Working as a bartender at the short-lived Jezebel's Juke Joint & Brothel, Kristian Kelly became so enamored of the old building at 3862 High Street that he took over the space after Jezebel's closed, reopening it this month as the Gin & Sin Speakeasy. "I love the building," he says. "I love the neighborhood. I knew there was a lot I could do with the place. It's just going to take time. I'm not taking the place over looking to make money in the first year. It's not something I expect to get rich doing. But it's something that I've always wanted to do."
While Kelly has never owned a bar before, he has a dozen years of experience bartending and managing clubs in Atlanta, Miami and San Antonio. And he has big plans for Gin & Sin.
Right now, the bar opens every day but Sunday at 3 p.m. Kelly is hoping to eventually serve food, maybe offer a short menu with three appetizers and four entrees, including pizza. He'd also like to have a swing-dance night during the week. "I like the jazz type of feel, but it seems like on the weekends, people want something a little bit more," Kelly explains. "They want to have fun and be around a lively crowd. But I don't want to get away from the speakeasy sort of feel."
He'll host a grand-opening party Halloween weekend, when he'll let customers go upstairs and find out for themselves if this old building is really haunted. Expect to encounter the ghosts of many previous bar tenants, including the High Street Speakeasy and Jezebel's.
Club scout: After an unanticipated delay in getting its liquor license, the Crimson & Gold Tavern will finally open this week at 2017 South University Boulevard, in the space that once housed Aroma Cafe (and Pita Jungle before that). The place has a University of Denver theme, and general manager Andy Caldwell hopes to draw pre- and post-game crowds, whether the game is hockey, basketball, soccer or lacrosse.
When DJs Chris Irvin and Jedi Scott introduced their Bump Start night in August at Beauty Bar (608 East 13th Avenue), 500 people come through the door that night and more than fifty vintage scooters were lined up in front. The next installment of Bump Start, slated for the first Saturday of the month, is October 2. The pair, who have teamed up with the Ace and Jedi Knights scooter clubs, will be spinning a funky eclectic mix of ska, '80s, soul, house and beyond. Doors open at 10 p.m., and there's no cover.