Music News

Pearl's Is Set to Open This Weekend in the Former Beauty Bar Location [Update]

Update, 9/11: Pearl's ownership, originally hoping to open last night for the return of Motown Thursdays, had to delay slightly due to "unforeseen events." Still, the dance club says in a Facebook post it plans to open this weekend. Keep an eye on that page for details.

Original post from 8/21 follows...

Just before the Denver Beauty Bar closed in April after a five-year run, co-owner Mike Barnhart said he wanted to explore other options for the space at 603 East 13th Avenue in Capitol Hill (once the longtime home of the Snake Pit). Now, Barnhart and his business partner, Tucker Schwab, who was a bartender at Beauty Bar when it opened and a manager during its last year, are gearing up for the next incarnation of the space, as Pearl’s, which is slated to open in the coming weeks.

“The plan is, we don’t want to have a theme,” Barnhart says. “Beauty Bar was great. We had a lot of fun, but if I wanted to put new art on the wall or a new lamp, it had to fall under that era of 1950s and ‘60s.”

So instead of going with Beauty Bar's vintage-hair-salon theme, Barnhart says, they wanted to start with a blank slate. Pearl’s will essentially be two divided into two rooms, somewhat similar to Beauty Bar's layout, but with doors that can close off the 200-capacity club/venue side (Pearl’s Party Room) during the times that there are no events in there. Barnhart wanted the room to have a classic club feel, dark and sexy with minimal decoration, where the focus is on the music and the dancing. The other room will have more of neighborhood-bar vibe.

He also wanted the club room to be a place where, if a promoter wanted to throw a themed party of some sort, he could hang stuff on the walls — another thing they couldn’t do with Beauty Bar, because of the expensive glitter paint.

Motown Thursdays, Beauty Bar’s long-running soul night that’s been held at the Goosetown Tavern for the past few months, will return to Pearl’s, with free chicken and waffles. On Fridays, DJ Electric Cameltoe and DJ Skeena will spin, and Saturdays will be rotating club nights, possibly So What and a ‘90s dance party and bands one Saturday a month. Barnhart says they also plan to bring in bands on Wednesdays.

Barnhart and Schwab plan to tune the room so that the space will have more of a quadrophonic feel during club nights, with sound coming from all directions, but they'll also have the ability to turn off the speakers in the back of the room when bands are playing.

The other side of Pearl’s will be more of a fun, comfortable neighborhood lounge that doesn’t have a theme, either. Barnhart says Beauty Bar did most of its business after 9 p.m. on weekends, but he hopes to get more people in the door during the week. Pearl’s will open at 4 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends to attract some of the folks waiting at Jelly two doors down.

Barnhart notes that although there are a lot of sports bars in the area, Pearl’s won’t have TVs or sports. “We just feel that there’s probably enough people in this area that don’t want TVs and [want to] have some place to go after work and have a $4 cocktail and beer and hang out, have a martini or whatever,” he says. “We just want to get more neighborhood people in here.”

Barnhart says they’ll eventually open up the front of the building by putting in a big window that opens, with the hopes that it will give Pearl’s more street presence.

“We want people to see into the bar and know it’s a bar,” he says, “driving by and walking by and thinking, 'This place looks cool. Let's go in there and have a drink.’ Beauty Bar was pretty, but you couldn’t really see in here at all.”

Pearl’s will be one of three new spots in the immediate vicinity. Barnhart says a new bar that will serve high-end cocktails, wine, beer and charcuterie is slated to open across the street from Pearl’s. And John Skogstad, who owns Beatrice & Woodsley and the slightly more lurid Mario's Double Daughter's Salotto, has plans to turn the space at 1310 Pearl Street into The Mighty Sparrow & the Sea Captain.

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.
Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon