Thursday, February 28, 2013

Traveling Route 40

Colfax Avenue has been the epicenter of entrepreneurial and cultural activities in the metro area for more than 150 years. So it was a no-brainer for the folks in the new 40 West Arts District to choose Colfax as the theme for its Month of Photography show. Fifty works were selected for the exhibit, which will start out tomorrow as two shows split between the 40 West Gallery in Lakewood and the McNichols Building in Denver; 40 West's portion is then set to go on tour later in March to businesses along the entire length of the avenue.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Changes Large and Small Underway on Colfax

New Façade Improvement Grants Available

     Denver businesses on East and West Colfax Avenue will be getting new coats of paint, windows and exterior lighting with grant support from The Fax Partnership and West Colfax Business Improvement District in 2013.
     The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) awarded both organizations approximately $30,000 each in matching grants, to help businesses improve street appeal, pedestrian experience and safety. In addition, up to $100,000 in loan funds will be offered by the Mile High Community Loan Fund for property owners undertaking larger projects.
     “Helping our small, locally-owned businesses succeed is a key part of the city’s economic development strategy,” said OED Executive Director Paul Washington. “We’re proud to support façade improvements that further enhance the vitality and character of our Colfax corridor.”
     The grant funds are made possible through the city’s Community Development Block Grant federal funding.
     “This investment reflects the City of Denver’s commitment to Colfax as its Main Street and laboratory for what works in economic development,” says Dan Shah, director of the West Colfax BID.
     Last year’s pilot façade program with the FAX Partnership has shown that “little improvements add up,” says Hilarie Portell, the executive director. “Small business owners are slowly recovering from the recession, and many want to fix up their buildings. These grants help offset their costs and in some cases have incentivized larger projects.”
     Examples of 2012 façade grants include:
     Grant funding from the OED to the FAX Partnership in 2012 leveraged approximately $80,000 in private investment by the businesses. With this year’s grant support, the two organizations anticipate leveraging $100,000 each in investment by businesses.
     “We look forward to working with Colfax property and business owners and the Colfax BIDs in leveraging these grant funds to make property improvements that attract customers and strengthen their businesses,” said Jeff Seifried, executive director of the Mile High Community Loan Fund. “We’re a customer-focused lender and our staff is eager to discuss façade projects and our loan terms with Colfax businesspeople.”
     The façade improvement grants are available to eligible business owners and property owners located on Colfax Ave., between Colorado Blvd. and Yosemite St., and between Federal and Sheridan Blvd. For more information, including application process and materials, visit the FAX Partnership and the West Colfax BID online at and

     The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) is dedicated to advancing economic prosperity for the City of Denver, its businesses, neighborhoods and residents. Working with a wide variety of community partners, OED operates to create a local environment that stimulates balanced growth through job creation, business assistance, housing options, neighborhood redevelopment and the development of a skilled workforce.
     The Fax Partnership is a non-profit organization that connects people, place, and new investment to revitalize Colfax Avenue from Colorado Boulevard to Yosemite Street. The Partnership works closely with the City of Denver on business attraction and retention, district marketing, redevelopment, crime prevention and neighborhood outreach.  For more information and to register for The Fax Partnership’s monthly e-newsletter, visit     
    The West Colfax Business Improvement District promotes business development and expansion in order to re-create West Colfax Avenue as Denver’s Sustainable Main Street. Through business support and recruitment, cultivation of neighborhood serving businesses, increased energy efficiency, multi-modal infrastructure improvements, and investment in land assembly for green build development, the BID seeks to revitalize West Colfax Avenue as a thriving, economically and environmentally sustainable business district serving the diverse neighborhoods of Denver’s West Side.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DAVA presents "Mix It Up"

