Sunday, September 30, 2012

Madd Mann's Minute: Ryan Bingham Concert Review

Ryan Bingham's tour for his new release "Tomorrowland" arrived to a sold out crowd at the Ogden Theatre on September 29.  Ryan opened the show with "Guess who's knockin?" one of his most rockin numbers to date and a key track off of Tomorrowland.  Ryan was sporting a brand new band as well. The Dead Horses, the band he toured with for years and released all his previous albums with are "currently on break" said Bingham.

The show was energetic and non stop rock n roll.  Bingham is known for his story telling and melancholy tunes like "The Weary Kind" which won him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a Grammy Award as best song for the film "Crazy Heart" starring Jeff Bridges.  His live show was not an ounce melancholy, rather it was 4 to floor form start to finish and the crowd loved it.

We caught up with Ryan after the show to ask a few questions and enjoy a cold brew.  "The Ogden is one of my favorite theaters to play in the country" said Bingham, "the sound on stage is superb and the audience is fantastic"  This was the second time Ryan has performed at the Ogden. Before his Grammy win he played at the Walnut Room and also at Bender's Tavern with local legends The Railbenders.   He also performed at Colfax's own Twist & Shout Records for his last release. Last year, Ryan opened a sold out Red Rocks show for Willie Nelson.  Ryan's current tour will take him across the US and eventually for a handful of dates in the UK, with more to be added. Ryan travels on his tour bus in true country style, with both his wife and his dog riding shotgun. If you haven't checked him out, we recommend you do! --- Ryan Chrys, "Mile High City Madd Mann"

Ryan Chrys and Ryan Bingham



DENVER, CO -  On Thursday, September 27, 2012, William Hobbs, the hearing officer who presided over the September 19 liquor-license renewal hearing for Rockbar, recommended that Rockbar’s liquor license not be renewed. 

After almost 7-years of operating, Rockbar has been the anchor to help turn around a troubled real estate property, it employs many Denver residents, contributes to Denver’s tax base, is a favored place for people to meet friends every week, and was the host to many celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Alan Cumming, and Anne Hathaway during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  The Rockbar is regular stop and parking option for people visiting the Colfax entertainment district – Rockbar is one of the few businesses in the neighborhood that has a parking lot, and they don’t charge anyone to park there. The liquor-license renewal hearing for Rockbar was originally called by the City citing an allegation that Rockbar had operated an outdoor patio in violation of its liquor license.  However, at the beginning of the hearing the City rescinded this charge. 

Instead of ending the hearing then as would have been appropriate, Rockbar’s counsel, ownership and management were ambushed with other criticisms.  These ranged from police reports (that Denver Police confirmed didn’t even have anything to do with Rockbar), alleged issues related to a good neighborhood agreement regarding food service, and false statements from four (yes, only four) residents living or owning property within a 5-block radius of the business.  Regardless of not having any other neighbors’ support of their criticism, these neighbors suggested that the Rockbar operates in a manner that is noisy and is a nuisance to the neighborhood. These neighbors even admitted that they had made efforts to get other residents to participate in the accusations against Rockbar, yet no other residents agreed and wanted to corroborate their complaints.

Prior to the hearing, no charge was made against Rockbar of any of these types of issues, and at the hearing no real evidence was presented that supports them, yet the hearing lasted more than four hours. Eight days later the hearing officer recommended that the liquor license not be renewed, not because of anything that had occurred at Rockbar or that could even be attributed to Rockbar, but because of alleged behavior in general by people on and around Colfax.

In Rockbar’s 6-year history, there have been ZERO noise complaints, NO violations issued,NO charges of disturbing the peace or public nuisance, etc. from the City or Denver Police, and not even any complaints being communicated by the Registered Neighborhood Organizations or any of the residents themselves.

This is an issue of fundamental fairness.  How can the City take away the ability to operate as a business when there has been no notice, violations, or even concerns communicated to the Rockbar from the City, the RNO’s, or any of the individual residents?

Is the City prepared to hold all business owners to this same standard?

If the answer to that question is yes, then it’s an extremely frightening situation for all residents and business owners in Denver.  If the answer is no, then how can the City possibly justify the actions it has taken so far, much less the possibility of the non-renewal of Rockbar’s license to be in business…

The final decision will be determined by the Department of Excise and Licenses on October 5th, “after review and consideration of the Recommended Decision and any objections from interested parties.”

We encourage you to join us in support of Rockbar, and perhaps through the process let the City know that its residents will not tolerate this kind of unjustified, overreaching, and abusive behavior.

Sign your name on the petition at to tell Tom Downey (the Director of Denver Excise & License), Mayor Hancock, and Denver City Council to save Rockbar!  An email will be sent on your behalf, and your name will be added to a list to receive updates on the matter.

In addition, feel free to email the City directly, with your own personal message regarding this matter:

Tom Downey

Please cc: Adam Stapen  


Rock Star Sundays

Last Sunday of every month starting Sept. 30th at the Atomic Cowboy!

Kenny Be's Comic Colfax: A Strip Down Memory Lane (pt. 4)

In 2010, Denver city planners decided that reintroducing streetcars to Colfax Avenue would help commercial development and began a feasibility study. I suggested then – and still agree now – that the reintroduction of streetcars is guaranteed to reduce automobile congestion and invigorate redevelopment on East Colfax Avenue! Especially if the project is built as a public/private partnership that includes the use of seven "Hopper" trolleys that promote Colfax business interests...
 Pictured above, the "Shop Hopper" trolley identify locations of dry goods and sundry retail establishments, while the tattoo shops, massage parlors, bath houses and hair salons will be announced by sponsoring establishments on the "Skin and Hair Hopper" trolley.

Scene on Colfax: Hot Chick-a-Latte

Come on in for a steamy, HOT cup of coffee at Hot Chick a Latte at 4736 E. Colfax Avenue

Bronco Cheerleaders 2012

Christina B.
Christina C.
Katie K.
Katie W.
Toni D.
Toni G.
Did I miss anybody??

Join The Orange Ride

Saturday, September 29, 2012

La Cueva Restaurant

La Cueva Restaurant in Aurora, Colorado is a landmark known throughout Aurora and metro Denver not only for it's authentic, tasty Mexican dishes but also for its community presence.  Established as a family business in 1974, La Cueva caters to a home-style atmosphere that makes its customers feel instantly welcome like "coming home for dinner."

When Norma Martinez met Nabor Nuñez at a restaurant, La Bonita, in downtown Denver in 1956, she knew he would be a serious businessman.  He had goals to have his own restaurant.  When this young cook first saw Norma, he knew that she would be his wife.  Norma with her big heart and sociable manner would be just the woman to help him succeed.  Their mutual faith and persistence made their marriage and family thrive.

After several years of marriage and two children, Molly and Alfonso, Norma and Nabor were able to purchase a small storefront space at 9742 E. Colfax Avenue to realize their dream.  La Cueva became the first Mexican restaurant in East Colfax in Aurora at the time.  The neighborhood was still majority non-Mexican.  Nevertheless, the familiar menu gave way to delicious "estilo Mexicano" items.  The Mexican menu gradually drew customers beyond the boundaries of Original Aurora.  By word of mouth, La Cueva has drawn people who are attracted to the pride of the Nuñez family and their efforts in the community.

Ryan Bingham tonight at The Ogden Theatre

Friday, September 28, 2012

Colfax Corridor Connections: Public Meetings

Colfax Corridor Connections: Public Meetings October 1 and 4

The City and County of Denver, in coordination with the City of Aurora, is kicking off Colfax Corridor Connections. This transportation planning project will identify ways to improve transit and overall mobility in the East Colfax corridor 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.

"Whether you look at 13th and 14th Avenues, 17th and 18th Avenues or Colfax Avenue itself, getting around in this part of the metro area can be difficult and it is projected to get worse," said Terry Ruiter, Colfax Corridor Connections Project Manager with the City and County of Denver. "Colfax Corridor Connections will provide a roadmap for us to begin improving mobility and accessibility for transit users, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers."

The public is encouraged to attend kickoff meetings on October 1 in Aurora or October 4 in Denver. Both meetings will present the same information and will focus on introducing the public to this new study and begin gathering input that will shape the project’s focus and decisions.

Aurora Public Meeting: Monday, October 1, 2012
5:30pm to 7:30pm
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Tri-Visible Conference Room, Research Building 2, 2nd floor
12700 East 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045

Denver Public Meeting: Thursday, October 4, 2012
5:30pm to 7:30pm
Knights of Columbus Hall
1555 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203

Between now and November 2013, Colfax Corridor Connections will study mobility and accessibility needs in the corridor and identify transit and other multimodal improvements, including bicycle, pedestrian and vehicular, to address them. These improvements will also be weighed against six livability principles.

