Iconic Denver Jazz Bar El Chapultepec Closes After 87 Years

Amber Fisher
·2 min read

DENVER, CO — One of Colorado's oldest bars is closing for good, and countless fans are heartbroken.

The Denver jazz club and bar El Chapultepec, at 20th and Market streets near Coors Field, has been around since 1933.

The bar was known for cultivating a diverse social scene and of course, showcasing countless talented musicians and jazz legends for decades.

The Krantz family, which runs the bar, said they're in mourning alongside their loyal patrons.

“[The] Krantz family sends our love to all who this decision affects, we did not take it lightly," the family said in a Facebook post Monday.

"The Pec is a living, breathing, member of both our family and the Denver community."

Like what you’re reading? Invite a friend to subscribe to free Denver newsletters and real-time email alerts.

The family said their decision to close was "multifactorial;" however when a GoFundMe was posted for El Chapultepec on March 23, it became clear the bar was struggling after the pandemic hit.

El Chapultepec opened in 1933, but the bar didn't regularly host live jazz musicians until Jerry Krantz inherited the business from his father-in-law Tony Romano.

The mainstay has since hosted music legends Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran and many other stars.

But don't let the stardom fool you — the 'Pec' was open to everyone, and to make that clear, Krantz made sure there was no cover charge and no dress code. People without a dollar to their name could hang out alongside millionaires and listen to the same music.

In a Facebook post, the non-profit concert producer Levitt Pavilion Denver said it's "crushed" to hear the news of the bar's closure.

"The Pec was the Denver staple, a magical jazz club that survived everything that has been thrown at them until COVID-19 knocked them out," the post read.

"This has been a challenging year for our music ecosystem. Venues are struggling, artists are struggling, and music lovers are longing to get back to listening to live music."

The organization asked the community to help musicians and independent music venues by supporting the Save Our Stages initiative.

GoFundMe is a Patch promotional partner.

This article originally appeared on the Denver Patch