Current staff and volunteers will present personal artworks during a unique exhibition at DAVA. Everyone’s personal experience at DAVA contributes to the diversity of mediums and concepts taught in programs. The exhibit opens to the public February 28th and continues to March 21st with a reception Thursday February 28th from 4:30 to 7:30 pm. Catur Eka Santi, a gamelan ensemble of four, including DAVA staff Frankie Anderson, will perform at 5 pm and at 6 pm during the opening. DAVA (Downtown Aurora Visual Arts) is located at 1405 Florence St., one block south of East Colfax Avenue in the Aurora Cultural Arts District.
This exhibition includes works in a variety of media by DAVA’s teaching staff Viviane Le Courtois, Krista Robinson, Luzia Ornelas, Alberto Veronica, Rudi Monterosso, Jessica Gross and Marta Flores. Volunteers Dan Four Thunders and Molly Jones add to the mix. The exhibition includes works in a wide range of media, including ceramic, sculpture, fiber art, painting and video installation. This is a rare opportunity to meet and view works by DAVA staff, all of whom are professional working artists working alongside youth. 
All staff influence DAVA students through teaching and mentoring. In turn, all are inspired by students on a variety of ways.  Viviane Le Courtois will exhibit crochet and candy sculptures commenting on obesity and nutrition while Dan Four Thunders will comment on substance abuse issues among Native Americans. Alberto Veronica and Molly Jones, will present new functional works in clay. Through an interactive video installation, Luzia Ornelas presents her focus on interactive digital media.  Marta Flores recycles materials and crochet in elaborate purses and belts. The high level of experimentation and sharing contributes to the daily creative atmosphere at DAVA.
This exhibit is free and open to the public from 10 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday or by appointment. For more information, please e-mail
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts is a nonprofit arts organization whose mission is to strengthen the community through the arts with youth as its primary focus. For more information about our programs, visit, or call DAVA at 303 367 5886. 

Venus of Consumption by Viviane Courtois
Plate by Alberto Veronica
Cup by Molly Jones
Painting by Rudi Monterosso

Monday, February 25, 2013

Colfax Corridor Connections Seeks Community Input

Colfax Corridor Connections Public Meetings:
February 27th & 28th

Denver Public Works, in coordination with the City of Aurora, will host a second round of public meetings seeking input regarding the Colfax Corridor Connections project. This transportation planning study is in the process of identifying solutions to improve mobility and accessibility in the East Colfax corridor.

"Following months of analysis, the options that would provide the greatest transit, pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular improvements are coming into focus," said Terry Ruiter, Colfax Corridor Connections Project Manager with the City and County of Denver. "By evaluating many different route and technology combinations, solutions are being identified for not only Colfax Avenue, but the entire study area, which is roughly bounded by I-25 to the west, I-225 to the east, 12th Avenue to the south and 20th Avenue to the north."

The public is encouraged to attend meetings held on February 27 in Denver and February 28 in Aurora. Briefings by the project team, along with informative displays, will help educate the community about the transportation solutions being recommended for further refinement and analysis. Both meetings will present the same information and provide opportunities for community members to submit feedback to the project team.
Denver Public Meeting: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Knights of Columbus Hall
1555 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203
     - This location is served by RTD bus routes: 6, 10, 15, 15L and 20
     - Bike racks available near main entrance
     - Free vehicular parking in lot at southeast corner of 16th Ave. and Grant St.

Aurora Public Meeting: Thursday, February 28, 2013
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
North Middle School
12095 Montview Boulevard, Aurora, CO 80010
     - This location is served by RTD bus routes: 20, 89 and 121
     - Bike racks available near main entrance
     - Public access to the school through the main (south) doors only -- all other doors are locked
     - Free vehicular parking in the lot on the south side of school

When the study concludes in the fall of 2013, Colfax Corridor Connections will identify a set of multimodal transit and mobility solutions for those who live, work, and travel within the corridor. Funding must be identified before implementation can begin; however, the results of this study will provide the information needed to make informed decisions about transportation improvements that work toward a broad, cohesive, long-term plan for the East Colfax corridor.

Community input is essential to the success of this study. The Colfax Corridor Connections team is providing regular updates at, on Facebook and Twitter. You can also email the project team at or call the project hotline at (303) 223-6595.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In This Moment and All That Remains coming to The Fillmore

Fillmore Auditorium
     March 26

KBPI, Live Nation and Soda Jerk are pleased to present IN THIS MOMENT and ALL THAT REMAINS at The Fillmore Auditorium on Tuesday, March 26.   Special guests Hellyeah, Nonpoint and Lola Black will open the show.   Show time is 6:30 PM.  Doors open at 6:00 PM

For vocalist Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth, the duo at the heart of In This Moment, change came unexpectedly when they found themselves rebuilding the walls around their foundation. Stripped down to their essence, the core of In This Moment is on fire with their fourth album, aptly titled Blood.

“I knew that I wanted this album to bring out elements we’ve never shown before. This alluring, darker, sinful side of us that no one has ever seen,” says Brink.We wanted to find something new within ourselves, and with this album, I’m definitely the boldest I’ve ever been. I’m not trying to push boundaries. It’s not a conscious thing. It’s a natural artistic place.”

