When Leigh Jones moved to Denver a decade ago, she was living in Park Hill, and the Recovery Room (a longtime dive at 819 Colorado Boulevard) was her neighborhood bar. She went on to open several bars and restaurants of her own — including the now-defunct Brasserie Rouge and B-52 Billiards (which she owned with her then-husband, Robert Thompson), and the still-very-much-living Atomic Cowboy, Jonesy's EatBar and Horseshoe Lounge. Jones has her hands full — but still, when she found out that the Recovery Room was on the market, she and Margaret Moore, a Horseshoe partner, decided to take on another project.
The space reopened June 29 as the Bar Car, with decor that combines Old West saloon and Victorian train car. To get that feel, Jones slapped a coat of eggplant-colored paint on the walls, painted the tin ceiling red and hung up some old brass chandeliers. "Somebody told me they wouldn't have been able to afford that much brass back then," Jones says. "I'm thinking more like that train car that Presidents rode around in, with lots of fringe and velvet and girls dancing. I'm not talking about the one you'd ride in where there's soot covering your clothes."
The day after she signed for the place, Jones had a crew in to remove the booths, cut them in half and reposition them along the wall, bar-car style. They now face the old wooden bar, which has "really cool flourishes, cornices and back-lit stained glass," Jones says. "I'm really excited to have that be more of the centerpiece of the bar."
The long, narrow space was not only perfect for a train-car theme, it's an ideal bar size, since it needs just one bartender, one door guy and a lot of Jonesy's fries to work. "It's just nice and easy for us," she says.
Club scout: Lipgloss, one of the city's longest-running and best dance nights, will celebrate its ninth birthday on Friday, July 2 at La Rumba (99 West Ninth Avenue). Resident DJs boyhollow and Chase Dobson will be joined by the Juan MacLean (aka John MacLean), who's touring to support his DJ-Kicks mix, a love letter to house music. There's no cover before 9:30 p.m.; it's $5 afterward, and $2 PBRs, $2 gin and tonics and $3 vodka drinks will be served all night long.
On Wednesday, July 7, Lavish Lounge (1448 Market Street) will kick off its weekly Colorado's Sex Symbols parties with a bikini/swimsuit contest for both men and women sporting "erotic swimsuit attire"; the winner gets $500 and other prizes. King Tef, Johnny Rocketz and R&B singer Ali Pierre will perform, and members of Denver's Foxxy Football League and the Denver Nuggets dance team will be on hand. Ladies get in free until 11 p.m.; there's a $5 cover for guys and ladies after 11 p.m.