sometime in the future." But in the meantime, people are sharing their own memories on the Facebook post of our story. Says Bee:
Sad, but it had a good run—-seventy years.
So many memories!
I was there about two years ago. It was scary; lots of mean people nursing their drinks.
Great dive bar!!! Sad to see it go!
I learned to play pinball there with my dad!
Damn shame. Stinking 'Rona. Was a damned sure good time there in the day. Stinking youngsters all bashing it. All the good ones are gone, by the way. Jester "Mitches," Cozy, Gigi's, Aurora Tavern, Zanzabar. Wasn't for the yuppie cancel-culture pukes.
And Zeb concludes:
Never been there, but seeing places shut down right now is so sad. It’s going to be a hard winter for the service industry.
Did you drink at the Zephyr Lounge? Which old-time bars do you miss? What are the best dives still around? Post a comment or send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.