In This Moment began in Los Angeles in 2005, when Brink and Howorth met at an open jam. Their debut album, Beautiful Tragedy, landed the band on the 2007 and 2008 editions of Ozzfest. Their first collaboration with Kevin Churko came with the release of 2008’s The Dream – earning them a slot on the 2009 Warped Tour. Their third album, A Star-Crossed Wasteland (2010) was their highest-charting album.  With the release of Blood, In This Moment is geared for the next level — as musicians, songwriters and performers. 

Ever since their formation in 1998, All That Remains have stayed true to themselves with each successive record. Their seventh full-length effort, A War You Cannot Win, is no exception. The Massachusetts quintet—Philip Labonte [vocals], Oli Herbert [guitar], Mike Martin [guitar], Jeanne Sagan [bass], and Jason Costa [drums] —unabashedly unleash tight and taut heavy metal with arena-size hooks. Defying preconceived notions, the music is as genuine as it gets, and All That Remains wouldn’t have it any other way.

All That Remains have had some very significant victories rising from the much-written about East Coast metal scene into an international phenomenon.  To date, they’ve sold more than a million albums worldwide and 1.5 million tracks over the course of Behind Silence and Solitude [2002], This Darkened Heart [2004], The Fall of Ideals [2006], Overcome [2008], and For We Are Many [2010]. At Active Rock Radio, they’ve become a mainstay.  

They’ve destroyed stages worldwide with everyone from Asking Alexandria and Buckcherry to Hollywood Undead and Five Finger Death Punch as well as giving unforgettable performances at Ozzfest and Download.                              

at the Fillmore Auditorium Box Office, online at or call 800 – 745 - 3000

Tickets are $10.67 GA ADV including all service charges.

The Fillmore box office is open Monday - Friday from 12:00 Noon - 6:00pm & Saturdays from 10:00am - 2:00pm.  On days of Fillmore shows, the box office is open from 12:00 Noon – 9:00pm. 
The box office accepts cash, MasterCard, Visa and American Express – No checks!  Service charges may apply. 

 Ages 16+

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Fax Partnership Happy Hour at Axum Tonight

Networking on the 'Fax
Join us for happy hour at Axum Restaurant!

You're invited to join the Fax Partnership on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 for happy hour and networking at Axum Restaurant This is a great opportunity for 'Fax neighbors and business owners to try a FREE sampling of authentic Ethiopian food, enjoy a cocktail, and learn about what's happening on the 'Fax!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Axum Ethiopian Restaurant
5501 E. Colfax Avenue, at Colfax & Hudson
At 6 p.m., staff from Johnson & Wales University will present information on the programs available just blocks from the 'Fax corridor at JWU - including student internship opportunities and free resources for businesses at the  Small Business Development

Axum was purchased by Amleset Desta, a Lowry resident and financial planner, last summer. "I saw potential in this building and on Colfax, and wanted to be part of it," Desta says. 

With help from a Fax Partnership  Facade Improvement grant, the building got a new coat of paint and the parking lot was repaved in the fall. 

We hope you'll join us!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fax Poetic

This poem was submitted anonymously by e-mail:

"Fights, Food, Bar hops,
Bagels, Burritos, and Bums at bus stops.
More places to get tattooed than places on your body to.
Great coffee to fine wine; Blue collar to prime time;
Cars and clothes, old and new; Find it all on Colfax Avenue."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Davie's Chuckwagon Diner

Rotbart's Business Picks-n-Pans: Nostaligic Pick of the Week -- Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner

     For $4.75, Dwayne Clark and his crew at Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner on West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood will serve you a made-to-order top sirloin steak and eggs, along with hash browns, toast or hot cakes, and a big slice of Colorado nostalgia. Clark and his wife own the landmark diner, whose unmistakable 36-foot tall neon Cowboy cook sign, complete with Stetson, white apron, brown boots and spurs, has ruled the skyline at the corner of West Colfax and Hoyt Street since June 1957, when the original owner opened the stainless steel diner.

     In 1962, when 47-year-old Clark was still only a baby, the diner added the monstrous fiberglass brown palomino that still sits atop its entrance to this day. With the help of his father, who operated the Clark's Coffee Shops that once dotted greater Denver, Dwayne Clark purchased Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner in 1984 when he was only 21 years old. Two years later, Clark, a graduate of Alameda High School, married Tammy Pippinger, one of his waitresses, and the two have co-managed the diner ever since.

     Besides its famous design and signage, what makes Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner particularly noteworthy is its survival in the fast-food, fast-profit generations that have come since its opening 52 years ago. How does a restaurant not only survive more than a half century, but prosper? Indeed, the Clarks opened and operate two other area Davies' Chuck Wagon Diners. The secret of success Dwayne tells me is "good food at a reasonable price."

