When Vicky Wagner took over the defunct Trail Dust Steak House at 7101 South Clinton Street in Centennial, she knew that she didn't want to open another steak joint. "When Trail Dust first started it was a unique concept," she says, "but it just ran its course."
After a thirty-year run, Denver's last Trail Dust closed on Christmas Eve of 2009. (The Trail Dust in Westminster had closed several years earlier, and the building it occupied just literally bit the dust.) Wagner, whose husband's family owns the Clinton Street property, says that no one was eager to move into the space, so she took it over and is now in the process of turning it into Rhythms Bar & Grill. "I knew exactly what I wanted to do in every area," she explains. "It was like, I want to make this area the green room. I want to make this area for pool tables, and then we can close it off for private parties. Where the rock wall is, I want to make a VIP bottle service area."
For the last month, Wagner has had a crew completely overhauling the building, getting rid of the Trail Dust's country shtick — and that included eliminating the huge slide in the middle of the place. "With the concept change, I was afraid to put people and alcohol both on that slide," she says. "I just didn't want the liability of that." Instead, the front of the space will be a sports bar that will transition into a nightclub after 7 or 8 p.m. She's putting in a professional sound system, stage and lighting, and plans to bring in a variety of bands on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as offering blues and jazz acts on Wednesdays and possibly Latin music on Sundays. Since the 16,000-square-foot venue can hold about a thousand people, Wagner might try to feature some national artists, too. For Rhythms' grand opening on Saturday, June 12, Christopher "Big Black" Boykin from MTV's reality series Rob & Big is flying in from Texas to sign autographs and judge the bikini contest.
Club scout: Although Boudoir 1434 (upstairs at 1434 Blake Street) was originally slated to open the third weekend in May, it canceled its grand opening at the last minute and has not yet rescheduled; J.C. Granger, who'd talked about the club in this column two weeks ago, has since parted ways with the owners. Coincidentally, on May 21, the same day that Boudoir 1434 was supposed to open, the spot on the first floor, the six-month-old SportsBook, closed after being slapped with seizure notices from the city, citing $16,000 in outstanding sales and occupational taxes.