Rockbar will close this weekend after a goodbye bash

rockbaroutside.jpg
Rockbar will soon go dark.
Jesse Morreale has decided he can't fight city hall on two fronts. And so after last call on Saturday, October 27, he'll close Rockbar, the hipster hangout he opened in the All-Inn, the motel at 3015 East Colfax Avenue that he bought almost seven years ago.

Earlier this month, Tom Downey, the director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, declined to renew Rockbar's liquor license, which had been temporarily extended since its expiration in August; the bar had both a cabaret license and a restaurant and hotel license, which requires that 25 percent of total sales be for food. The cabaret license was terminated immediately, taking any possibility of live entertainment along with it; the other license was extended until November 7, giving time for both the owner and employees to make plans.

But rather than reapply for a tavern license, which does not require a certain percentage of food sales, Morreale decided to close Rockbar altogether, and do so before the final deadline.

See also:
- Rockbar's request for special event cabaret permits denied
- City denies Rockbar's liquor-license renewal

"The last weekend Denver will be able to enjoy this iconic, nationally known Denver institution will be this Friday and Saturday, October 26th and 27th," a Rockbar release announces, "because despite Downey's assumption that the business would appeal his outrageous decision, the damage already done to the business by the City is too deep, and the business cannot afford an appeal even though they believe the facts and the law support their position."

Morreale plans to board up the first-floor space that's been home to Rockbar. (The motel will remain open.) "I have dedicated the last fifteen years to rehabilitating blighted buildings in struggling neighborhoods throughout Denver, hiring hundreds of employees and contributing millions to the tax base," Morreale says, "and how does the City thank me? By closing my business based on absurd and unjustified accusations, which we proved to be false. Denver is open for business? Quite the contrary."

But before Rockbar closes, there will be a weekend-long goodbye bash, at which people can toast the venue's legendary times, including its role as the after-hours spot for Hollywood celebs during the Democratic National Convention in August 2008.

Do you have a particular memory of Rockbar? Post it in the comments section below. And watch Cafe Society for an update on Morreale's other front: the First Avenue Hotel fight.


Location Info

Map

Rockbar - CLOSED

3015 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Music


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27 comments
hagn75
hagn75

i went there once four years ago. i have showered at least 1,000 times since then and i still feel dirty.

Rachel Griffin
Rachel Griffin

We went a few years ago and there was literally 4 inches of poo and sewage on the floor of the men's bathroom. My husband is fairly chill when it comes to gross things but he took one look at it and barfed. That place was a dump and put the bathroom in Trainspotting to shame. No loss.

Russell Ed
Russell Ed

Least fav- that valet driver getting killed in a hit and run

Harmony Cummings
Harmony Cummings

1st date with my future husband and our wedding after party!

Becki Apple Herman
Becki Apple Herman

Good riddens. Just being in that place made me feel like I needed to rush home and shower.

Kipper Kelley
Kipper Kelley

getting sweaty on the dance floor!! oh, and when we would get there early there would always be this nerdy dude rocking out on the dance floor solo with dad jeans and glasses on. hil-fucking-larious!

Mackenzie Royal
Mackenzie Royal

I won't miss the WAYYYYY overly expensive cans of beer....it was $5 for a 12 oz can of Coors lite....

Robbie Ratay
Robbie Ratay

Hotel is staying open.. read the story genius

Robbie Ratay
Robbie Ratay

Rock bar will be missed.. that was my spot for the last calls when i used to live downtown..

Robbie Ratay
Robbie Ratay

All the slutty chicks i pulled from that dive

Jevan Russell
Jevan Russell

Now lets just hope the Starbucks next to it closes too. Then they could replace them both with some more retail looking buildings that are essential to Colfax's mom and pop traditional look.

Eggs
Eggs

I'm confused as to what the outrageous accustations were. And if his business is so successful and he's contributed millions to the tax base, why isn't he fighting this? Maybe not so outrageous after all...

milleralexjames
milleralexjames

I'm sad for Lancer Lounge and Bender's cause those were fun places to get a drink and relax and enjoy yourself. Not excited about Rockbar closing, but at the same time not exactly bummed. Sorry for the employees, for sure, but that's about all.

brasskeybill
brasskeybill

Get over yourself Jesse, stop playing the victim and start being a responsible business owner.

Sallyjoe
Sallyjoe

I can't explain how much I will miss this unique escape from the dangers and craze of the LoDo area. Rockbar was always easiest to get a cab (or bus) from to get home safely. The staff was always the best, and watched out for people. I feel pretty bbad for them now. This will be a huge loss. Always an outcast at every club, Rockbar was different for me. Now this building is going to become a rundown place for drug pushers . . . Once again.

Billybob
Billybob

If you decide to go, don't wear flip flops. That carpet is cray cray.

MegsinDen
MegsinDen

It's a sad day.  Many a good memory was made on the dance floor of Rockbar.  Now where will I go to dance to some good hip hop and question if my flip flop will break due to the stickiness of the floor?

Denver Dave
Denver Dave topcommenter

The lesson here, which Mr. Morreale should have learned by now, is that if you fight City Hall they will come after you with everything they've got.  I'm so glad that my tax dollars are subsidizing bloated city bureaucracies whose sole purpose is the hounding and closing of businesses in this economy while reducing the tax base and putting employees out of work.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

abby
abby

Good riddance.  I am not sure why anyone is supporting this corrupt owner.  

thespot84
thespot84

Firstly, nobody has memories of Rockbar, primarily because they were all blacked out by the time they decided that going to Rockbar was a good idea in the first place.

 

Secondly, what little of those experiences have crept their way into my hippocampus are scenes awash with the stench of stale beer and axe body spray, which, unfortunately like the pheromones they claim to supplant, tend to be a turnoff to all but a very specific subset of the population.

 

I think what sums up Rockbar for me was the disappointment at being forced out of the bar at 1:30 on the nose during every visit because someone, some bro, or some thing got into a fight on the dance floor because their already beer-soaked tom's - removing the carpet did nothing for that place - became slightly more beer-soaked by way of an equally drunk and unruly passerby. To ad PBR to injury, this would usually happen after signing a receipt for a $25 round just 90 seconds prior.

 

For me, Rockbar won't be missed quite as much as it will be 'remembered'. Vaguely.

scottyh782
scottyh782

 @Sallyjoe Nah, it's obvious the city has suitors interested in the property. Sprouts and Target are now opening in the area - that area of Colfax is all of a sudden desirable. Too bad we'll now have some cookie-cutter establishment eventually taking Rock Bar's place. Never was a fan of the place, but at least it had character.

garcia.jerome
garcia.jerome

 @Sallyjoe "Now this building is going to become a rundown place for drug pushers . . . Once again." What do you mean once again? This dump has been a pushers paradise for at least 20 years. Including the time the cockbar was there.

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