Best of Denver

The Best New Club in Denver in 2018...and Through the Decade

The Best New Club in Denver in 2018...and Through the Decade
Aaron Thackeray
After publishing the Best of Denver 2018, we decided to look back on some of the most popular award categories. Compiling this list of all the Best New Club honorees in our Best of Denver edition since 2008, we were sadly reminded of just how finicky the nightlife crowd can be. Six of the ten best new clubs we've picked over the past decade have closed.

As any restaurateur or nightclub owner will tell you, trends are a gift and a curse in their industries.

Keep reading for a nostalgic trip through Denver nightlife over the past ten years. We've included the blurbs we wrote for the club the year it won and italicized updates.

2008
Below
1422 Larimer Street

Nearly two years after opening the basement-level Slim 7, Bill Ward expanded his subterranean empire to the other side of Larimer Square, taking over the 6,000-square-foot space that formerly housed the Champion Brewing Company and transforming it into two clubs, Pie Hole and Below. They're about as yin and yang as it gets: Pie Hole is the brightly lit, sparsely finished late-night pizza joint, while Below is a dark, candle-filled gothic lair pulled out of the pages of an Anne Rice novel. Nosferatu would foam at the mouth at the sight of this killer den — but to make sure the place stays lively, Ward has brought in nationally known DJs, as well as Lipgloss DJ Michael Trundle, who helms the club's weekly Recession Wednesdays. Below has closed.

click to enlarge KEN HAMBLIN
Ken Hamblin
2009
Suite Two Hundred
1427 Larimer Street

Francois Safieddine has been in the LoDo club business for fifteen years. During that time, he's launched such hot spots as Lotus, Monarck, 5 Degrees, Mynt and, a year ago, his super-posh 24K club. But Suite Two Hundred might just be the feather in Safieddine's cap. Since it opened last August, the ultra-slick upscale club, located in the former Lucky Star space, has brought in nationally known celebrities such as Aubrey O'Day, Lady Gaga, Rock of Love's Daisy de la Hoya and Playboy Playmates to host parties that, in turn, attract many a local sports celebrity. While the club is usually packed on the weekends, its Room Service industry nights have also become the place to be on Tuesdays in LoDo. Suite Two Hundred has closed.

CASSELMAN'S BAR & VENUE
Casselman's Bar & Venue
2010
Casselman's Bar & Venue
2620 Walnut Street
In the year since Adam and Andrew Ranes opened Casselman's Bar & Venue, it's gone from a 9,000-square-foot space with a lot of potential to an outstanding, multi-use venue that's equally inviting whether it's being used for live music or corporate events. While the back room, which was a distribution warehouse for the May Company in the ’40s and ’50s, used to sound a bit boomy, a new sound system has done wonders for the place. So has the talent-buying team of Caddy Cadwell and Samantha Hanson, who are gradually ramping up the caliber of national acts coming to Casselman's. Casselman's has closed.


BEAUTY BAR
Beauty Bar
2011
Beauty Bar
608 East 13th Avenue

After close to a twenty-year run as the Snake Pit, this Capitol Hill hangout got a much-needed makeover before it opened as Beauty Bar last June. Based on the original Beauty Bar concept that got its start in New York in 1995, Denver's Beauty Bar (there are similar clubs in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas) was brought to life by partners Noah Ray McMahan, Justin Martinez and Mike Barnhart, who turned the 3,200-square-foot space into a sparkly new club that captures the ’50s beauty-parlor aesthetic of the original bar. Some of the furniture was salvaged from old salons, while booths and chairs left over from the Snake Pit era were reupholstered in black and silver glitter vinyl by a lowrider shop. Armed with a killer KS Audio sound system, the main room is a great spot for dancing to resident DJs or the nationally known spinners who occasionally pop in. Beauty Bar has closed; today the space is home to another winner.

CHLOE
Chloe
2012
Chloe
1445 Market Street

As the head of Lotus Concepts, Francois Safieddine has carved out a niche in the Denver club scene with Suite Two Hundred, 24K and the Oak Tavern. His newest venture, Chloe, is a lot more than just a chic discotheque; it's also a lounge, and a restaurant that serves Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Named after a fictitious jet-setting fashionista, the space definitely has a worldly feel, and the disco has a European vibe from floor to ceiling, as well as a 22-foot LED wall. Attracting its share of local celebrities and trendsetters, Chloe might just be the most stylish spot in town. Chloe has closed.

NORAD
NORAD
2013
NORAD Dance Bar
821 22nd Street

Following a stretch as the third incarnation of the venerable Muddy's coffeehouse, the triangular building at 22nd and Champa was home to quite a few dance clubs, including Club Evolution, the Loft, Club Ra, Gallery 22 and 2200. No one seemed to be able to make the venue work — until NORAD moved in. Owner Preston Douglas, who formerly wore multiple hats at Beta, clearly knows what he's doing, and he's hosted some of the biggest names in underground music since opening NORAD. With a sound system comparable to that of some of the biggest local dance clubs, this place keeps things pumping big time. NORAD has closed.

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