     It also helps to have the work ethic of a mule. "That's pretty much how you do it," he agrees. And what does "work" consist of for him? "You take care of your customers," he says. Dwayne visits all three of his restaurants daily, getting to work by 4:45 a.m. and often staying on the job into the early evening. In addition to prioritizing customer service, the kind that small business proprietors must offer if they are to succeed, Dwayne has been very savvy in keeping his prices affordable. While sales have slumped at most major fast food chains and especially high-end restaurants, Dwayne says cash register receipts at Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner have consistently "been very, very good."

     Among his loyal customers at Colfax and Hoyt are neighbors who've stopped by the diner regularly since the 1970s, and a few who tell Dwayne they've been coming since the 1960s. Others who've feasted on Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner's atmosphere include former Colorado Senator Ben "Nighthorse" Campell; former Congressman Bob Schaffer, and ex-Governor Roy Romer. The diner has also served as a set for numerous movies, television shows and commercials, alongside actors such as Dennis Quaid, Danny Glover, Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker.

     In addition to the diner's most popular steak and eggs meal, Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner was honored by The Denver Westword for offering the area's best chicken fried steak.

     Between opening day and today, Davies' Chuck Wagon Diner has had only three owners. The first, William Lyman Davies, constructed the restaurant after purchasing the 46-ton pre-fab materials from Mount View Diners, Inc. of Signac, New Jersey and having it shipped to Denver by rail. Davies' diner, #516, was one of the last models offered by Mount View, which began operations in 1939, provided the construction materials and plans for hundreds of diners across the country, and went out business in 1957.

     Davies, born in 1916, had worked as a restaurant supervisor for Walgreen's Drug stores and traveled frequently around the country, according to a Davies family history. After more than two decades at Walgreens, "Lyman Davies", as he was known, decided to strike out on his own, selecting the Lakewood corner because of its strategic location along Colfax Avenue (Highway U.S. 40), which back then was the dominate east-west route through Denver and the mountains to the West.

     Lyman and his family, who actually were living in Peoria when he bought the diner, relocated to Jefferson County just ahead of the restaurant's opening in June 1957. His son, Dennis, who is now 69 and lives in Ft. Collins, told me he recalls being drafted at age 18 to cook the graveyard shift for the diner, which for many years was open 24-hours a day. His mother, Helen, and siblings Judy, Nancy and Brent, also chipped in.

(Lyman passed away in 1998; his wife, Helen, lived in assisted care in Lakewood until her death three years ago.) 

Artwork by Tom Lund
In 1977, Lyman sold the diner to Clayton Lee, who already operated several other area restaurants. Lyman was in poor health at the time and none of his children wanted to assume the business. Lee ran the diner until 1984, making some changes to the menu and the inside fixtures, but essentially leaving the nostalgic atmosphere and value menu unchanged.

     At first Dwayne Clark and his father bought only the historic diner building from Lee, who Dwayne believes eventually relocated to Alabama and died there at age 56. In 1993, Clark also acquired the land on which the diner sits.

      Although Clark has not been able to replicate the unique signage and history of the Hoyt Street diner, in 2007 his family opened a second successful outlet at 2601 West Alameda and in 2008 a third Davies' Chuck Wagon at 12100 West 44th Street in Wheat Ridge. The three restaurants currently employ 38, including Dolores Gallegos, who has the longest non-family tenure having clocked a dozen years as a waitress on Colfax.

     "I see taking on more down the road," Dwayne says. Just like the good old days."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Root 40 MusicFest Coming in April

APRIL 21-27, 2013
7 Days of Music and the Business of Making Music

WHAT: An Upper Colfax music festival featuring artists from around the country and locally. In                    partnership with KBCO and 9News, this 7-day music event is designed to entertain, educate, and cultivate Colorado's music and performance community. 

WHERE: Along historic US Route 40, the 2013 Upper Colfax Root 40 MusicFest will be held in music venues, stages, bars, restaurants and shops along East Colfax Avenue. Upper Colfax is the epicenter of Denver’s live music scene with more than 40 bars, restaurants and concert venues offering regularly scheduled live music.  Anchored by the historic Fillmore Auditorium and Ogden Theatre, you will find the best of national and local musical acts.  
WHEN: April 21-27, 2013. This unique music event will kick off with a Sunday afternoon Music EXPO at the Fillmore Auditorium, followed by live performances throughout Upper Colfax venues each evening, with workshops during the week, an outdoor stage, and a Saturday grand finale concert


Proceeds from the Root 40 MusicFest go toward supporting education about music and the business of music, and helping the homeless or under-employed. Beneficiaries are East High School, CU College of Arts & Media, Musicians In Action, and 9NEWS Cares Colorado Shares.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rejuvenation Plans Don't Please Everyone

In a Gritty Slice of Denver, Rejuvenation Plans Don't Please Everyone
By Dan Frosch
Published in the New York Times: Monday, November 26, 2007

DENVER — Colfax Avenue is often described as one of America's wickedest streets. Jack Kerouac wrote of its tawdry watering holes in "On the Road." In the movie "Every Which Way But Loose," Clint Eastwood's character and his pet orangutan, Clyde, came here looking for action.
     The broad, bustling thoroughfare is Denver's most famous and notorious drag - a refuge for poets, addicts, hipsters and hustlers that has been the Rocky Mountains' answer to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco and Greenwich Village in New York. But while those neighborhoods have become gentrified, Colfax Avenue has largely retained its hardscrabble soul.
     But there are signs the avenue is changing, particularly the Capitol Hill section, where ambitious new zoning laws and an increased police presence are drawing businesses and driving down crime. And some residents worry that the resurgence will sanitize Colfax Avenue's legendary grit.
     "People always say they're trying to establish a sense of community here, as if it didn't already exist," said Walt Young, who has been cutting hair for 38 years at the Upper Cut, an old-time barber shop on the avenue.
     The Capitol Hill slice of Colfax Avenue was a haven for the wealthy before it fell on difficult times. Today it is among the city's most colorful and distinctly urban neighborhoods, a warren of apartment buildings where young, upwardly mobile transplants, low-income senior citizens and street-hardened addicts coexist.
     In the shadows of the Colorado Statehouse, the Roslyn Grill opens in the morning to serve beer to drunks and to delivery men fresh off the graveyard shift. At night, half-dazed homeless people stagger among college students going to see bands at Colfax Avenue venues.
     Drug dealers peddle heroin and crack as the young professionals who have flocked to the
remodeled Victorian-era buildings nearby walk their dogs.
     "The social configuration of the streets here is a reflection of the neighborhood itself," said Young, who counts street denizens and the Colorado secretary of state, Mike Coffman, as customers.
     Young fears that the dynamic could change. In September 2005, the Denver City Council approved more structured zoning regulations for Colfax Avenue, parts of which are blighted by abandoned buildings and vacant parking lots, with the intention of turning it into Denver's Main Street.
     The Capitol Hill area, where haphazard development is particularly apparent, was rezoned to encourage ground-floor businesses with residential units above them. The idea was to create a synthesis between people on the street and activity inside the storefronts, said Katherine Cornwell, the principal city planner. It is part of a long-term plan for Colfax Avenue that is meant to proceed without disrupting the neighborhood's eccentricities, Cornwell said.
     "We recognize that Colfax is one of those places where a lot of very different types of people can coexist together with good results," she said.
     Farther east, Colfax Avenue has been galvanized by a similar renaissance, mostly with the arrival of the spacious Tattered Cover Book Store, and the transition of a once seamy motel's ground floor into one of the city's most popular bars, Cornwell said.
     Already, establishments of a new breed are springing up in Capitol Hill, like the Cheeky Monk Belgian Beer Café, whose expansive glass storefront allows passers-by to peer in at customers, just as city planners had envisioned.
     "The more you can do from a design perspective, the more participation you get from the community, the more likely you're going to see a decrease in crime," said Drew O'Connor, executive director of the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods group.
     Cracking down on disorder has also been an integral part of the revitalization efforts. Last year, Mayor John Hickenlooper convened a task force to focus on areas overrun with criminal activity.
     "This is a beautiful area, but what's unappealing about it has been the drug trafficking and the punks that hang around here," Hickenlooper said of Colfax Avenue. He was once a part owner of the Red Room, one of the newer, sleeker bars on the avenue.
     The task force included police officers, city officials and community leaders, and it has used detailed crime data to help fight the "largest open-air drug market in the Rocky Mountain West," said Jeremy Bronson, public safety special assistant to Hickenlooper.
     The strategy seems to be working. According to city statistics, crime is down 40 percent in the area since 2005, and police calls responding to drug activity are down 34 percent.
     Crime was never a worry for Sheila Keathley, who has owned a popular gay bar, the Denver Detour, on Colfax Avenue for 24 years.
     "People who live here understand that Colfax is just very different," she said.
     Keathley's business will soon move because her landlord recently sold the property. But Cornwell, the city planner, pointed to the fact that the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless had bought the building as proof that the neighborhood's social consciousness was thriving.
     She said the city would help pay for the Detour's move.
     Still, Phil Goodstein, a local author who leads walking tours of the Capitol Hill area, said he was skeptical whether the city's plans would work.
     With a wry smile, he pointed out some of the Colfax's more memorable landmarks, including an old optometrist's office, now abandoned, where customers could buy eyeglasses to better see the pornographic magazines that were also on sale.
     At the corner of Colfax Avenue and Pennsylvania Street, Goodstein stopped and surveyed the street. A young, smartly dressed couple walked home from work. A group of teenagers, draped in goth clothes, wandered toward the nearby Fillmore Auditorium. A haggard looking old man sat on a stoop, one hand gripping an oversize walkie-talkie, his eyes shut, mouth agape.
     "Just let Colfax be Colfax," Goodstein said.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Lucky Few at the Lakewood Grill Tonight!

Consider the Oyster Opens Today at Aurora Fox Theatre

Aurora, CO – The Regional Premiere of Consider the Oyster by David MacGregor opens Friday, February 15th and runs through March 10th at the Aurora Fox (9900 East Colfax Avenue, Aurora CO 80010). Tickets are $26 for adults, $24 for seniors and students, $ 20 for groups of 10+. For tickets call: 303-739-1970 or visit:
 About the show:  During the celebration of a Detroit Lions Super Bowl victory, Gene Walsh (Ben Dicke) impulsively proposes marriage to the love of his life, Marisa (Rachel Turner). When she joyously accepts, he tumbles over the coffee table, breaking his leg. Gene’s clumsiness and a tiny bit of oyster DNA precipitate a comical cascade of twists that turn the happy couple's future upside down and inside out.  Love may be blind, but this is ridiculous.
[R] Rating: This comedy contains themes of homosexuality and gender identity. Characters use frank sexual language. The Detroit Lions are depicted as being good at football.  NOTE: Not intended for young audiences.
 "Consider the Oyster will definitely get the gears in your head turning after tickling your funny bone and touching your heart”.  – Heritage Media
PRODUCTION STAFF –  Stage management by Lindsay Sullivan, Set Design by Shaun Albrechtson, Lighting Design by Shannon McKinney, Costumes by Nicole Harrison and Sound Design by El Armstrong.


Fridays       February 15, 22, March 1 and 8 at 7:30 pm
Saturdays     February 16, 23, March 2 and 9 at 7:30 pm
Sundays       February 24, March 3 and 10 at 2:00 pm

Opening Night After Party
Friday, February 15th  Eat, drink, mix and mingle with cast/crew/staff and fellow Fox attendees following the opening night performance.
Free Beer FridayFriday, February 22nd  Come a few minutes early and have a beer on the house. 
Super Senior Sunday - Sunday, February 24th 
 Seniors get in for just $18. Hot beverages are on the house.

Playwright David MacGregor will be in attendance on Opening Night. If you would like to schedule an interview with him during the day on the 15th or by phone before then, please contact Patricia Wells at the Aurora Fox to make arrangements. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day from Jonny Barber

Happy Valentine's Day!! If you are looking for something special to do tonight with your loved one(s), join founder Jonny Barber for his Burnin' Love Valentine's Day Show at the Soiled Dove! A gourmet, four-course meal will be served before the show, then you will be treated to an Elvis Tribute Show with an incredible live band (voted "Best Elvis" by Westword) which includes hit songs "Suspicious Minds", "Love Me Tender", "Love Me" and "Can't Help Falling in Love With You".
If you can't make the show tonight, Jonny's alter-ego, Mr. Saturday Night, will take the stage this Saturday Night, Feb. 16th, at the Zephyr Lounge on East Colfax Avenue in Aurora. Join him for a night of music, interviews, comedy, and see a live TV show created with YOUR input!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Motet coming to The Fillmore Auditorium

Soul Rebels Brass Band & DJ Mikey Thunder
Fillmore Auditorium
Saturday, April 20
Live Nation is pleased to present THE MOTET at The Fillmore Auditorium on Saturday,
April 20.  Special guests OZOMATLI, Soul Rebels Brass Band and DJ Mikey Thunder will open the show.  Show time is 8:00 PM.  Doors open at 7:30 PM

2012 brought a new sound to a familiar face in the national music community. With an astonishingly talented cast of musicians, The Motet has refined their sound and their vision into a dynamic and expressive improvisational force.
Founded and led by drummer Dave Watts, the group began over ten years ago and hasn’t let up since. Featuring complex compositions written and arranged by Watts himself, the music tells a story through syncopated rhythms and melodies. As music and technology evolve at an astounding rate, so too has The Motet pioneered their unique sound while continuing to defy categorization. With roots in Jazz, Afrobeat, Funk, Salsa and Samba, The Motet keeps their audiences in a dancing frenzy by layering House and Techno rhythms into a style that is uniquely their own.
With its 6th release, Dig Deep, The Motet once again proves that it is a group committed to exploring and pushing the sonic envelope, while still remaining dedicated to the musical traditions that have defined their sound. A heavy-horned Afrobeat influence countered with a textural blanket of Electronica, this album showcases the talents and strengths of the cast of characters that drummer and producer Dave Watts has assembled. Keyboardist Joey Porter lays down the funk under the coursing melodies of saxophonist Dominic Lalli in pure Motet fashion, with the ever driving beats of Watts' masterful rhythmic production pushing the music through sonic peaks and valleys that tantalize and invigorate listeners. If you've loved The Motet for years or are just tuning in, listen up. You won't be disappointed.  

From years of incessant touring and with a rich legacy under their belt, The Motet’s “resolve to evolve” has made them indispensable in the East and West Coast groove circuits. Writes Dave Kirby of Boulder Magazine: “Watts' dedication and artistic integrity have created an elusive musical entity which seems to be as much fun to play in as it is to go out and hear.”   The Motet is a world-class ensemble that whips audiences into a whirlwind using sheer impromptu force. The rhythms are spontaneous and textured and the beats are hard driving.          The band uses this energy to create a rapport between the audience and themselves that is rarely seen in today's world of manufactured rock. The Motet consecrates the ground on which dance music meets free-form improvisation.  

In their fifteen years together as a band, celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers Ozomatli have gone from being hometown heroes to being named U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors.  Ozomatli has always juggled two key identities. They are the voice of their city and they are citizens of the world. Their music — a notorious urban-Latino-and-beyond collision of hip hop and salsa, dancehall and cumbia, samba and funk, merengue and comparsa, East LA R&B and New Orleans second line, Jamaican ragga and Indian raga— has long followed a key mantra: it will take you around the world by taking you around L.A.

Ozo is a product of Los Angeles’ grassroots political scene. Proudly born as a multi-racial crew in post-uprising 90s Los Angeles, the band has built a formidable reputation over five full-length studio albums and a relentless touring schedule for taking party rocking so seriously that it becomes new school musical activism.

The band had long been a favorite of international audiences-playing everywhere from Japan to North Africa and Australia-and their music had always been internationalist in its scope, seamlessly blending and transforming traditions from Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.  Ozomatli has spent 15 years working diligently to spread its message of peace, communication and understanding through music, with a long standing tradition of performing for children all over the world, from the schools of North St. Louis to the orphanages of Southeast Asia.
at the Fillmore Auditorium Box Office, online at or call 800 – 745 - 3000

Tickets are $27.50 GA ADV and $30.00 GA DOS plus applicable service charges.

The Fillmore box office is open Monday - Friday from 12:00 Noon - 6:00pm & Saturdays from 10:00am - 2:00pm.  On days of Fillmore shows, the box office is open from 12:00 Noon – 9:00pm. 
The box office accepts cash, MasterCard, Visa and American Express – No checks!  Service charges may apply.   
 Ages 16+

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bourbon Grill

This is the original home of the tiny walk-up eatery at 1618 East Colfax, run by owners Lien Vo and Tom Lieber. It's located at 571 E. Colfax Avenue today.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bastien's Restaurant Closed Today in Memorium

Photo by Colfax Jack
Bastien's, at 3503 E. Colfax Avenue, is closed today in memory of William Bastien Jr (1922 - 2013).
William B. Bastien Jr.
In Loving Memory  
January 19, 1922
Wichita, Kansas
Passed Away
February 5, 2013
Denver, Colorado


Biographical info: Lived in Denver most of his life. Went to Regis High School and College. Married Marge March 1, 1949 and had 4 children. Served in the Merchant Marines during World War II. Came home from the war and owned and operated Bastiens' Restaurant (aka The Moon Drive-in) side by side with his father William Sr. Belonged to the knights of Columbus and was a Toastmaster. Loved his dogs and loved to go fishing.

Preceded in death by his spouse (Marguerite aka Margo), his mother (Ruth Lorraine) and his father (William B Sr.)

Survived by his children Colette (married to David S. Bowdish), Mary P. Vigil, M. Jeannine Bastien, and William B, III (married to Lisa Bastien). Also survived by 4 grand children (Jessica, Lara, Ryan, andf William IV) and one great grandchild (Eli) as well as his brother (C. T. Bastien) and sister (MaryLou Kenney) and several nephews and nieces.

