Music News


It doesn't take a genius to make a Mind Eraser. The drink's usually just equal parts Kahlúa, vodka and tonic or soda water. But there's something about the combination, or maybe just drinking it down through a straw, that can be downright hazardous.

A long time ago, I was at a Louisiana roadhouse when this friend of my cousin's started chatting me up. We'd talk for a while, she'd disappear and come back with a pair of Mind Erasers, and we'd suck them down. A few minutes later, she'd go back for another round. Soon the drinks were living up to their name. She started looking really hot, and I started getting a mild case of brain damage.

Next thing I knew, I was in her car, thinking, "This is really weird. She just got me completely drunk, and now she's going to take advantage of me." Not so weird, though, that I didn't stay in the car for the ride to her place — a scary ride, since she'd had at least as many Mind Erasers as I had.

Fragments of that night ran through my head last week while I was sitting at the new RooBar (3480 Park Avenue West) and the bartender said that among the things he'd brought over from the old Cherry Creek location were a lot of bottles of Kahlúa (apparently a former bartender had loved making Mind Erasers). A few other remnants of the original spot are scattered throughout this new, improved RooBar, too, including some of the chairs, pool tables and the neon sign that hangs above the bar.

The gal I was sitting with had been a regular at the Cherry Creek RooBar, where one of her favorite things was the popular trivia night. According to the bartender, they may try to resurrect that here — even though this location is a far cry from Cherry Creek, in more ways than one. The bar is cool, but its address is a bit strange; it's in the Railyard Marketplace just off Park Avenue West, near I-25. But the twice-daily happy hours (5 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight) that run Monday through Friday and a full menu available until 1 a.m. may inspire people to find the place.

In honor of the original RooBar, we ordered a round of Mind Erasers and sucked them down. And then we hit the road, because this girl was getting a bit frisky after just one drink, and who knows what would have happened if we'd gone another round?

Club Scout: Robin Ruscio's Jazz Trio just started a Tuesday-night residency from 6 to 10 p.m. at Elway's Downtown at the Ritz-Carlton (1881 Curtis Street). At the Henry Mancini Institute, Ruscio got a chance to collaborate with Diana Krall, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, so you know this bassist has some serious chops.

Caldonia's (2252 South Parker Road) celebrates thirty years of barbecue and brews on Saturday, August 2. The party gets started at 2 p.m. with DJ Goldie; Harmonious Junk plays at 5, and the Runnin' Wild Band rocks at 8. The first 500 guests get a copy of Caldonia's 2008 compilation CD, which features a number of local bands.

While Caldonia's is going strong, Denver recently lost two classic saloons. The Valverde Yacht Club, which never had any yachts but was within spitting distance of the South Platte, at 1101 West Alameda, is boarded up; no word on what happened to its nautical knickknacks. A few miles farther west, at 3800 West Alameda, the Great Clown's Inn shut its doors on July 20; open more than thirty years, it had been handed down through three generations. I stopped by a few days before the Clown closed; sadly, my first time in the place was also my last.