Reader: I Drove by the Paper Tiger 1,000 Times but Never Went In

The Paper Tiger at the Tulip Shop Tavern.
The Paper Tiger at the Tulip Shop Tavern.
Darren Polak
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The Paper Tiger, a long-gone strip club at 1196 South Santa Fe Drive (the property is now for sale for just under $1.5 million), lives on in Portland, Oregon, where Darren Polak mixes up a popular cocktail known as the Paper Tiger.

Polak grew up in the Denver area, and remembers passing by the Paper Tiger while heading to Breakfast King after a night of partying. "It was always a place that we were afraid to go," he confesses. But one day he and some buddies ventured inside, and were pleasantly surprised by the cheap drinks they found there.

And he always liked the name. So when Portland's Tulip Shop Tavern started concocting some new drinks that it's been canning during the pandemic, Polak came up with one that he dubbed the Paper Tiger.

Here in Denver, the Paper Tiger lives on in the memories of those who went there...and those who were too frightened to, as they note in comments on the Westword Facebook page. Says Cisco: 

Loved the Paper Tiger.

Replies James: 

That was one place I drove by 1,000 times but never went in.

Recalls Sean:

In the Oughts, I was a party bus driver and I ended up at every single strip bar in Denver with a group of guys (and gals, too) — except for the Paper Tiger. Nobody ever one time wanted me to take them there.

Asks Gordon:

Have you ever seen a pregnant stripper? I did at the Paper Tiger.

Adds Chad:

Oh, the jukebox, too. They would have to pay for their own songs. That place was fantastic!

Offers Samantha:

I knew a group of guys that would go for the food.

Replies Erik: 

The food was good back in the day. Fourteen-ounce T-bone steak and steak fries for $9.99!!!!

Comments Jonathan:

If you went to the Breakfast King during prime hours, you were “lucky enough” to catch a glimpse of the Paper tiger’s C squad?

Wonders Sam:

They had an A and B squad?

Did you ever visit the Paper Tiger (or any of the venue's other incarnations)? Have you been to other strip clubs in Denver over the past year? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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