World War II, recessions and generations of jazz fans came and went, but after nearly 90 years, it was the pandemic that did in El Chapultepec.
The Denver jazz club and bar on the corner of 20th and Market streets is closing, according to Denver music insiders, throwing the city’s cultural scene into mourning.
“I love you Angela Guerrero and friends at El Chapultepec,” Denver jazz singer and KUVO 88.9 FM DJ Venus Cruz wrote in a Facebook post shared on El Chapultepec manager Geurrero’s Facebook profile. “You were very much a home. You were where I cut my teeth. You were where I grew up. I share this loss with so many great people.”
Guerrero and other El Chapultepec employees were not immediately available for comment, but Denver jazz musician Joshua Trinidad said Geurrero told the house band last week that the club would be shutting down for good.
By Monday morning, Geurrero had also shared nearly a dozen remembrances of the club from longtime supporters, including former Rocky Mountain News contributor and musician Dave Flomberg, on her Facebook page, seemingly confirming the club’s closure.
“When I was 16, I sat on the sidewalk outside the stage door, listening to Freddy Rodriguez Sr. (another terrible Covid casualty) and Rich Chiaraluce and Tony Black and Bob Montgomery and so many others playing that mythical stage …” Flomberg wrote. “This city has lost so much this year. But losing El Chapultepec is a bridge too far.”
RELATED: Denver jazz legend Freddy Rodriguez, Sr., dies from coronavirus complications
El Chapultepec first opened in 1933 and hosted local and touring jazz legends. In recent years, it had become an icon of gritty, pre-gentrification Denver in the otherwise sports bar-heavy neighborhood of Lower Downtown.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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