Crash 45 Was One of Denver's Strangest, Friendliest Bars

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Crash 45 ended its three-year run on Saturday, December 20. It was a place you could see experimental music, bike clubs, "burners" and b-movies. Its very unassuming facade hid the array of metal art inside.

When you stepped inside on the final night, the staff cheered you in welcome and some good electronic music was being played by a DJ. It smelled of barbecue, and on the patio a large, metal orb with square-ish holes to let out the fire warmed visitors.

See also: Globeville Staple Crash 45 Is Closing This Week

The way it was put together was a little like a Winchester Mansion in miniature with back rooms, a basement, a patio, a kitchen and of course the main bar room area that looked like some kind of old west/medieval tavern. It felt like an old saloon that had been cleaned up slightly.

The ambiguous visual presentation of the place and the way it was outfitted by Shane Evans lent Crash a mysterious quality. The 15th St. Tavern was like that in the late '90s.

For a short run in 2013 David Britton formerly of Odam Fei Mud, currently of Yao Guai and other projects, had a monthly experimental music night at Crash and he brought in some of the best obscure and not so obscure artists out of that milieu. One night included one of the most original bands in Denver the free-jazz-avant-flamenco act, Malamadre. Other nights rock bands like the Buckingham Squares played. In 2013 it co-hosted Goldrush Festival. There are few like it anywhere.

• BACKBEAT'S GREATEST HITS • - Seven of Denver's Most Underrated Bands - Wolf Eyes' John Olson Talks About the Importance of Music Communities - Why DIY Venues Are Vital Are Vital to the Health of the Entire Music Scene - DIY or Die: Why Denver Need Under-The-Radar, All-Ages Arts Spaces

If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.