FOX31 Denver

LoDo nightclub shut down for social distancing violations

DENVER (KDVR) — The Beta Nightclub in Lower Downtown Denver has been shut down indefinitely. The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment ordered the establishment’s closure for repeatedly violating the city’s Safer-At-Home order.

DDHPE issued the bar’s owner a citation Monday afternoon for what investigators witnessed at the nightclub on June 20.

Video obtained by the FOX31 Problem Solvers shows the club packed with people on the dance floor and at the bar, with minimal mask wearing and no social distancing.

“We did everything we could, you know, to comply. There are some customers not willing to keep their masks on or comply with social distancing and now we are suffering. We got shut down,” said Valentes Corleons, the owner of Beta Nightclub, which is located near 19th and Blake streets.

The 50-year-old told FOX31 the city has been harassing him for three years and he feels like his nightclub was targeted, “Because of the type of music I play and the crowd that I attract.”

But a spokeswoman for DDPHE said the citation had nothing do with hip-hop music or the diverse crowd to which Beta appeals.

DDPHE had already issued the club a citation on June 16, for violating the city’s public health order for operating as a bar. The City and County of Denver received 11 complaints from the public that Beta was open for business when it shouldn’t have been. 

Since June 17, DDPHE said it has worked closely with Beta Nightclub to help it understand the requirements of the public health order.

Corleons told the Problem Solvers his club turned away 700 customers Saturday night to keep capacity at 100 inside the club and did temperature checks before customers were allowed inside. It also provided masks to those who showed up without one.

“Every time somebody tried to dance, tried to get up, we asked them, ‘Please, this is the rule. Please comply.’ You know, we did our best,” Corleons said.

Corleons said he hired 22 security guards to enforce the rules but said he was put in a difficult spot because “Security cannot put his hand on them (customers).”

The City of Denver said Corleons can appeal the order to close.