Iain Chisholm owns the Italian restaurant Amerigo on Upper Larimer. It's a good place to be, and recently the lines necessitated expansion. "As the neighborhood came online, we were starting to turn a lot of people away on the weekends because we didn't have any place for them to wait for a table," Chisholm says. "That led to the need for a holding area, so to speak."
Chisholm took an unusual approach to the problem, opening Dada Art Bar in April at 2470 Broadway. What started as a means to an end, however, quickly turned into a full-fledged, near artistic pursuit for Chisholm. As with Amerigo, he built Dada from the ground up, hanging the drywall and laying the cement. He is hoping to establish a distinct identity for the bar and this week, the space will begin hosting free, weekly events, furthering Chisholm's goal of making Dada into a communal hangout.
"Where we are located is pretty much the gateway to the RiNo (River North) art district," Chisholm says. "The idea is that we fill the role as a gathering place for all the different parts of [Upper Larimer]."
To organize these events, Chisholm brought aboard Rosa Cervantez, who helps plan the River North art district's Final Fridays. Tonight (and every Monday, for that matter), "Dada Funny" will kick off the week with a handful of local stand-up comedians and an improv troupe.
Tuesdays, Dada will screen a rotation of films to compliment Amerigo's "cheap date night" special, which includes a salad course, entrée course and a bottle of wine for $50.
"That's something that we've been doing since we opened Amerigo, and it has developed quite a following," Chisholm says. "The idea is to play on the whole 'date night' theme where you can to Amerigo and grab a movie at Dada."
Wednesdays will feature the "Dada Talent" showcase hosted by Jim Yelenick of Denver's Clash-covering super group, The Nuns of Brixton. According to Cervantez, while Yelenick's hosting the open mic, he'll also play some acoustic songs and hopefully a few tunes by the Clash. And, on the first and third Wednesday of each month, Kitty Crimson's burlesque will close out the talent portion.
DJ Low Key, who is well known in the neighborhood for his Friday night "Solution" sets at the Meadowlark, will be spinning every Thursday this month at Dada. On Friday and Saturday nights, there will be a mixture of live music, including acoustic bands or DJs. Then, at the end of every week, Dada will relax with "Easy Sundays," which include a "bottomless mimosa" drink special, highlighted by a jazz combo in the afternoon and a laid-back DJ in the evening.
"We'll always have something interesting going on," Chisholm says. "It's not a just a place that you come, you sit and you drink, it's a place that you come to interact, be entertained and spend some time."
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