For much of the last century, Colfax was known for its “grit” – seedy bars, porn shops, sketchy porn theaters, and other places associated with characters of ill repute. This scandalous scene even had its own royalty: Sid King. He was the owner of Sid King’s Crazy Horse, a strip club with vaudevillian flair, or, as the man himself put it, ”old-fashioned burlesque with slapstick comedy.” The nightclub impresario lured tourists and celebrities alike with slogans like “best place to bring your wife or girlfriend” and “take a ride on the only revolving bar in Colorado.”
King, a born and raised Denverite, was also a great philanthropist, raising money for indigenous communities, people with disabilities, and Children’s Hospital. He closed the club at Colfax and Marion in 1983 and passed away in 2000, but his legacy lives on. Colfax’s nightlife scene has come alive again in the past few years, thanks in part to Steven Alix, the man behind Tight End, X Bar, and a co-owner of The Squire. While Alix hasn’t matched King’s exploits (yet), he recently opened a new bar/restaurant/nightclub in the old Irish Snug and dubbed it in King’s honor. There’s officially a new Crazy Horse riding on Colfax.
🏳️🌈 City Cast Denver podcast host Bree Davies sat down with Alix and Colfax aficionado slash artistic director for the Sie FilmCenter Keith Garcia last week to talk about how Sid King set the stage for Colfax’s recent reinvention as a queer nightlife destination.