Getting a liquor license in Montana can run into six figures. That's one of the reasons that Mike Hayter and his business partner, Mike Refling, left Bozeman and moved to Denver to open their new sports bar, Hayter's, in the former Lizard's Bar & Grill space, at 1920 Blake Street.
"First of all," Hayter explains, "getting a license down here is so much easier than getting a license in Montana, which sounds a little odd. In Montana, they base them on population. It's such a big state but there are not very many people there. The licenses are tied into the gaming, like video poker and video keno. That's a huge revenue source. Licenses in Montana are going for over $700,000. It's a feat to get in. You have to have a lot of money to make it happen up there."
The LoDo location has other amenities, too. "Geographically, it's still similar to Montana, with mountains and skiing and stuff like that," Hayter says. "We like the sports bar concept, being so close to Coors Field."
Hayter and Refling first looked at the spot, which is less than a block from the ballpark, during the Rockies' opening weekend in April. They took over the 6,200-square-foot space on August 1 and started renovations the following day. When Hayter's opens — the partners are shooting for the last week in August — it will be a sports bar with a throwback feel, complete with photos from the days of Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
But while the theme will be sports during the day and in the evening, Hayter says they plan to get DJs in there once the games are over. And there will always be food — pub fare like burgers, wings, nachos, salads and sandwiches.
Club scout: A bit of the 15th Street Tavern was resurrected when The Rockaway Tavern (2036 Broadway, the old Triangle Denver space) celebrated its grand opening on August 13. Former 15th Street owners Myke Martinez and Kris Sieger, who teamed up with 3 Kings Tavern owner Jim Norris, made the front room an homage to 15th Street and put up the mirror that reflected many a drummer in that club. Most of the tables are topped with fliers that date back to the '80s, including punk shows by the Dead Kennedys, Misfits, Minor Threat, All and Hüsker Dü. But there are some new twists, too, including a tiki bar on the back patio. And in addition to bringing in live music, Norris says they'll have karaoke on Wednesday nights and maybe trivia on Thursdays.
Stoney's Bar & Grill is set to open this weekend in the former Andrew's on Lincoln space, at 1111 Lincoln Street. The sports bar has a rustic Colorado theme, with 150-year-old barn wood lining the walls, antique skis and bicycles hanging from the rafters, and a pond surrounded by trees, rocks and a miniature campsite. Stoney's will feature Colorado brews and local meat — lamb, beef, elk, venison — in many of its fifteen kinds of sliders.
On Thursday, August 20, Beauty Bar (608 East 13th Avenue) will kick off Get Back Vegas, a funky soul dance party that started nearly eight years ago in downtown Las Vegas. DJs John Doe, Danny Boy and Phoreyz will be spinning hard funk, deep soul, classic hip-hop, roots reggae and rock every third Thursday.
Finally,the Purple Martini at 1201 16th Street in the Tabor Center has poured its last martini. In May, it was closed for a few days after being seized by the state for non-payment of taxes; although the club reopened for a couple of months, it went dark for good after one last hurrah on August 7.