The Deadbeat Club has been revived. But this new Deadbeat Club is not the iconic venue that Regas Christou ran at 4040 East Evans Avenue in the '90s. After he gave up the venue in the early 2000s, it went through several owners and incarnations. When Steve Lyons and his wife took over the space in May 2008, they dubbed it Skin, then changed the name to Posh Ultra Lounge, then Club Next. And on New Year's Eve, they changed the name again: to Deadbeat Club.
According to Keith Sneddon, the club's manager, the Lyonses wanted to keep the Deadbeat moniker from the start, but Christou kept renewing the name with the Colorado Secretary of State. But then someone in Christou's organization forgot to re-register the name, he says, so the Lyonses took it over. "We're not going to quite go back to the same concept Regas was doing, because the club's too open to do three or four different kinds of music now," Sneddon says. "Where there were walls before, there aren't now."
The inside of the club was completely overhauled last year. Walls were knocked down, and all of the floors except the dance floor were redone. The owners brought in new furniture, lighting and a sound system; they also increased the size of the patio and installed cabanas outside. Where there once were multiple bars, there's now only one upstairs, on the east side of the venue.
The club got an underage patron license about three months ago, so it's now an 18-and-over club – and the only area off limits to anyone under 21 is the bar. Anyone heading there is carded, even if they've already been through the door fifty times that night. And even before the remodel, they'd beefed up security, adding heavily armed guards in the parking lots every night the club is open. (There are four on Saturdays.) They did that after a shooting outside on Halloween 2009, back when the place was still called Posh.
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"The people weren't even patrons of the club," Sneddon says of the shooting. "The club was sold out, and they were people who couldn't even get in. Security tried getting them out of the parking lot, and that's when all hell broke loose. It's kind of hard to say it's our fault when we really didn't even let them in."
These days, Sneddon explains, the managers call the Denver Police Department if they know they're going to have a huge crowd so the DPD can have a presence when they're clearing out the parking lot. "We're doing everything we can to make it as safe of a venue for everybody as possible," he says.
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While the name might have returned to the Deadbeat Club, the music that the DJs are spinning is quite different from the new wave, rock and R&B the original DJs played here. On Fridays at the new Deadbeat Club, it's Top 40; on Saturdays, hard-core hip-hop. The Thursday college nights are designed to appeal to the University of Denver crowd, with 25-cent beers and $1 Jim Beam and Cokes. There are also plans to bring in more live acts – the club has brought in bands like Paul Wall, E-40 and Frankie J – because it's easier to fill the place now that it's 18 and over.
Club scout: Party! Rock-A-Billies (12363 West 64th Avenue, Arvada), the rockabilly-themed bar that opened in November, is having its grand opening this weekend. On Friday, January 21, the entertainment will be Brethren Fast, Jonny Barber & the Rhythm Razors and burlesque by April Teaze. On Saturday, January 22, look for the Hillbilly Hellcats, Cora Vette & the Vinyl Tops and burlesque by Cora Vette.