Booze

So Many Roads Brewery Agrees to Close for November Over Code Violations

So Many Roads will shut down for the month of November.
So Many Roads will shut down for the month of November. Kyle Harris
So Many Roads Brewery, the psychedelic rock-themed venue, has agreed to close its doors for the month of November after being hit with an array of legal and code violations.

"Our number-one goal in enforcement action against businesses violating Denver law is not to close a business or revoke their city license. Our goal is to achieve compliance for rules and regulations in place to protect public safety. We hope the severe penalties agreed to by this business will result in a change in operations to avoid the need for any future enforcement action," says Eric Escudero, a spokesperson for the Department of Excise and Licenses, the city agency that struck the agreement with So Many Roads in lieu of holding a licensing hearing.

In particular, So Many Roads, which is located at 918 West First Avenue, admitted to violating state statutes and city ordinances related to providing alcohol to a minor, selling alcohol to a minor, distributing a controlled substance and disorderly behavior. All of these violations took place from September 2021 through this April. If any additional violations occur over the next year, So Many Roads will also get hit with an automatic 45-day closure, according to the terms of the settlement agreement.

The licensing case against So Many Roads, which began in May, has been closely linked to another action against Sancho's Broken Arrow, the Don Quixote-themed venue that's located at 741 East Colfax Avenue. Similar to So Many Roads, Sancho's Broken Arrow is facing charges leveled by the Department of Excise and Licenses that it sold alcohol to underage individuals. And like the case against So Many Roads, Sancho's is also defending itself against charges that an employee — the same one at both venues — sold cocaine to undercover cops.

Both venues were once owned by promoter and Deadhead Jay Bianchi, who in 2020 transferred his ownership stake so that Tyler Bishop owned two-thirds and Timothy Premus owned one-third of Sancho's; Bishop also took over as sole owner of So Many Roads Brewery. In the summer of 2021, as Bianchi was dealing with sexual-assault allegations (which he denied) and union complaints over fair payment, he said he was retiring from the business.

But plenty of patrons continue to question whether he's still involved with running the venues, albeit unofficially. On October 6, in anticipation of the So Many Roads settlement agreement with Denver, Bianchi posted this on Facebook: "Unfortunately, So Many Roads Museum and Brewery will be forced to close for the month of November. Unfortunately, this may set off a chain of events that makes it impossible for business to continue...It may be the last month of existence for this museum, this lifetime work, this little slice of paradise."

Bianchi has co-organized a fundraiser seeking $30,000 to help keep So Many Roads afloat as it deals with the closure.

"November being closed makes things difficult, but it does make one appreciate what is here," he says. "This place is one-of-a-kind awesome, so we need to find a way."

The licensing hearing for Sancho's Broken Arrow is set for October 27.
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Conor McCormick-Cavanagh is a staff writer at Westword, where he covers a range of beats, including local politics, immigration and homelessness. He previously worked as a journalist in Tunisia and loves to talk New York sports.

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