Dozens of restaurants opened this summer in metro Denver, and there are many more slated to make their debuts later this year. Among them is Nocturne, a modern take on the 1940s jazz supper club that's going into an old building at 1330 East 27th Street. "I want a place that's vibrant and fun, with bottles of champagne and mixing good cocktails," says co-owner Scott Mattson, "and a place where folks can talk and have fun and a band come up and blow their ass off and have fun, too."
See also: A First Look at Nocturne
Mattson, who graduated from Metro State in 2002 with a degree in music and spent about six years as a working jazz drummer, is opening the place with his wife, Nicole; he says Nocturne will be a reboot of the traditional jazz club. "It's not your sort of refurbished hipster hardwood den," Mattson explains. "It's this really forward-thinking atmosphere."
Part of the drive for opening Nocturne -- which the couple thinks could be the first-ever crowd-funded jazz venue -- is that jazz, as it's been known, is kind of going away. "It's shrouded in elitism and mystery," Mattson adds. "It seems like the older generation of fans are okay with that, and we aren't. We love the music and basically want to reboot it for our generation."
When the club opens later this fall (the Mattsons are shooting for a grand opening in December), the goal is to have live jazz six nights a week, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. And during the Social Hour, from 6 to 8 p.m., DJs will spin classic vinyl.
Since jazz is the main focus of Nocturne, it will also influence the venue's food. When the Mattsons originally consulted with chef Dustin Beckner, the food program was not going to be a major component -- but then they came to the conclusion that they can actually meld the arts of music and food.
They started to play around with tasting menus that will be inspired by an iconic jazz album every month. Mattson says they'll be working their way through an entire canon of jazz albums, like Sonny Rollins's Way Out West.
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For more photos of Nocturne, see our Backbeat blog.