And, he wonders, so what if he did intend to eventually sell liquor on the patio? He didn't need to get permission from Excise and Licenses before he started building a patio; he just needed its permission before he could sell liquor. "She said, 'Because you intended to sell, you should've asked,'" he says of Gonzales. "No, until I sell, there's no violation. So we went to court, and they lost. That is why our city is fucking bankrupt, man -- because of people like that and policies like that."
"You know, I can't spend the energy or time personalizing things," says Gonzales. "It seems to me that Regas tends to go down his own path, and we can help him as much as we can, but there are situations when we just can't treat him differently from anybody else. It seems like that's his m.o. -- he just does things his own way -- and then when it comes down to the approval process, it complicates things. There are processes that need to be followed, and everybody seems to follow them, but we seem to have a few more complications with Regas's locations. But I'm not even going to dignify the personalizing of this with a comment, because things just don't work that way."
The hearing is scheduled for October 17, and Regas and Chris are working twelve-hour days so that Serengeti is ready the minute it gets the okay to open. At the same time, they're also breathing life back into Vinyl and Fat Daddy's, which both incurred substantial damage during the blizzard of '03. Vinyl's roof will be replaced later this week, and the club should be open by Halloween, Regas says; Fat Daddy's will start serving hot plates to the drunken masses sometime in the next few weeks.
Hip-hop hooray: Back in May, the town was a-twitter over the news that Russell Simmons's Hip-Hop Summit would be coming to Denver this fall. Well, it's fall, and there's no Simmons in sight.
But that doesn't mean the summit has flat-lined. According to Charlotte Stevens, director of Denver's Safe City Program, the summit will take place sometime next year, probably in late spring or early summer. City attorneys are hashing out the logistics with Simmons's Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, and Stevens expects to have a definitive date early next month.
Although most of the details are being kept under wraps for now, Stevens says that in addition to panel discussions with Simmons and various national hip-hop acts, the two-day summit will include a VIP reception, an MC competition called "Denver Idol" and a Def Poetry Jam featuring local poets (and possibly hosted by Mos Def) on Friday night, with workshops, a lowrider car and bike exhibit the following afternoon and a concert Saturday night presented by some of the summit's panelists as well as the winner of "Denver Idol."
Summits held earlier this year in Detroit, Philadelphia and Birmingham were extremely successful, attracting tens of thousands of die-hard hip-hop fans. Keeping that in mind, Denver has slated its summit for the Coliseum, which holds just upwards of 11,000 people.
Upbeats and beatdowns: GROWednesdays, the wildly popular night put together by Mile High House DJs Josh Ivy and Psychonaut at Harry's in the Magnolia Hotel, is no more. According to Ivy, the night was just too busy and crazy for the upscale Magnolia, which sometimes had to comp rooms for folks who complained about the noise. "For the integrity of the hotel -- which I completely understand -- they needed to not have us there," explains Ivy. "Which sucks, because it was a great night, and it was going really well for us."
While they scout for a new location for GROW, the two are staying plenty busy. They'll be joined by a couple of European guest DJs -- DJ Kaisa from the Strike Boys and DJ Ekki from Trio Electrico -- at Vesta Dipping Grill (1822 Blake Street) on Friday, September 26. On Saturday, Ivy and Psychonaut will be behind the decks at Rise (1909 Blake Street); they'll close out the weekend at the crew's monthly Unity Gain at the Boulder Theater (2032 14th Street, Boulder) on Sunday night.
In this week's episode of the never-ending series The Day the Music Died, two more Cowtown bands are throwing in the towel. Apparently the Sparkles have lost the will to shine, and FOMOFUIAB are NOMOFUIAB. And that's a damn shame: Both outfits brought a lot of color to the scene, and they'll be missed. (Drummer Mike "Fred" Schneider has already landed on his feet: He'll be behind the kit at all future ION gigs.)