Times they are changing in Denver’s River North neighborhood, as Cold Crush – the hip hop music and art venue at 2700 Larimer Street – will shutter its doors and move to a new zip code on East Colfax this fall. The shutter and move are not willful.
Cold Crush had a five-year lease as of 2012, and a new agreement last fall which expanded the lease another three years, or so owner Brian Mathenge thought. But the landlord, Poppyseed LLC, had never re-signed the agreement, thereby voiding the extension. Mathenge asked for a three-month extension so the club could remain open through the summer. Emails indicating lawyers for both the tenant and landlord came to an agreement on the request were made public, but Poppyseed intended to go through with the eviction by July 31.
Cold Crush had a small victory in Denver County Court on Tuesday, as reported by the Denver Post, a three-month extension on the current lease. In a perfect world, Mathenge hopes to move Cold Crush into its new location before that October 31 deadline. A temporary location is also an option. Some speculate the new space will be at 3014 East Colfax Avenue since Cold Crush was in talks with property owners as of April 2016. That address is presently occupied by Southside Bar & Kitchen.
This development comes after last fall community rallied in support of the club which temporarily lost its liquor license and was on notice as a nuisance by the city. Those events followed the murder of rap musician Boss Goodie just outside the nightclub.
The quickly changing bloc in RiNo has seen another controversy this year: Family-owned Joe’s Liquors, a 28 year old family business, has been publicly decried a “nuisance” by area business owners. Letters were sent to Denver Licensing Director Ashley Kilroy requesting a liquor license hearing for Joe’s. An agreement was reached in the neighborhood to end that hearing process, with specific conditions for the renewal (not selling liquor to habitual drunkards, prohibiting loitering, and having all employees complete Training for Intervention Procedures training.)
Community members believe that there is an active movement to eliminate minority-owned businesses from the quickly gentrifying area and that Joe’s and Cold Crush are prime examples of that.