Although Arvada doesn't have a big rockabilly scene, Jimmy Nigg and his brother grew up there — and that's where they decided to open Rock-A-Billies. The brothers had spent a year looking all over Denver for the perfect place to put a rockabilly-themed bar; when they found out that the former owner of Cucina Roma Roma — a restaurant at 12363 West 64th Avenue that's just a few blocks from where they once lived — wanted out of the biz, they jumped on it. After all, the joint already had a liquor license, a hood in the kitchen and plenty of parking. And while Arvada may not have a big rockabilly scene right now, Rock-A-Billies could change that.
The Niggs spent the past few months remodeling the space into a slick-looking bar with a giant mural of Johnny Cash on one wall and framed black-and-white photos of Hank Williams, Elvis and '50s hot rods hanging on freshly painted red walls.
While Jimmy, who used to be a talent buyer at Casselman's, says they initially planned to open Rock-A-Billies early next year, they actually opened the 3,500-square-foot bar just before Thanksgiving. Over the next month, the brothers are going to build a stage and finalize the menu: Right now the kitchen is just serving half-pound burgers for $3.50, but they hope to add Southern and Midwestern specialties like deep-fried green beans, Italian beef sandwiches, barbecue, steaks and prime rib. And once the stage is built, Jimmy will be bringing in bands on the weekends, as well as scheduling an open-mike night and possibly big-band and swing dance lessons during the week.
"We want this to be the place where people who love the rockabilly culture and subculture come to hang out and listen to good music," he says. But while the bar and restaurant's atmosphere and decorations might say "rockabilly," Jimmy doesn't want to limit Rock-A-Billies to one genre of music, so he'll feature a wide range of rock-and-roll acts, as long as they're not too heavy or too soft.
Look for a grand-opening party at the end of January and a car show in March. And if all goes well in Arvada, the brothers would eventually like to open a second spot in Denver.
Club scout: The former Blending Cellar space at 946 Pearl Street in Boulder should reopen as Cuvée any day now. The new wine bar — complete with fireplace — will offer more than thirty wines by the glass, live music six nights a week, and wine and champagne tastings.
While the Next Door Lounge (next door to Limón, at 1612 East 17th Avenue) actually opened in late October, the bar just celebrated its grand opening and nailed down its weekly specials. On Monday, there are football specials, including a $5 deal that gets you wings and a draft beer; a DJ spins funk and blues on Tuesdays; and on Wednesdays, the bar offers happy-hour prices all night. Thursdays are service-industry night, with $4 call drinks and Jäger and Tuaca bombs; on Fridays, the Jäger bombs are $5; and on Saturdays, ladies enjoy happy-hour prices all night. According to Will Olson, one of the owners, service-industry and hospital employees always get happy-hour prices: $3 for house wine, all drafts (except Murphy's Stout) and well drinks. And if you check in on Foursquare or Facebook, Olson says, you get half off your first drink — and the mayor calls the drink specials for the rest of the night.