Ziggies, Denver's Oldest Blues Bar, Has Closed

Ziggies closed on October 31.
Ziggies closed on October 31. Courtesy of Ziggies
After more than five decades, Ziggies, Denver's oldest blues bar, closed on October 31, when its ten-year lease expired. Ziggies' website states that the building at 4923 West 38th Avenue has been put up for sale by the trust that owns the property.

Last August, owner Carla Jordan posted on Facebook that she was looking closely at her options, which included "potentially moving Ziggies to a new location (which may be cost prohibitive), selling the entire Ziggies business (assets, licenses, etc) to someone else, and/or offering to sell the business with the real estate building sale. The sale of Ziggies with the sale of the building is unlikely as they believe any buyers of the property will scrape the building and build more lofts or some sort of new development."

But instead, Jordan decided to close Ziggies, which she bought out of bankruptcy in 2007.

"I spent a lot of time, money, energy, hard work and such to turn the business around and save it from closing in 2007," Jordan says on the Ziggies website. "I made several unsuccessful attempts to purchase the building over the past ten years — they just wouldn't sell. The owner of the building passed away a few years ago and the property went into a Trust. Our lease came to term on Halloween, October 31, 2017. The Trust has the building up for sale for $995,000.00, Yes, just under $1 million dollars.

"I cannot afford such a purchase for a bar / live music venue that is not supported enough to pay such a mortgage. Nor can I afford a 'conditional lease' with a huge increase which still gives the Trust the option to throw me out when they get an offer."

Jordan says that she owns the Ziggies brand, name, licenses and web domain, but adds that a transfer of the liquor license to a new location has limitations.

'However," she writes, "I could get a new one if the right situation presented itself, in Denver or elsewhere. For now, once I'm finished moving out, I shall take some time to rest, reflect, sort through everything we put in storage and see what's next.

"Many thanks to those of you who saw how important it was to support Ziggies, live music, and small business. Just remember, keeping music alive is not free and it comes at a cost. Support musicians, venues, and help to keep the music alive. The last ten-year experience is bittersweet and I cannot begin to explain the vast amount of different emotions I have right now."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon