Sunday, December 31, 2017

Voorhies Memorial, 1929

"Happy New Year" on Voorhies Memorial - 1929, from the Western History and Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Friday, December 29, 2017

Rocky Mountain News

The Rocky Mountain News shortly after moving into the Colfax and Delaware location in 1952. (Rocky Mtn. News photo / courtesy Virginia Lee)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Venus Lounge

Early '60's ad for the Venus Lounge on East Colfax. (Virginia Lee collection)

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

New Public Art Mural on Colfax

New Mural on Colfax Avenue! Tom Ward painted this amazing mural on the Tommy's Thai building, at 3410 E. Colfax Avenue in Denver. Tommy's has served authentic, family owned and operated Thai food in Denver for over 20 years.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Original Aurora Snowstorm, 1972

(from Aurora History Museum Photographic Collection)
Snowed-in along the 9900 block of E. Colfax Avenue in 1972.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day Chevrolet

(from Aurora History Museum Photographic collection)
A '70's night time look down E. Colfax featuring Day Chevrolet once at 9530 E. Colfax.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Red Door Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge

Photo courtesy The Colfax Museum Collection
     In 1956, the handsome Red Door Restaurant opened at 10300 W. Colfax Avenue, to serve, under Chef Johnnie Webb's direction, food in keeping with the atmosphere.

     The Red Door architecture is unusual in that it is one huge room with the rich dark-mahogany bar--presided over by Restaurant Manager Fred Ehelen, who doubles as head bartender--which stretches across the center of the room, acting as a partition separating cocktail lounge from main dining area. The color scheme throughout is green, off-white, and beige, with the lounge section sporting bright Kelly-green frieze booths arranged in three tiers. Sand-blasted pine-board walls are painted a soft green, and wall-to-wall carpeting is maroon with huge green and beige leaves. Tables in the dining area are mahogany to match the bar and lounge table tops, while dining-room chairs have wrought iron bases with seats and back padded in pinkish beige streaked interestingly with charcoal grey. A dance floor and entertainment stage complete the attractive restaurant of this very superior motel, where children and adults alike are guaranteed a wonderful stay.

Reprinted from the Pacific Coast Record, April 1956

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Copas Family Drive-In

Known for their foot-long hot dogs, this is a 1948 image of the Copas Family Drive-In at W. Colfax and about Kipling. (from Dino's Restaurant photo collection)

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tilly's Trading Post

Photo courtesy The Colfax Museum Collection
Tilly’s Trading Post at Colfax Avenue and Elmira Street, 1936.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Ike's Tree

Photo by Jonny B.
If a President’s Tree isn’t safe from redevelopment, I don’t know what is!! Ike’s Tree at Fitzsimons Golf Course is almost 100 years old and is slated for demolition.
 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

President Dwight D. Eisenhower Golfing at Fitzsimons

Photo by Jonny B
Ike golfing at the Fitzsimons Golf Course in the 1950's poster that once hung in the window of the Fitzsimons Golf Course Clubhouse

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Lingo the Drifter

When ex-football player and bar owner Sam Sugarman re-christened his bar "Sugie's" as the Satire Lounge, Sugie put in a tiny stage and hired a guy called Lingo the Drifter to take over the club and play there. Lingo, an ex-businessman from Chicago who had dropped out, grown a beard and lived out of the back of a pickup truck, did a folksy Burl Ives/Pete Seeger type show that clicked with the local crowd.

Lingo died in 1993, and left a most amazing, Colfax worthy obituary:

Rocky Mountain News (CO) - May 26, 1993
________________________________________

T.D. LINGO, BRAIN RESEARCHER, FOUND DEAD

T.D. Lingo, who was sure he knew the answers to all the questions of life and those by Groucho Marx, died of acute heart failure about May 13 on his mountain near Black Hawk, the Gilpin County coroner said Tuesday. He was 68.
Mr. Lingo spent 36 years at the Dormant Brain Research and Development Laboratory on Laughing Coyote Mountain trying to prove that people use only 10% of their brains, while he had discovered how to use 100%. He said his ability enabled him to communicate with other species, experience extrasensory perception and have four-hour multiple orgasms. Until his death, he still was waiting for the public to accept the book he had written, with chapters such as "Quick / Easy Neurology" and "Quick-Fix Nirvana."
"It's going to be a national best-seller," he said in an interview in 1991.
Mr. Lingo grew up as Paul Lezchuk in Chicago, fought in World War II and
went to the University of Chicago. He renamed himself Theocharis Docha Anthropotis Lingo, which he said means "the love of God and the spirit of mankind." He became Lingo the Drifter, a folk singer with three chords and nine songs.
In 1957, he appeared on Groucho Marx's television quiz show You Bet Your Life and won $16,000. He cashed the check into bills that filled two shopping bags. He gave one to the Internal Revenue Service. He bought Laughing Coyote Mountain with the other, and he said he discovered how to "click" the brain into 100% consciousness. Most of his theories are contradicted by generally accepted theories of science, which only proved his point, he said.
He kept the brain of his former professor at the University of Chicago in a glass specimen jar in a storage building. He lived on vegetables and vodka. He went to Black Hawk once a month to pick up groceries and his mail.
"Someday, people are going to look at my work, comprehend what it means to lick the cosmic lollipop instead of just living out their chow-mein brained lives," he said. "It might not happen in my time, but someday somebody is going to stumble across what I did here and say, 'That guy wasn't crazy after all.' "
A visitor found him May 15. He is survived by his brother, Bill Lezchuk of California.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Let Us Have Peace

Thomas Nast was an ardent supporter of Republican Ulysses S. Grant's Presidential run in 1868. Here he portrays Grant & VP candidate Schuyler Colfax hanging banners that explain the meaning of "Let Us Have Peace," Grant's official campaign slogan.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

#SeenOnColfax Mike Watt!


Photos courtesy Jonny B.
Last night's show at the Lion's Lair with the legendary Mike Watt! He gave a brilliant performance for this show, it was his Mother's Birthday after all!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Friday, December 8, 2017

Squire Market Sign

Photo courtesy Erick Roorda
The old sign for the Squire Market, on Glencoe Street and Colfax Avenue, as it was being torn down.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

PMM Western Wear

 P M M Western Wear and Boots used to be at 7740 East Colfax Avenue. This article is from the New York Times, February 2, 1986, Section 10, Page 6.

Many Denver shops offer the traditional Western items - a silver belt buckle or a string tie or a 10-gallon hat - but for many shoppers the ultimate purchase is a pair of exotic leather cowboy boots. In design, workmanship, durability and price, these are a giant stride away from ordinary hand-tooled cowhide boots.

The boots, made of lizard, snake, alligator or ostrich hide, are so tough, owners say, you can ''go out and kick rocks in 'em'' without marring the luster on the toe.

Prices start at $250 for lizard but go as high as $10,000 for a custom-made pair in an exotic leather with 14-karat gold trim. A one-ounce jar of 14-karat liquid gold polish helps the trim keep its glitter. The price: $800 a jar. Fine boots are popular with oilmen and ranch owners - and working cowboys too.

Styles vary from the traditional narrow toe to a more rounded shape that mimics the look of a man's dress shoe. At first glance, the men in Denver's City Hall and its banks and boardrooms and real estate offices appear to be in dress shoes, but many are wearing exotic leather boots under their well-tailored pants. A man who is proud of his $700 chocolate python or tan buffalo or burgundy goat boots will manage to sit or stand in such a way that the intricate design of the tops will be visible. It's part of his image.

At one of Denver's busiest outlets for exotic boots, P M M Western Wear and Boots, the salesmen say the typical customer owns five or six pairs of boots. Some have 50 or 60 pairs.

''Once they wear exotic leather boots, they like the comfort and the durability and they get hooked on them,'' the store's owner, Lou Bilker, says.

Mr. Bilker, a polio victim who found it difficult to get a comfortable fit in ordinary shoes, started wearing boots, himself, on the advice of a doctor.

The store stocks 6,000 pairs of cowboy boots, about half of them in exotic leathers, in sizes ranging in lengths from 5 to 19 and in widths from AAA to EEE.

Men are the most enthusiastic customers, but P M M also carries a full line of exotic boots for women, offering styles and colors similar to the men's but also lavender lizard and pink ostrich. Women's boots tend to be taller and narrower, designed to go with skirts as well as slacks. Exotic leather boots are also available, by special order, in children's sizes, but they cost the same as those for adults.

About one-third of P M M customers are from out of state and some people order boots by telephone, although the store does not put out a catalogue.

Those who visit the store find a classic Western atmosphere, with racks of plaid shirts and calico skirts and red bandannas, jeans, cowboy hats and hand-tooled leather belts as well as boots. The store's interior looks like Main Street in a Western movie, with sections built to resemble the front of a blacksmith shop, a general store, an apothecary and a livery stable.

Mr. Bilker, now 66 years old, said he started in 1958 with a general family clothing store and discount house, with products as varied as auto supplies and pots and pans. Whitey Hanson, a salesman who joined the staff in 1968, urged him to specialize in Western clothing and boots and eventually got his way.

The store carries the major brands, including Tony Lama, Larry Mahan and Justin (which range in price from $130 to $225 for ordinary cowhide or goatskin boots and which make only a limited selection of boots in unusual leathers), but most of its boots are made by Lucchese of San Antonio. These boots stand out for their finely detailed designs and well-finished interiors and the rich glow of their leather.

A number of years ago, said Mr. Bilker, recounting how P M M came to add Lucchese to its suppliers, a customer wandered into the store wearing a handsome pair of boots that caught the eye of the salesmen. Upon inquiry, the customer said they were made by Lucchese. The store located the company in San Antonio and started placing orders. The company makes the boots to fit the colors, leathers and design combinations that Mr. Hanson chooses.

''People like something different in boots,'' he says. ''If you just paid $300 for a pair of boots, you don't want to see yourself walking down the street.''

Marc Bilker, the store's manager and son of the owner, feels that anyone who spends the money on good boots ought to spend the time to take good care of them. He advises that reptile skins need more moisture than other leathers and recommends the use of a lanolin-base cream polish, applied in many layers with much rubbing. Mud that adheres to the boots should be washed off as soon as possible and the boots allowed to dry naturally, away from any source of heat, then cleaned with a wet washcloth and leather oil soap and dried again before applying the cream polish.

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

West Colfax Overpass

Postcard courtesy The Colfax Museum Collection
Aerial View of Denver Looking East. Featuring the magnificent Valley Highway, and the famous West Colfax Overpass, 1960s.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Dairy Queen


This 1957 Dairy Queen ad from the J. Lee collection features 8 locations, including three on Colfax Avenue. Some have claimed that the 3833 W. 38th Ave. location was the very first one to open in Denver.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Winning Coiffures

Rosalyn Redwine, a Colorado native, has owned and operated Winning Coiffures at 6115 E. Colfax Avenue since Oct. 22, 1979. Here's a photo celebrating their 10th Anniversary in business back in 1989.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Get Drunk with Scrooge this Holiday Season

Audcious & Fiction Beer Company Host “Drunk Christmas”

This year a local theatre company is putting a boozy spin on everybody’s favorite Christmas tale. Join the drunken cast for a beer at Fiction Beer Company as they teach Scrooge a lesson about Christmas and all its “spirits”. Drunk Christmas will be a shortened version of Charles Dicken’s classic, and is part of Audacious Theatre’s holiday fundraiser. The festive evening will include raffles, baked goods, and Christmas Karaoke.  

This production is directed by Bethany Richardson, and the cast includes Logan Custer, Joey Laughlin, Ren Manley, Dylan Nevergall, Andrew Norman & Elizabeth Porter.

Audacious Theatre is a new performance group that seeks to create innovative and immersive theatrical events that engage all of the senses.

Drunk Christmas will only perform for 2-nights at Fiction Beer Company at 7101 E Colfax Ave Dec. 15 & 16  at 8:00 p.m.  Limited reserved seating is available for $15 and pay-what-you-can admission is available first come, first served. For tickets and more information, visit www.audacioustheatre.com.

Audacious Theatre presents
Drunk Christmas
It’s Dickens. Drunk.
Dec. 15-16 @ 8:00 p.m.
Fiction Beer Company, 7101 E Colfax Ave, Denver
Tickets $0-$15
Baked Goods & Beer available. All ages, must be 21+ to drink

Friday, December 1, 2017

Miss Colfax December 2017 - Amanda Partridge

Miss Colfax December 2017, Amanda Partridge, is a big fan of Frank Sinatra, so I knew right where to take her on Colfax Avenue: the mid-century wonder that is Bastien's Restaurant. She is also the founder of a fun event raising money for a great cause: Redheads Unite! Photos by Jonny Barber, on his iPhone 6.

Founded in 1937, Bastien's is celebrating 80 years in business this year! 














Thursday, November 30, 2017

Letters to the Editor

Hey Jonny,

I saw the article in the LA Times today, and it reminded me of a story.

My mom, Betty Cohen, was born in Denver 1907 and lived with her parents at 2704 Marion St. After her parents divorced, she lived for a time at the Clifton Hughes Training School for Girls, which I tried to find on a visit last summer, but it's now a park.

She described "Clifton" as a Methodist boarding school, which must have influenced her theology a bit!

She said she used to pray that if her parents got back together, she would "go down to Colfax and convert all the Jews."

Thanks for your great work.

Don't Agonize — Organize!

Alan Weiner


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Colfax Avenue Walk of Fame: Bill Frisell

Poster courtesy The Colfax Museum Collection
Today we are inducting legendary guitarist/East High graduate Bill Frisell into the Colfax Avenue Walk of Fame and Museum, and this poster is going on the wall. My favorite work of his was with the Ginger Baker Trio. One of their albums was called "Falling Off the Roof", and I was actually at Ginger Baker's house when he fell off the roof.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Louis Charles McClure/Denver Public Library/Western History Collection/MCC-1920
The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, taken soon after construction was completed.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Story of Modern East Denver by Phil Goodstein



Phil Goodstein, The Story of Modern East Denver: Magnificent Mayfair, Beautiful Bellevue, Hale, Hilltop, Hospitals.  Denver: New Social Publications, 2017.  ISBN 0–9860748–3–7.  vi + 474 pp.  Illustrations.  Index.  $24.95.

Nobody has written more about Colfax than Phil Goodstein.  In such volumes as the Ghosts of Denver, The Denver Civic Center, and North Side Story, he has looked at the character of the road between Colorado Boulevard west to the city limits at Sheridan Boulevard.  His Park Hill Promise covers the north side of the street from Colorado Boulevard to Syracuse Street.  Now he has added to this by focusing on the south side of Colfax between Colorado Boulevard and Monaco Street Parkway in The Story of Modern East Denver: Magnificent Mayfair, Beautiful Bellevue, Hale, Hilltop, Hospitals.

When residential development started to emerge east of Colorado Boulevard near Colfax in the 1880s, Colfax was still something of a rural road.  A branch of the Mayfair Ditch ran along it, eventually draining into City Park.  Efforts soon saw the extension of streetcar lines east of York Street.  Businesses popped up on the boulevard near substantial houses.  In 1902, the Denver Orphans’ Home occupied its new premises at the northwest corner of Colfax Avenue and Albion Street.  For a while, it had a school of its own, Albion Street, across the road at the northeast corner of the intersections.

In the course of the mid-20th century, Colfax east of Colorado Boulevard was an exemplar of middle-class retail.  Some stores, such as the Dolly Madison at Colfax Avenue and Forest Street and the nearby Colfax Radio & Appliance at 5128 Colfax Avenue were crucial parts of the city’s business scene.  The Mayfair Shopping Center at 14th Avenue and Krameria Street, opened in 1951, was once the city’s busiest shopping center.  It blended it with stores on Colfax.  Among them was the city’s leading toy store, Guys and Dolls, at the southeast corner of Krameria Street next to a Walgreens.

During much of the 20th century, Colfax was a premier automobile-oriented boulevard.  Not only were there numerous filling stations along the road, but such new car dealers as Empire Olds, Seifert Pontiac, and Deane Buick were on the arterial.  So were car washes, body shops, car rental agencies, and tire dealerships.  As The Story of Modern East Denver notes, such businesses are still part of the fabric of Colfax.

Business improvement and leadership has been another Colfax theme.  In the mid-20th century, the East Denver Civic Association claimed ownership of the strip.  Then, in the 1980s, groups such as Colfax United and Colfax to the Limits emerged, seeking to forge business partnerships to improve the image of the famed arterial.  The 21st century, as the volume observes, has been marked by the formation of the Fax Partnership and the Colfax–Mayfair Business Improvement District.

This is but the beginning of the volume’s wide-ranging emphasis on Colfax.  Included is the time when stripper joints invaded the road in the 1970s, followed by used bookstores in the 1980s.  The Story of Modern East Denver highlights both achievements and failures.  Not only does it address the people who have lived nearby, but it is a balanced measure of what Colfax has been all about.  Anybody interested in the road will want to read it.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cahoots - Legend of the Parlangua


Cahoots was a house band in Aurora Colorado in the mid-eighties. They played at a historic country music club called Four Seasons. The band was fronted by Lloyd Barnett, an talented songwriter and performer. His wife Annie backed him on vocals and did lead on several songs.

The Cahoots band was comprised of Lloyd Barnett (bass, vocals and wrote most of the songs), Ann Marie Barnette (his wife and singer), Willy Angel (lead guitar), Mac Eisensohn (drums), Vaughn Meyer (keyboards) and a few others. The group broke up after recording the Legend of the Parlanqua.

Many people confuse this band with other similarly named groups. This is not the group named IN CAHOOTS based in England. Also, it is not the Cajun band named The Cahoots. (Legend of the Parlangua song was released in the 1983. The cajun band "Cahoots" didn't get together until 1997.)

Because the lyrics of the Legend of the Parlangua deal with the theme of the Louisiana Swamps, many people think it was recorded by a Cajun band. However, it was actually recorded by a Colorado based band.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Aurora Pharmacy / Distillery

Photo courtesy The Colfax Museum Collection
Another Classic Colfax story! Gustin was only a doctor at the Aurora Pharmacy on East Colfax and Dayton Street for a year, before being arrested for selling whiskey and leaving town.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Chapel of the Angels

Postcard courtesy The Colfax Museum Collection
Chapel of the Angels used to be at 7177 West Colfax Avenue.