That is what I discovered once I was a freshman in faculty. I fashioned a few of my closest, most longstanding friendships with those that attended the weekly efficiency of a Grateful Lifeless tribute band referred to as the Dead 27’s in Charleston, South Carolina. It was an ideal scene: The Charleston Pour House deck, surrounded by oaks dripping with Spanish moss and encased by murals from native artists, stuffed with barefoot, tie-dyed regulars dancing to Lifeless tunes. We referred to as it “going to church,” and reveled in a neighborhood tied collectively by the love of music.
I discovered the same bond at So Many Roads, a psychedelic-rock venue and brewery at 918 West First Avenue, which reopened on December 1. After being cited by the town with quite a lot of authorized and code violations, the venue’s house owners had agreed to close for the month of November. Some feared the venue would not reopen in any respect, after former proprietor Jay Bianchi wrote this on Fb: “Sadly, this will set off a sequence of occasions that makes it unimaginable for enterprise to proceed…It could be the final month of existence for this museum, this lifetime work, this little slice of paradise.”
However it did reopen, and generations of Deadheads flooded the place on its first day again in enterprise. The parking zone was full earlier than 6:30 p.m., two and a half hours earlier than the membership’s resident Lifeless tribute band, the Cosmic Charlies, was set to carry out within the room stuffed with rock-and-roll posters and Lifeless memorabilia. Folks have been wearing celebratory fare, from the same old tie-dye and Dancing Bear-patterned outfits to three-piece fits: “You have gotta costume to the nines for the reopening of everybody’s favourite bar,” defined one dapper patron.
Inside and outside the venue, folks have been toasting with “Welcome again!” tequila photographs. One extremely excited common named Moondoggie twirled from hug to hug. “This can be a story of resilience,” he stated. “Your entire neighborhood waited a month to get collectively once more.”
Moondoggie stated that when he moved to Denver two years in the past, he needed to reside close to the Psychedelic Ripple, a now-closed Lifeless bar. “However then So Many Roads was right here; this bloomed from the ashes like a phoenix,” he recalled. “And once I come right here, I am house. That is house — that is household.”
Having been a part of the household in related institutions, I used to be shocked when phrase began going round that the blond woman in checkered pants (me) was probably a “spy” or a “narc.” Seeing my bewilderment, a patron kindly defined why: Many weren’t happy to find I used to be a Westword editor, noting that we, together with different native information retailers, had not solely reported on why So Many Roads had closed for November, but additionally on sexual-assault allegations made towards Bianchi, accusations he denied whilst he stated he’d retired from the enterprise in 2021. However finally, I used to be welcomed into the fold at what felt like a household reunion.
Some of us had rerouted their travels to make it to the reopening. One lady stated she was largely into hip-hop when her son introduced her to So Many Roads a number of years in the past; she’s been a Deadhead ever since. “For a lot of the Grateful Lifeless neighborhood in Denver, that is their house, that is their place,” she mirrored.
One other lady added: “After I first moved right here, I felt so alone. Then I discovered this place, and I’ve discovered house. I have been so unhappy with out it for the previous month.”
Even through the closure, Moondoggie famous, the neighborhood stayed collectively. “I spent Thanksgiving with these folks,” he added. “It is household.”
Like everybody else there, present co-owner Jackie Mealey was all smiles, chatting it up with fellow co-owner Tyler Bishop, who welcomed everybody who handed by with a hug. “An important factor is to maintain the neighborhood collectively,” stated Mealey. “And right here comes the sunshine!”
And the solar will maintain shining by the door of So Many Roads — so long as the venue stays on good habits for the following yr. (Failing to take action would end in an computerized 45-day closure, and probably worse.) However for now, this steadfast household is set to remain collectively. For them, the music by no means stopped — and the winds have blown Denver Deadheads safely house.
To search out upcoming concert events at So Many Roads and extra data, go to somanyroadsbrewery.com.