Streets Denver Shutters; X Bar Owner Takes Over Space

Streets Denver — seen here in 2011, when it was known as Streets of London — is closing this week.
Streets Denver — seen here in 2011, when it was known as Streets of London — is closing this week. Aaron Thackeray
Streets Denver, at 1501 East Colfax Avenue, has had a particularly rough year. First came the pandemic. Next, owner John Elliott, who bought the punk bar and venue known as Streets of London in 2018, died in November at age 51, during his second battle with COVID-19. Then on March 22, the bar announced on social media that it will close for good after a two-decade-plus run that saw the venue host countless local bands and national acts, including Reagan Youth, Dillinger Escape Plan, D.O.A., the 5,6,7,8's (featured in Kill Bill: Vol. 1), Guttermouth, the Dickies and the Skatalites.

“We are both out of words and out of time,” the venue posted on Facebook. “As many of you know, or have surmised, Streets was running on borrowed time. It is with heavy hearts we tell you that after this week, Streets will change ownership and no longer continue as we know it.”

Beth Hardin, who was general manager of Streets Denver under Elliott, has been running it since his death. The main reason for closing "is the devastating loss of revenue due to the COVID shutdown and restrictions, and it was exacerbated by John's death," she explains. "He put the heart back into the bar when he bought it, and some of the glue that held the team and community together has dissipated since his passing."

Hardin says that she and "the bartenders tried our best to carry on his legacy in his honor and for our community." But now Steven Alix, who owns the gay nightclub X Bar, will take over the spot.

"So far as I understand, Streets as we know it will no longer exist," Hardin continues. "It's one more small venue/landmark/locally-owned small business that caters to our community that has disappeared this past year, leaving people feeling displaced after a year of near-isolation.

"It's important to note that many people have been relieved to find out that it will likely be a gay bar as opposed to a downtown douchebag bro bar," she adds. "We just hope that they will be as welcoming to their misfit rocker allies as we try to be for the alphabet-mafia community."

Hardin says she is grateful to everyone in the Streets Denver community "for making this so much more than a bar over the years, and for trying so hard in the end to keep us afloat."

But in the end, it wasn't enough. This week, Streets Denver will be open Wednesday and Friday from 4 p.m. to close and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to close so that patrons can say their goodbyes.

“Join us for the send-off of over twenty years of a community that we love and will miss dearly,” the venue posted on Facebook. “We do have to still enforce COVID protocols, so please be kind, patient, and cooperative because this is hitting some of us hard on a lot of levels.”
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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon