- Brienne Boortz
- Work in progress: Rugged mixes with glam.
By now you've heard: The old home of Vue, at 25 N. Tejon St., will be the new home of Cowboys, which has been located at 3910 Palmer Park Blvd. for the past couple decades. But if you're a country fan, chances are you have an unanswered question: What will happen to the old Cowboys a club beloved for its genuine honky-tonk feel, big-name country acts and worn wooden floors?
Sorry, dudes, it's gone. Doors will close some time in March, probably around the same time the new Cowboys opens. The Bellamy Brothers will play the old joint on Saturday, March 1, and that might be the last show.
Owner Sam Guadagnoli says the old Cowboys, situated in a deteriorated strip mall, could become a different country-western club under new ownership, or it might transform into an indoor skate park. Guadagnoli is considering retaining the space for the occasional concert, or selling it to someone else who would do the same.
Right now, it's up in the air.
In the meantime, he's planning to put another Cowboys location or maybe two on Powers Boulevard. (No exact whens or wheres quite yet.) And he's working with business partner Chuck Schafer to make the most of the new downtown bar.
"It's a work in progress," Schafer says, smiling through the fog of sawdust in the club on a Monday morning.
Workers buzz around him, carting glass and wood.
While plenty remains to be completed, the Tejon Street building is starting to look rustic. A fake tree trunk stretches floor to ceiling, as though rooted in the floor. There is an antler chandelier, tin-roofed bars, faux brick emerging from distressed stucco on the walls, and saddles, saddles, saddles.
Mirror balls, Vue's final remnants, roll around, abandoned, on a new wooden dance floor in the center of the big room.
The new Cowboys will feature a $175,000 lighting rig, Schafer says, and a sound system at least twice as powerful as the one at the old Cowboys.
Schafer and Guadagnoli say a lot of thought went into the club. Of course, they're hoping Cowboys will attract less violence (and bad publicity) than Vue.
"Cowboys has a good clientele," Guadagnoli notes. "I have never heard of a country gang."
On the business side, the two expect a smooth transition. Guadagnoli points out the new club should draw cowboys and cowgirls from as far away as Woodland Park, plus from the west side and downtown.
He points to other businesses that cater to country fans prospering nearby: Both the World Arena and the Pikes Peak Center bring in country acts, and the Norris-Penrose Event Center draws the horse-loving crowd. Bottom line: The Western spirit isn't exclusive to one part of town.
However, the easy (and free) parking that so many Cowboys customers are used to is harder to find downtown.
"Parking was one of our first thoughts," Schafer says. But he and Guadagnoli feel an affordable, nearby parking garage should provide plenty of space for customers to ditch the truck, come inside and brush up on their cowboy cha-cha.