Music News

Walk like an Egyptian to Club Ra

From 2003 to 2005, Club Ra, an Egyptian-themed club with a hookah bar, filled the space at 1111 Lincoln Street that's now occupied by Andrew's on Lincoln. And in late August, the same weekend that Andrew's threw a grand-reopening party to celebrate a remodel, a new Club Ra celebrated its opening in the former Loft spot at 821 22nd Street. "Basically, this is the resurrection of Ra," says Jason Martinez, who's partnered with Mike Tadevossian, the original Ra's owner. "Everything that everyone loved so much, we've basically taken that and enhanced it and stepped it up to a whole new level. We felt this is the time for an upscale club to come in and show Denver a whole new perspective on things. Something that's hot and fresh and gives them a new flavor, a new vibe."

While the old Ra had that Egyptian theme, the new Ra looks pretty similar to the Loft, save for the hookah on the patio, the new sign above the front door and the signs above VIP booths on the main floor. But the space also has a new, $50,000 light-and-sound system. "Our main competitor now is Beta, as far as sound goes," Martinez says. On opening night, a fog machine was also going in the main room, while two go-go dancers gyrated on cubes on either side of the DJ booth.

Martinez says the owners have made a conscious decision to counter what had become a "negative crowd" at the Loft by getting active in the community and planning fundraisers. In addition to those special events, Club Ra hosts salsa nights on Thursdays; on Fridays and Saturdays, it's pop mash-up in the main room and international music upstairs; on Sundays, there's live jazz. Starting September 9, Wednesdays will be country mash-ups, and Martinez says they're even contemplating bringing in a mechanical bull. And on weekends, the club has partnered with Lamborghini for Exotic Nights, when it offers "$100K" VIP parking for vehicles like Bentleys, Lamborghinis, Ferraris. "That's kind of the crowd we're trying to bring in," Martinez notes.

Andrew's, on the other hand, is geared more toward the common folk. Its remodel, which included a fresh black paint job on the interior and a mural of the Statue of Liberty, essentially divided it into two spaces: one a bar/restaurant and the other dubbed the Stage, which hosts live music Thursdays through Saturdays. And with bands like P-Nuckle and Brethren Fast playing for the grand opening, Andrew's is serious about bringing in decent local talent. For now, on Wednesdays, Sound Pharmacy resident DJs Kaya and Tony K are hosting Headrush, spinning indie electro and breakbeats.

Club scout: Regas Christou's Living Room (1055 Broadway) celebrated its grand opening last Friday. The chic wine bar, with its stylish booths and decent-sized patio, is a fine addition to Christou's other spots nearby, including Vinyl (1082 Broadway), Bar Standard (1037 Broadway) and City Hall (1144 Broadway), his new open-air amphitheater. The Living Room's Enomatic wine system, the only one in town, is a focal point: It's an easy way to sample a number of different wines with a swipe of a card that you fill at the bar. The higher-end wines, which run between $2 and $6 per ounce, are on one side of the machine, while other wines that run about $7 per glass are on the other.

Around the corner at Sutra (1109 Lincoln Street), DJ Bedz has now set up shop in the front room on Saturdays, while fellow Radio Bums spinner Sounds Supreme is in the main room. Starting Monday, September 7, Rockstar Aaron kicks off a weekly John Hughes film festival with The Breakfast Club as part of his Manic Mondays at Rockbar (3015 East Colfax Avenue); the lineup continues with Weird Science on September 14, Pretty in Pink on September 21 and Ferris Bueller's Day Off on September 28. The films start at 8 p.m. on a big screen on the dance floor, with Aaron spinning afterward. There's no cover, and the popcorn's free.

Beatles fans have had to wait more than two decades to hear digitally remastered versions of the band's catalogue, but when the newly remastered albums finally hit stores on Wednesday, September 9, Twist & Shout (2508 East Colfax Avenue) will embrace the day by throwing a Beatles listening party from 6 to 8 p.m. ListenUp is providing a $40,000 B&W/McIntosh stereo system to compare the old and new versions of the albums, and there will also be a huge, flat-panel TV on which you can play the highly anticipated version of The Beatles: Rock Band, which also comes out September 9. The Blockbuster store at 300 East Alameda Avenue is hosting a midnight release party for the Rock Band game on Tuesday, September 8; it kicks off with a performance by the Fab 4 and a pre-release demo of the game at 10 p.m.

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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

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