Reader: Loss of the Zephyr Lounge a Damn Shame. Stinking ’Rona!

Reader: Loss of the Zephyr Lounge a Damn Shame. Stinking ’Rona!
Brandon Marshall
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Another classic watering hole has dried up. After 73 years, the Zephyr Lounge has reached the end of the line.

Barry Melnick purchased the building at 11940 East Colfax Avenue in 1947, and turned it into a mainstay for mid-century tourists traveling Route 40. His son, Myron Melnick, inherited it in 2003 and brought in live music; in recent years the bar had become a hangout for workers at the nearby Anschutz Medical Campus as well as old-timers in the rapidly changing neighborhood. But those changes, coupled with the challenges of running a venue during the COVID-19 pandemic, inspired him to close the Zephyr on November 1 and sell the property (it will be replaced by apartments).

"Once we get a handle on the virus," Melnick said in his social media farewell, "perhaps we can have a celebration of all things Zephyr, sometime in the future." But in the meantime, people are sharing their own memories on the Facebook post of our story. Says Bee:

Sad, but it had a good run—-seventy years.

Adds Robin:

So many memories!

Recalls William:

I was there about two years ago. It was scary; lots of mean people nursing their drinks.

Counters Michael:

Great dive bar!!! Sad to see it go!

Remembers Jake:

I learned to play pinball there with my dad!

Comments Rocky: 

Damn shame. Stinking 'Rona. Was a damned sure good time there in the day. Stinking youngsters all bashing it. All the good ones are gone, by the way. Jester "Mitches," Cozy, Gigi's, Aurora Tavern, Zanzabar. Wasn't for the yuppie cancel-culture pukes.

And Zeb concludes:

Never been there, but seeing places shut down right now is so sad. It’s going to be a hard winter for the service industry.

Did you drink at the Zephyr Lounge? Which old-time bars do you miss? What are the best dives still around? Post a comment or send your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.