Comment of the Day

Reader: If You Shut Beta, the Problem Will Just Move Down the Street

Inside the pre-pandemic Beta.
Inside the pre-pandemic Beta. Kyle Harris
Beta nightclub, at 1909 Blake Street, once made headlines for being a legendary nightclub. In recent years, it's made headlines for other reasons. In June 2020, it was closed by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment for violating public-health orders related to COVID-19. Owner Valentes Corleons, a club owner who'd taken over Beta from founder Brad Roulier, complained at the time that the city was out to get him. "They don’t like my crowd," he told Westword. "They’ve been trying to revoke my license. 'If you don’t change your crowd, change your music, have more security, have pat-downs....' I’ve tried everything."

Ultimately Beta was allowed to reopen, but on August 30 the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses issued a show-cause order to Beta, setting an October 18 date for a hearing at which Corleons can present evidence showing why the club's liquor and cabaret licenses shouldn't be revoked over an array of alleged violations involving drugs, disorder and more documented during an undercover police investigation.

According to Beta attorney Aaron Acker, the "show cause contains numerous inconsistencies and exaggerations, and there are notable factual omissions which serve to falsely paint a picture of Beta as a lawless, Old West saloon and unfairly assign blame for problems that exist beyond its doors."

In their comments on the Westword Facebook post of our story on the upcoming Beta hearing, readers paint their own picture of the problem. Says Mark:
The new owners of Beta are trash and the establishment is trash. They don't even deserve the right to call that place Beta. 
Replies Kristen: 
If you shut the club down the violence will just move to another location. The issue that needs to be addressed is the increase in violence, not blame the club.
Counters Nate:
You can't control what happens on the street, in front of your club! LoDo/Ballpark is a shit show of THUGS! Don't shoot the messenger... It's the failure of the Denver Police Department for being horribly understaffed and not able to control the violence on the downtown streets!
Notes Samantha:
I can appreciate where Denver Excise and Licenses is coming from - they think shutting down a major operator will curb violence by curbing crowds. But let’s be clear: Denver dismissed the actual solution to this problem years ago when it rejected the ability to allow bars to stay open till 4 a.m.
Comments Derrick:
Same crowd dumps out on that corner at 2 a.m… 80 percent are from the 'burbs and out there acting like fools because they in the big city for the night.
Responds Michael:
There are plenty of great places in the suburbs. Get out of LoDo.
Concludes Joe: 
Bring back the old Beta.
Have you been to LoDo at let-out lately? What do you think of the scene? Of Beta, specifically? Post a comment or share your thoughts — and suggest "great places in the suburbs" — at [email protected]
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.

Latest Stories