Memorial Services:
Rosary followed by Catholic mass at Loyola Church (2305 Gaylord St) at 9:30 a.m. February 11. 2013

Interment at Fort Logan at 12:30 following mass - Staging area B.

In lieu of flowers please send any donations to Dominican Sisters Home Health Agency of Denver

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Spiritualism: Real or Fraud?

     Spiritualism: Real or Fraud? This was the subject of debate that brought Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (universally associated with his most popular literary creation, Sherlock Holmes, one whose fervent belief in Spiritualism dominated the final dozen years of his life), and world-renowned escape artist and silent film star Harry Houdini (who in the 1920's strode into the public arena to confront fraudulent mediums) together at the Ogden Theatre, 935 E. Colfax Avenue, in the 1920's.

Harry Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle

     After extensive travelling abroad, Doyle returned to the States to continue his lecture tour and, in Denver, he met Houdini. They had long discussions about Spiritualism and some recent psychic investigations. Doyle had witnessed a demonstration by the Zancig, a couple of vaudeville mind-readers, and was convinced they were real telepaths. Houdini, however, knew them personally; they were acknowledged magicians and members of the Society of American Magicians, but nothing of this moved Doyle. "Sir Arthur said that he was capable of detecting trickery," wrote Houdini in his notes, "and we had a discussion in which I said that I did not think he could. He looked amazed at me, and I said, 'Why, every once in a while I see something I cannot account for'". While staying in Denver, the local newspaper interviewed Doyle; the reporter told him that Houdini was offering five thousand dollars for any medium's feat he could not duplicate, and Doyle said that he would give the same amount of money if Houdini could "show me my mother". Immediately, Doyle apologized to Houdini, saying he had been misquoted.
     Spiritualism brought Houdini and Conan Doyle together in 1920, but it was hardly the only thing they had in common. Both men were famous around the globe, and while their career paths were quite different they shared an energy and a virility that few could match. Houdini’s athletic feats were obviously central to his act, and although more famous as a writer, Arthur Conan Doyle was an avid sportsman and adventurer, a large man who struck many as the very embodiment of English manhood. But for all their similarities, the men had divergent approaches to Spiritualism.
     After a séance in which he believed he had been contacted by his son Kingsley, who had died in the War, Conan Doyle became a leader of the movement, defending it in lectures around the world. Even the embarrassing Cottingley fairy hoax, in which he had championed faked photographs of wood fairies and goblins that were later revealed as fakes, did not deter him. "The Elusive American," Houdini, on the other hand, thought he knew trickery when he saw it, and set out to punish those taking advantage of a vulnerable public. That their friendship lasted for several years is largely due to the fact that Houdini, always seeking intellectual respectabilty, deliberately hid his real feelings about Spiritualism from Doyle.
     Soon after their correspondence had turned into a friendship, introductions from Conan Doyle gave Houdini entrée to dozens of mediums during an extended tour of Great Britain. Unknown to Doyle, however, Houdini was far from converting: "The more I investigate the subject," he wrote, "the less I can make myself believe." Inevitably, despite a growing personal friendship, the two great men moved toward a confrontation.
     Their falling out began when Houdini joined the Doyles for an intimate séance, in which Lady Doyle proposed to contact Houdini’s beloved mother. Although a skeptic, Houdini did believe in an afterlife, and as biographer Kenneth Silverman wrote, "closed his eyes and tried to rid his mind of all but religious thoughts." But by the time Lady Doyle had filled fifteen sheets with automatic-writing she claimed had come from Cecelia Weiss, Houdini had only become further convinced that he was witnessing a fraud. Although he left without disclosing it -- "I did not have the nerve to tell him," -- Houdini knew that he had not heard from his mother. A rabbi’s wife, she never would have begun with a sign of the cross; although she had barely uttered a word in English while alive, suddenly she was fluent, saying things like "I am almost overwhelmed by this joy." It simply did not sound like his dear mother, and Houdini resented it.
      Although they both tried to prevent it, Houdini and Conan Doyle were arguing privately over medium cases within months; by the spring of 1923, they were exchanging sharp letters in the "New York Times." After a public feud when their tours crossed in Denver, the friendship seemed beyond repair. While praising him as "the bravest man in our generation," Conan Doyle condemned Houdini for being biased and publicity hungry. Houdini wrote that "There is nothing that Sir Arthur will believe that surprises me." It had been one of the oddest pairings of the century. Their meeting at the Ogden Theatre was to be the end of their friendship.