Openings and Closings

Rita's Law Closing September 24 With Goodbye Bash

Rita Price hopes to reopen Rita's Law in a new locaiton.
Rita Price hopes to reopen Rita's Law in a new locaiton. Jonathan Phillips Photography
The verdict is in. Rita's Law, the bar that opened in June 2019 at 2209 Welton Street, will close after a last hurrah on September 24. "I just can't stay afloat with everything that has happened in the past couple of years," says owner Rita Price in a video posted on Instagram. "I definitely think that if we didn't have COVID — or I know — then I wouldn't be in this situation."

Along with the challenges of the pandemic, Price noted that other factors in the decision to close include the increased presence of homeless individuals in the area, as well as construction that has led to road closures and a lack of parking, which is expected to continue for at least another year. "I just can't figure out how to make it work," Price explains.

The bar is located in a refurbished space that was built at the turn of the last century and is now surrounded by large, modern apartment complexes. Price's initial goal when she opened Rita's Law was to become a part of the Five Points community.  "I don't want to overtake, I just want to join in. I don't want people to walk in and think this is something fancy," she told Westword before the bar opened.

Despite being open only eight months before the pandemic shuttered all bars and restaurants in March 2020, Rita's Law did manage to become part of the community. "It's everything I ever wanted," Price says. "You've all told me over and over again how much you love the space and love it and feel comfortable and want to be here. I thank you all for believing in me."

Price hopes to reopen Rita's Law in a new location someday, but before this spot closes for good, a celebration is on the menu. Rita's Law will be open from 4 p.m. to close until "late," she says, for a farewell party with DJ Bella Scratch, Chris Ross and other special guests.

"I appreciate each and every one of you who have shown me love and support and had the most kind words and everything that everyone has done," Price adds.

Even as the bar closes, many of its rules should live on. "Make a friend, buy your neighbor a drink," Rita's Law advises, and do it in honor of this short-lived but much-loved watering hole. 
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Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin