Paris on the Platte bans smoke, adds music

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Back in 1986, when Paris on the Platte opened at 1553 Platte Street, in the no man's land between LoDo and Highland, there was no Sushi Sasa, no Colt & Gray -- just My Brother's Bar over on the corner of 15th Street. But the little coffeehouse hung on, adding a wine bar at 1549 Platte in 2004, fighting to keep the cigar-bar exemption that allowed customers to continue lighting up after the state banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2007.

But that ended at the end of 2009, when Paris on the Platte went smoke-free. "I lost sleep making the decision," admits owner Faye Maguire. "There are so many people who are anti-smoking, but we'd carved out a niche over the years."

It was a move that had an immediate affect on Paris on the Platte's bank account. "We've taken a pretty major loss," Maguire says. And that's been tough, because Paris has kept its very expansive hours: The kitchen offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night fare, "mostly casual foods."

But while you can no longer light up in the coffeehouse or at the wine bar, there are compensations: Paris has taken down a wall and built a stage at the back of the bar. "We'll be doing live music every weekend," Maguire says. "Intimate, nothing wild and crazy." This weekend, for example, Theodore Black will perform on Friday night, and Al Trout will host an an anti-Valentine's Day event on Sunday.

And the new Paris House Red wine, a Colorado blend, will make its debut this weekend, too.

"It's the new direction for Paris on the Platte," Maquire notes. And part of the entire neighborhood's new direction, which includes the expansion of Sushi Sasa and the immiment closing of Wen Chocolates.

"Platte Street's a mix," concludes Maguire, who takes the long view of the neighborhood. "For all the great businesses we get in, we lose some, too."

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