At its conclusion next fall, Colfax Corridor Connections will identify a set of projects that can improve transit, overall mobility, livability and accessibility within the corridor. Funding would need to be identified before implementation could begin, but identifying solutions now will allow the cities to make informed decisions about improvements in the corridor that work toward a broad, cohesive, long-term plan.

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

Denver's Road of Riches: Colfax Avenue

Denver's Road of Riches: Colfax Avenue

Reggie Royston
National Geographic
May 11, 2001

     At the foothills of the Rockies, Lake Steam Bath beckons ailing travelers to the curative outdoors of Denver, Colorado.

     Gertrude Hyman's family built the bath house here in 1927, to cater to sick travelers from the East Coast of the United States who believed in the healing power of heat and cool mountain air.
"Most of the population in Denver, the immigrant population, was people who had an uncle or aunt or somebody in the family who needed to be treated for consumption. You know, that's tuberculosis," Hyman said.
     The area's restorative appeal has given rise to a thriving health industry, especially along Colfax Avenue, a road that once promised speculators more than physical well-being. National Jewish Hospital, one of the world's premier centers for pulmonary illness, is long established here.
"More people came to Colorado for health than ever for gold or silver or wealth," said Tom Noel, professor of history at the University of Colorado.
     That wasn't always the case. When Denver was founded in 1850, scores of miners came looking for the mother lode. Thirty-mile-long Colfax Avenue was the major artery linking them to the riches of the Rockies.
These days, those looking for gold need go no farther than the U.S. Mint, which turns out 50 million coins a day on Colfax Avenue. Beneath the mint, in a heavily guarded area, lie even more riches, said spokesman Guillermo Hernandez. "Roughly a quarter of the country's gold reserves are stored in our vaults," he said. "It's not open to the public, and most employees don't ever get to see it."
     There are many other treasures along Colfax Avenue that can be sampled. The section of the road that passes through Denver is the main tourist area, and many locals consider it the cultural heartbeat of the city.
"If you go from one end of Colfax to the other end, you'll find what you're looking for on that one street," Clarke said. "It's always been that way."
     One place you'll find is a stainless steel box called Davies Chuck Wagon Diner. Produced in New Jersey during the 1950s, the pre-fabricated cafe traveled farther west than any other of that era. And its success has been sustained in part, said owner Dwayne Clarke, by the allure of Denver's road of riches.
This story was featured on the television news show National Geographic Today

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Making of "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson" (pt. 2)

     Veteran arts journalist John Moore followed the making of Ben Dicke's "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson" from inception to an opening night postponed by a serious backstage accident that hospitalized the director/starring actor. Part 2: "The Perfect Mission" follows the cast through the creative process to the eve of opening night, one day before Dicke was severely injured in a freak backstage accident/ Photo by John Moore. Running time: 8 minutes. Warning: Profanity.

     "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson" opens tonight at the Aurora Fox Theatre at 9900 E. Colfax Avenue.

Diamond Cabaret Car Wash

Time to get the car washed at the Diamond Cabaret

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Making of "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson"

     Veteran arts journalist John Moore followed the making of Ben Dicke's "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" from inception to an opening night postponed by a serious backstage accident that hospitalized the director/starring actor, who suffered four broken ribs, a punctured lung and a gash on the back of his head after falling 6 feet through a trap door at the Aurora Fox’s main stage. Part 1: Before the Fall. Running time: 9 minutes.
     Ben Dicke has made an amazing recovery and has rescheduled the show to make its opening at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Aurora Fox Theatre's studio. Thursday evening shows have been added to the run in an effort to recoup lost revenue from the play’s first three weeks.

Jack Was Here

     The Oasis was located at 1729 E. Colfax Ave. where a Taco Bell now stands. The old establishment used to serve milkshakes and cheeseburgers to East High students and the like and was frequented by Neal Cassady. He used to ditch his afternoon classes to steal a car, pick a girl up at The Oasis, and then drive her to the mountains for the night. Kerouac, a fan of good looking Denver girls, visited The Oasis a couple of times while he was in Denver. This wall is adjacent to the Taco Bell’s drive thru.-- Courtesy [JACK WAS HERE]