Reader: If complaints from four residents can shut Rockbar, are other businesses in danger?

midnightatrockbar.jpg
Aaron Thackeray
Midnight at Rockbar -- is the party over?
Since it opened six years ago, Rockbar has been a hipster hangout -- the go-to place for Hollywood celebs during the Democratic National Convention, but also a regular stop for people out and about on the weekend, or who're just looking for a place to park (the All-Inn that holds Rockbar has a lot -- a rarity on this stretch of Colfax) and then stop in for a drink while they watch the game.

But now Rockbar has hit the rocks. After a four-plus hour liquor-license renewal public meeting on September 24, the hearing officer has recommended that the license not be renewed.

See also:

- Hearing officer recomments against renewing Rockbar liquor license

- Slide show: Midnight at Rockbar

Says guest:

This case should be a wake-up call to all business owners in Denver. If four residents representing themselves as the "voice" of two entire neighborhoods have the power to ultimately shut down a business, whose to say that this very same situation could happen to other business owners in Denver? I happen to live in Congress Park and I can tell you that the loud minority that chose to participate in this debacle does not represent me. The neighborhood association did not conduct any significant outreach to the community that they "represent" or even notify us of the "neighborhood's" position on this matter prior to the hearing. Where are the checks and balances in our city and within our neighborhood associations?

Do you live near Rockbar? How does this venue compare to the other bars along Colfax Avenue? Post your thoughts below -- and don't forget to share them with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, too. The department is accepting comments on this recommendation through October 5, and then will issue a final decision the following week. E-mail those comments to the director at tom.downey@denvergov.org.



Location Info

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Rockbar - CLOSED

3015 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music


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15 comments
Reed
Reed

Despite your opinions of Rockbar's clientel or music selection, it is a old bar that has brought a lot of life to an area that used to only have crime.  I work there and am terrified of losing my job thanks to 4 members of an organization claiming to clean up their neighborhood.  Putting hard-working Americans out of work in your neighborhood cleans up nothing and everyone loses.  Shutting down the only upstanding business in a seedy motel doesn't improve the safety on the block, in fact it'll further allow other unwanted criminals to come back to the area I chased them out of.

 

These are Denverites vs. Denverites.  It's sad and unfortunately going to continue to hurt an already struggling local economy.  I hope that these individuals realize how much their cranky opinions are affecting the income and lives of many blue collar people and their families.

 

Please do all of us a favor and sign the petition listed here: www.saverockbar.com.  Or email: tom.downey@denvergov.org

Philo99
Philo99

Do they even need to sell liqour at the Rockbar? I thought people just went there to get crack or to buy coke in the bathroom?  Selling alcohol just cuts down on the amount of money the patrons can spend on drugs.

 

If the owners would have put in a little effort they wouldn't be facing these problems. I don't think I have ever walked past the Rockbar when their wasn't glass from smashed bottle all over the sidewalk. It may not have been the Rockbar patrons but they would never bother to take the 5 minutes to clean up in front of their business.

gonecrawfishin
gonecrawfishin

I live literally across the street from Rockbar, and I have never been bothered.  I do not feel represented as one of the closest neighbors of the bar.  This is rediculous.  If you live on or near Colfax, you live on or near Colfax!  It's loud!  

Shifty
Shifty

This is ridiculous! I live in Congress Park and absolutely do not feel that these 4 residents, (whomever the hell they are) represent me at all. Let me guess... they are the only 4 republicans in the entire neighborhood, the ones with pro-Walmart signs in their lawns... who are just pissed off that they're just short of affluent enough to live in Cherry Creek instead.

 

Rockbar has been a thriving business for years, whether it's your style or not... it brings money to the area, and some much needed energy! If you don't like the scene (and yes Dive Bars are their own scene the world over... like it or not), then go downtown to where the shiny plastic is. To each their own.

 

When neighborhoods become considered "hot" or "hip", it isn't because of "stick-up-your-ass" establishments... never has been. Keeping track of "Hipster" trends actually is an extremely accurate way to measure the upswing in popularity and value of any product, service or place... no shit... for real. I know "Hipster" is not a protected class (nor should it be of course)... but the ability of less than a handful of people to have the ability to shut a place down because it "bothers them" is fascist. 

 

What is it going to be next? They don't want darkies or gays frequenting "their" neighborhood either??! What about other business owners? Will this become like a witch hunt where all it takes to be convicted is for someone to point their damn finger at you?!!

 

The corruption happening in the Denver City government recently is extremely alarming. Whether you like Jesse or not... and whether or not you like any of his establishments or the manner in which he conducts business, should have nothing to do with you standing up and fighting the dishonesty and corruption that is happening with your local government.

