DENVER – Customers are rallying to keep Cold Crush bar open, while neighbors are complaining the establishment has brought more violence into the community.
Denver has the option to pursue seizure of the property 10 days after posting the notice.
In the meantime, the City and County of Denver’s Excise and License Department ordered Cold Crush to close for 15 days for a separate investigation into “disruptive and illegal activities associated with the business.”
Cold Crush has been open for more than three years. It is a restaurant by day and a hip hop club by night. Recently, neighbors believe it has contributed to an increase in violence.
Police have responded to about 179 calls at Cold Crush from Oct. 9, 2015 to Oct. 9, 2016. That does not include last week’s deadly shooting. There was another shooting that injured three people in June 2014.
“I like to see a place that’s growing and expanding in its base. However, we have seen a rise in violence since Cold Crush switched from a small plate coffee house to a club,” a resident named Jay said.
Jay and other neighbors, who wanted to remain anonymous, said Cold Crush customers are responsible for breaking windows, slashing tires and beating down doors in the middle of the night at a nearby condominium complex.
“That’s ridiculous. This is a part of town where there are 16 bars on this street now,” Cold Crush co-owner Musa Bailey said. “For someone to say that we’re provoking it somehow, it’s unfortunate, but we know that that’s not what we’re doing.”
In response to the city’s notice, bar owners, staff and customers are rallying to keep the establishment open.
“I love this place. It’s my neighborhood,” said customer Ashton Barber, who believes Denver is singling out Cold Crush. “It’s just surprising that this happened and then it got shut down so quick, but in reality Market and Larimer need to be shut down too.”
Cold Crush organized an event Monday night, gathering about 100 people to participate in a "public service announcement" explaining why the bar should stay open.
Videographers asked each person to describe what Cold Crush means to them in three words, then give a 30-second speech about the business. Cold Crush plans to push it out on social media for the community and city officials to see.
“Hopefully, we get to move forward and move past this,” Bailey said.
While neighbors said they do not want to see a small business close for good, they have noticed a big change in the past few days.
“Since they received the notice to close their doors, we’ve actually seen a quieter city block,” Jay said.