Denver has seen big changes over the last year, and the city's nightlife is no exception. The city's oldest blues bar, Ziggies, was priced out, and hip-hop bar Cold Crush closed its doors (for now, at least), all while new places like San Francisco's Vegas-style EDM venue Temple Nightclub, Black Buzzard and The Venue opened their doors. Here's a rundown of bars and clubs that opened in 2017.
The Black Buzzard at Oskar Blues Grill & Brew
In the ’90s, the original Brendan’s Pub at 1624 Market Street was the prime spot for blues downtown. Now the folks at Oskar Blues, who have been serving up the blues and beyond at their brewpub in Lyons for two decades, will be bringing blues and rock back to the heart of LoDo with the just-opened Black Buzzard, a venue in the basement of Oskar Blues Grill & Brew.
The Lounge at the Boulder Theater
Z2 Entertainment, which operates the Boulder Theater and Fox Theatre, took over the space that was formerly Ghost BBQ and Spirits and opened it as the Lounge in March. The spot, which received an aesthetic facelift, making it conducive to a good hang, brings in occasional live acts.
The folks at Z2 Entertainment also act as consultants to book acts at The Pop-Up, the dance club that opened in November in the former Boulder House space in downtown Boulder. The venue, which was updated with more sophisticated decor, brings in DJs Thursdays through Saturdays.
SneekEazy, which opened in November, provides a space for sneaker collectors, craft-cocktail sippers and music lovers alike to meet, dance and enjoy the cozy atmosphere. The space, which is on the floor above Element Kitchen and Cocktail, also displays rotating artwork by local artists.
After heading up the popular Temple Nightclub and Zen Compound in San Francisco for the last decade, CEO and founder Paul Hemming brought his concept to the former City Hall space in October. Temple, which Hemming calls a love child of Burning Man and Las Vegas, brings in some of the top names in EDM, whose music is pumped through a Funktion-One sound system while LED walls and laser light shows create a sci-fi atmosphere. LVL, a smaller room that will spotlight house and bass music, will open on New Year’s Eve in the space.
After Buckin’ Harleys closed after an eight-year run, Brett Braun (former co-owner of the Wash), his wife, Pamela Braun, and Everett Dickensheet took over the space, completely renovated it, installed a new sound system, made the stage bigger, and opened it as the Venue in late October. Since then, they’ve been bringing in a steady stream of local acts as well as the occasional national band.
Your Mom’s House
In early 2017, Pearl’s co-owners Tucker Schwab and Austin Lane worked out a deal with Joe Dan Hite and James Bedwell, who had been booking acts at local venues through his Boogie Groove Entertainment company, to head up a new venue on the east side of the bar. It's dubbed Your Mom’s House: Bedwell and Hite want to make you feel right at home — you know, like at your mom’s house. The monthly schedule is packed with an assortment of acts.
One of the most exciting developments in Denver's music scene was the grand opening of Levitt Pavilion. The massive nonprofit outdoor music venue in Ruby Hill Park puts on dozens of free concerts, many performed by up-and-coming local acts. Levitt also hosts national touring bands — some for free and others for a standard ticket price. The project launched with city support and is a taste of what's to come in the Overland Park neighborhood, where Superfly has announced a music festival that will launch in 2018 and turn the otherwise sleepy neighborhood into a music hub.
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