 

If they can take another person or another business down this easily, what will they do to yours/friend or family's business? Or even directly to you some day? What if you have a neighbor who doesn't like you, or your pets, or the color of your house... or the remodel or addition you want to do on your house.... you want them to be able to just point and fuck with your whole life... no due process or anything??!! 

denverreader76
denverreader76

but seriously. The Rockbar SUCKS!!!! since it started it's been a shit hole of douchebaggery. I'd be fine with it disappearing. IMO

 

<3

 

rev.jim.3kings
rev.jim.3kings

I bet I can guess who the neighbors are. Geezus, you live on one of the longest business corridors in the world. Deal with it crotchety old people.

jasonb2345
jasonb2345

I feel bad for the poor staff there that might lose their jobs, but if you read that whole thing it sounds like yet another example of Jesse Morreale fucking up. You can't just do whatever you want and expect to keep a liquor license. Just jump through the hoops, dumbass. If he hadn't drawn so much attention to himself with the First Ave Hotel thing and the patio at Rockbar deal I bet the old ninnies in the neighborhood association wouldn't have said shit. Once you're on the radar of excise and license you're pretty much fucked.

redrighthand
redrighthand

The article regarding Rockbar's liquor hearing mentioned the Neighborhood Organization's disapproval, yet also listed a litany of police calls and responses to the establishment.  With City budgets as tight as they are, do we want our police force sending officers to quell disputes at a local watering hole, or should the management of said establishment be responsible for their own patrons and their behavior?

mokaonly87
mokaonly87

This is horrible, I like 2 blocks from here and although its open late have never had any troubles. Its one of the best things this stretch of colfax has going for it.

Guest
Guest

Yes, businesses are in danger from HOAs and neighborhood advocacy groups.

 

Neighborhood groups and HOAs attract the worst kinds of people. The profile of a typical HOA board member in my large condo: -Unemployed and spends a large amount of time at home alone creating solutions to problems that don't exist. -Watches too much reality TV + polarized cable news shows and thinks that invoking sensation and being excessively dramatic is the only way to be taken seriously and convince others of their viewpoints.  -Has no friends and leverages being a divisive HOA board member as their social life. -Has a TSA/George Zimmerman power trip mentality.

 

Overall, it's inconvenient for hard working, rational, middle of the road, common sense having people to attend meetings with people like I described above. I work 50+ hours per week and don't want to spend my free time on an HOA board not getting paid to work with people like I described above to create solutions to problems that don't even exist.

Guest
Guest

 @denverreader76 Great point!!! Let's make it public policy that the city doesn't renew the liquor license of every single bar/restaurant that you rate fewer than 3 stars on Yelp.

Also, I assume the "76" in your name means you were born in 1976. Any 35-36 year old that still goes to Rockbar, or any  place like Rockbar, is a creepy loser who shouldn't be taken seriously.

Guest
Guest

 @jasonb2345 This has absolutely nothing to do with jumping through hoops.  This is a case of a hearing official, and potentially the City taking a couple of people's statements as representing an entire neighborhood.  And from what I can gather from the report, the City nor the Police Department have ever issued a ticket, violation or a citation to the bar regarding those noise or disturbing the peace comments that the "neighbors" testified to, and the hearing official took into consideration. Surely any citations would have been included in the hearing by both the City and the "neighbors", don't ya think?  Is this the new City policy?  No ticket, no warning and any bar or restaurant could lose their liquor license and essentially be shut down?  Something seems VERY wrong with that no matter if you're on the radar of excise and license or not. 

vogelmisty
vogelmisty

@jasonb2345 - really?!! You sure sound like you're bitter instead of an informed citizen! Jesse works hard and he does "jump through the hoops." Do you represent the 4, or are you one of them??

LoHiChick
LoHiChick

 @redrighthand This text is taken directly from Hobbs' report regarding the hearing: "Kenneth Gurule is a detective for the Denver Police Department. He described City's Exhibit C-3 as a police department listing of calls to the police dispatch center concerning incidents associated with the address 3015 East Colfax Avenue (location of the Rockbar) for the 12-month period between August 1, 2011 and August 2, 2012. During that period, the listing shows a total of about 223 calls to the police dispatcher concerning the address where the Rockbar is located. Det. Gurule acknowledged that he has no reason to believe that the incidents were caused by the operation of the Rockbar itself. Furthermore, many of the incidents may relate to events outside the premises of the Rockbar, such as the hotel above the Rockbar."

 

A DPD Detective that was called as a witness admitted that the printed report does not mean these police calls were directly related to Rockbar, only for incidents reported at or near the Rockbar's address.

 

Thorough reading can be very helpful.

jasonb2345
jasonb2345

 @vogelmisty  bitter about what? I'm just saying, if your liquor license requires you to have 25% of your sales come from food and you hardly ever serve food you can't get all up in arms when the city comes after you. They have nothing better to do. I don't want to see Rockbar close, but it's hard to get behind the "they are trying to fuck Rockbar!" movement when it seems- from reading the hearing report- that they fucked themselves. 

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