After his days at New York's famed Limelight in the '90s, Superstar DJ Keoki went on to spin around the world. But now, after a stint in Los Angeles, he's returned to his home town of Denver. And when John Bogard heard that Keoki was coming back, he quickly recruited him to head up the entertainment at Club 753, a new venture at 753 Santa Fe Drive.
"Denver is all about house and techno right now," Bogard says, "and I think by bringing Keoki on, we can really fine-tune and knock out some of the quality music that we can produce out here."
Bogard started remodeling the massive space — which has been home to everything from Mystery Nightclub to Joe's Buffet — in December. While just the first level is open now, and only on weekends, he has plans to turn the second level into Club Exile and eventually have a rooftop patio as well. The renovation is being done in keeping with the style of the Santa Fe Art District, and as an alternative to the expensive places downtown. "We're redoing it on a weekly basis — a little bit here, a little bit there," Bogard explains. "We want to have influence not only from the people who come over, but from the artists as well."
And so he's planning to bring in curators to help turn the space into something of an art gallery during the day as well as at night. "The arts district is fantastic, but sometimes you can't really see the art," he says. "They close early, at five o'clock or so. So we're trying for a space where local artists have a gallery where they can have their showings, where they can say, 'Hey, come down to the club day and night.' So it's a full-time deal where they can show everyone what they're doing."
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The club is currently open on Fridays and Saturdays; Bogard also wants to start opening at 7 a.m. on Sundays, offering a variation on the now-defunct Kazmo's Sunrise Sundays, and then expand Club 753's offerings to seven nights a week, with music and karaoke.
Welcome home, Keoki.
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Club scout: The opening of Rockaway Tavern, a club going into the former Triangle at 2036 Broadway, has been pushed back from July 23 to Friday, August 13. It's a venture by former 15th Street Tavern owners Mykel Martinez and Kris Sieger and 3 Kings Tavern owner Jim Norris, and will have a 3 Kings-meets-15th Street kind of vibe.
Bar Standard (1037 Broadway) recently launched Enter the Dubstep on Fridays and Retro Standard on Saturdays, with DJ Tribal Touch spinning music from the '70s through the '90s.