El Chapultepec, historic Denver jazz venue, closes permanently after 87 years in business

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DENVER – One of Denver’s oldest music venues has closed after nearly 90 years in business, due, in part, to the novel coronavirus.

In a Facebook post Monday, the owners of El Chapultepec wrote the decision to close up shop was “multifactorial” and said more details about the closure of the bar and legendary jazz venue would be released to local news outlets during a news conference Tuesday.

“Krantz family sends our love to all who this decision affects, we did not take it lightly. The Pec is a living, breathing, member of both our family and the Denver community. … though we know it’s the right thing to do. We morn (sic) with you.” Singer Jessica Jones, who performed weekly at the venue for the past seven years, said she was devastated by the news.

“When I first started singing, people told me I needed to go to New York or L.A. in order to have a singing career, and the growth of the music scene in Denver of the last 10 years, it has enabled me to have a full-time career here,” she said.

“Pec was very important to me,” said Venus Cruz, a performer and former DJ. “Before I was singing and all the things throughout the years, it was always the Pec. That’s where I learned jazz and that’s what I learned what I was listening to and how meaningful jazz was. And I am the kid from the Bronx.”

Both told Denver7 the closure of El Chapultepec is a really big loss for the local music scene, but Jones said the owner is “looking to move on.”

El Chapultepec opened in 1933 and hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Tony Bennett.