Bars

The Ten Best Blues Venues in Denver

The music plays on at El Chapultepec.
The music plays on at El Chapultepec. Justin Criado

El Chapultepec is one of the oldest jazz and blues bars in Denver. - EL CHAPULTEPEC
El Chapultepec is one of the oldest jazz and blues bars in Denver.
El Chapultepec
Face it: Denver is no Memphis. It's just not a blues town. But if you look around, you can find bars, restaurants, pool halls and more that host regular blues jams and showcase touring and local artists that are as good as anyone playing in the South. Here are ten of our favorite places to hear the blues.

click to enlarge The music plays on at El Chapultepec. - JUSTIN CRIADO
The music plays on at El Chapultepec.
Justin Criado
El Chapultepec
1962 Market Street
Opened in 1933, the Mexican-restaurant-turned-venue is one of Denver’s oldest jazz bars, hosting its fair share of blues players on its quaint stage. The bar's menu includes authentic Mexican fare. If you really want to hate yourself, try the El Chapultepec shot, an elixir of green tequila complete with a candied cricket.

click to enlarge The stage at the Rusty Bucket. - JUSTIN CRIADO
The stage at the Rusty Bucket.
Justin Criado
The Rusty Bucket
3355 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Lakewood

Tucked inside a shopping complex next to a Subway restaurant is the Rusty Bucket, a Pittsburgh-themed blues bar. The decorations are all black and gold, though you can find some Colorado Rockies and Denver Broncos logos sprinkled in there, too. The stage in the space’s rear hosts local blues acts, including the Wednesday night Big Blues Jam.

click to enlarge Herb's has it all. - JUSTIN CRIADO
Herb's has it all.
Justin Criado
Herb’s
2057 Larimer Street
Herb’s doesn’t discriminate musically: The downtown dive bar showcases it all, including blues, funk, reggae and punk. Like El Chapultepec, Herb’s opened in 1933, welcoming jazz and blues musicians of all stripes. Beat author and jazz fanatic Jack Kerouac is said to have frequented Herb’s.

click to enlarge Lincoln's Roadhouse is more than meets the eye. - JUSTIN CRIADO
Lincoln's Roadhouse is more than meets the eye.
Justin Criado
Lincoln’s Roadhouse
1201 South Pearl Street
A friendly New Orleans-themed biker bar, Lincoln’s Roadhouse hosts blues musicians as regularly as any place in town. An Eric Clapton Crossroads poster is situated next to the corner stage, in case performers need some extra motivation. 

click to enlarge The stage at Ziggies. - ZIGGIES
The stage at Ziggies.
Ziggies
Ziggies
4923 West 38th Avenue
This sixty-year-old establishment is home to the longest-running blues jam session in the city and has been recognized as one of the best blues bars in Denver by Westword. Musicians of all skill levels and ages are welcome to play during the weekly blues jams. Ziggies is the closest thing to a Memphis Beale Street bar in town.

Read on for more of the best blues bars in Denver.
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