Sancho's Broken Arrow has been cited for violating the City and County of Denver's stay-at-home order, and staff has been required to vacate the premises.
"This establishment shall be VACATED IMMEDIATELY and REMAIN VACANT until a representative of the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment rescinds this order in writing and removes this placard except for the allowance of filling online orders that shall be shipped via mail or delivered in accordance with physical distancing restrictions," states a sign affixed to Sancho's door at 741 East Colfax Avenue.
Being required to stay at home has been a tough order for Jay Bianchi, the owner of the Grateful Dead-themed bar; he lives upstairs from the venue.
"That's kind of my home," he says. Literally.
Bianchi says that police officers and city officials stopped by the venue on Friday, April 24, and accused him of having people in his bar the previous day. Nobody else was in the bar on April 23, he insists; as for rumors that he was running a speakeasy, he says he was just doing online work, blasting music, and drinking tea and colas.
"I was in there," Bianchi says. "I was doing Facebook and stuff and looking at the computer and whatever. I go upstairs and downstairs, and I was playing music loud. They knocked on the door, but I didn't hear it."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Then on April 24, city offcials accused Sancho's Broken Arrow of violating the stay-at-home order. After trading words with them, Bianchi says he agreed to let them post the vacate notice while he researched his options.
Bianchi is also the owner of Be on Key Psychedelic Ripple and Quixote's True Blue, other Denver venues; over the years, he's been involved with multiple Deadhead and jam-themed ventures in Denver and Boulder. He says that the stay-at-home order has actually given him a nice, mandatory break, since he's been working nearly every day since he was sixteen years old. With sunny weather and no bar to run, he's having a good time.
"This was one of my favorite days in general," he says. "It’s a very memorable day and awesome. I feel good. I don’t feel like I have to be responsible today. I just have to rearrange my room and look through my scrapbooks. I think every obstacle can be something that can lift you up, too."