Most of the outdoor activities that contribute to Coloradans’ active lifestyle aren’t truly complete before enjoying a cold beer. Whether you’re reminiscing on the knee-deep powder runs and perfect weather or hoping for a better day tomorrow, the act of drinking with your crew after an epic day of skiing, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, or fishing is the perfect conclusion to a day spent outside. This après lifestyle is exactly what Number 38 epitomizes as RiNo’s new social gathering place.
Number 38 — so named because Colorado is the 38th state to enter the union — is a new concept created by Colorado natives Spencer Fronk and Andrew Palmquist who saw a hole in the marketplace here. “When you go out in Denver you can have really good music with terrible food or great food with bad music. You couldn’t go somewhere that offered live music all the time without a cover like you can in Austin or Nashville. Here we have the best of everything,” said Fronk.
Upon walking into Number 38 you’ll be greeted by a host who will take your temperature, ID and credit card upfront. You’ll get a wristband that identifies you as over or under 21 and is your method of payment throughout the venue — similar to a music festival. “We are a music festival every day here,” said Fronk. This way all payments are contactless, quick and you don’t have to worry about closing out at the end of the night.
The entire venue supports local businesses around the state and will have 24 beverage partners at a time, offering a range of choices for everyone in your group. You’ll find craft beers from Ratio Beerworks, Upslope, Funkwerks, 4 Noses and more as well as Colorado wines from Carboy Winery, cider from Stem Ciders and liquor from Woody Creek Distillers.
The food options are plenty — featuring four kitchens all run by Chef Merlin Verrier of Street Feud. Verrier ran the culinary program at Lollapalooza for years and is thriving in the Number 38 kitchen. “It’s the best thing I’ve had since Michelin star cooking,” he said. His menu consists of Street Feud favorites like the K-Pop fries, various bao buns and tacos but has expanded to include a variety of bowls, flatbreads and sides. The Indonesian flavors, street food style and high quality, seasonal ingredients Verrier is known for shine in the new concept.
The large garage doors open up the entire northeast side of the building to create an indoor-outdoor concept perfect for any time of year. The 18,000 square foot patio is the largest in Denver — Fronk will go head-to-head with anyone who disagrees — and is home to an outdoor bar, two sand volleyball courts and beautiful, state-of-the-art stage. “We’re excited to bring live music back to Colorado in an accessible way,” said Fronk. Number 38 has talent booked through October that consists of diverse musicians like Zach Heckendorf, Old Man Saxon, DJs and other local bands and plans to have comedy nights, drag shows and other live entertainment through the winter season. “Artists haven’t played so we are going to pack October with a lot of live shows. You’ll experience something new, something exciting,” said Fronk.
Right now Number 38 is operating on a reservation-only basis due to current capacity restrictions but will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 people at a time once restrictions are lifted. Fronk is excited to open before winter because that’s what Colorado is all about, “We’re not scared of the cold weather, we’re from Colorado. Put a puffy jacket on and come hangout.”
Number 38 brings the live music and indoor-outdoor space that are abundant in cities like Austin and Nashville to the Denver market to create a space that feels like home. The large, open space and precautions the team is taking for COVID make it Colorado’s social frontier for any time of year.
Number 38 is located at 3560 Chestnut Place, Denver. Open Thursday – Friday 3 p.m.– midnight, Saturday 11 a.m. – midnight and Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
All photography by Brittany Werges.