After first opening Rock-A-Billies in Arvada in 2010 and opening a second location in Greenwood Village last year, owner Jimmy Nigg is gearing up to open the Monkey Barrel, a live music venue and bar in the central Platte Valley, next month.
Nigg says that when he first walked into the new space, which formerly housed Salvagetti Bicycles at 1611 Platte Street, it instantly reminded him of Third Street Dive, his favorite bar in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a punk rock bar with a black and white checkered bar top, red chairs and a giant neon sign of a skull and crossbones above the tap handles.
"Thursday through Saturday night, bands would take stage on a small area near the entrance and blast out forty-minute sets," Nigg recalls fondly. "Steve Gordon was the owner and the first friend I made in a town full of strangers.
"He's someone who helped me through a difficult time in my life, and was a true inspiration to what I am doing now," says Nigg. "I spent nearly every night in there and introduced everyone that came through town to that bar. I would refer to my time in Kentucky and Nashville as life changing because I got to spend valuable time around music and bars that offered live music.
Inspired by that experience, Nigg started working on fleshing out the main floor. To that end, he built out the bar and the patio and then added a new sound system and televisions. For now, Nigg says the Monkey Barrel will bring in live bands on Thursdays through Saturdays. The first show is slated for Thursday, September 5, with the Living Deads.
"More often than not, bar owners are walking into a situation where someone else has tried and failed in the same space, and it can be a real risk," Nigg observes. "I've learned through experience that you have to make the key fit the lock and the bar fit the neighborhood. I believe I have done that here."