The leaves in the trees aren't the only thing changing in Denver. We received late confirmation that Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom and Quixotes True Blue next door have indeed been sold. Rumors have been swirling for a few weeks that a deal was in the works, and last night it was finalized between the Bianchi brothers and a group of partners consisting of Duncan Goodman, Josh Sonnenburg, Jeff Howell and Scott Morrill, who currently owns a stake in both places. You may remember the name Duncan Goodman from an item we ran back in July about the Phamily Reunion Festival in Idaho Springs that coincided with the four nights of Phish at Red Rocks.
The rumors were stoked by a Facebook message posted by Jay Bianchi, one of the principal owners of the spaces, this past week: "It is with much sadness and reluctance that I write this statement. But the time has come and it is now and it is necessary. I will no longer be a part of Cervantes, and Quixote's True Blue will be no more. There will be no resurrection. It has been a long run, but the luck ran out in the thirteenth year. Perhaps there are times when surrender seems foolish. However, it is sometimes necessary to raise the white flag to save your life."
Owlsey's Golden Road and Sancho's Broken Arrow will be retained by the Bianchi brothers and are not a part of the Cervantes/Quixotes deal, which comes hot on the heels of the sale of Dulcinea's 100th Monkey, another of their properties which was sold in a separate transaction in early September.
While it's true that Quixotes, the long running club that has hop-scotched it's way around Denver before settling on Welton Street, will be no more (a name change is in the works for the room), Cervantes will continue forward under it's existing moniker. Best of all, the new owners have promised an interior remodel of both venues, including new larger bathrooms, larger stages, improved lighting and sound systems, more seating, new performer greenrooms and a generous coat of interior paint throughout -- all of which is long overdue.
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"In the years I have been involved with Cervantes it has become the hub for live art in Denver," says Morrill. "It has developed into a family, starting with the faithful fans, the artists on stage and painting in the crowd, and the staff. Now it's time that the family gets a new house."
Everyone on the new team intends to build upon the success of the venues and that any and all changes made would be to increase the overall customer experience.
"The sky is the limit," adds Goodman. "And we plan to show Denver that we are ready to set a much higher standard in all aspects of the live concert experience for the fans and the artists."
The space Cervantes occupies was formerly known as the Casino Cabaret, which dates back to the 1930s and has hosted such acts as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Ray Charles and Ike & Tina Turner, among others.