Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
Patrons have until closing time Sunday morning to say farewell to Catacombs Bar.
The downtown Boulder stalwart that for 45 years occupied the basement of the Hotel Boulderado, 2115 13th St., will pour its last pints Saturday into Sunday as management moves to remodel the space and reopen it under a new concept and name.
The aptly-named Catacombs was granted its liquor license on March 3, 1969, according to general manager Mike Larkin. It was one of the first licensed drinking establishments in Boulder after a city-wide liquor ban was lifted earlier in the decade.
"Definitely everybody should come say good bye to what has been a Boulder icon for many years," Larkin said, noting the bar is running specials throughout the week to commemorate its closing.
Boulderado owner Frank Day announced plans to close and redesign Catacombs, as well as make some changes to Q's and The Corner Bar, the hotel's other dinning and drinking establishments, in November.
While Day floated ideas such as turning the space into a modern speakeasy or lounge bar, Larkin on Saturday offered the first specifics of what will replace Catacombs.
It will be named License No. 1, Larkin said, in reference to Catacombs place in Boulder bar history. The theme also will have strong ties to Boulder's past.
"It's going to be more a part of the history of the hotel," Larkin said, referring to the more than century old Boulderado. "It's going to have a historic feel to it, and it's going to be like going back in time when you go in there. We just want to have a good feel about the place."
The new bar will emphasize providing a variety of fine liquors, fresh cocktail ingredients and products from in-state suppliers, Larkin said, specifically mentioning the Breckenridge Distillery and Denver-based Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey.
"There is going to be a lot of live music. A lot of different kinds of music," Larkin said, noting a piano will be moved into the bar and piano players will be brought in on occasion.
For all the changes some things will remain that same.
Larkin said all of Catacombs staff will be brought back when License No. 1 opens. April 26 has been selected as a tentative opening date, he said.
The pool tables and bar games that occupied the space beyond the bar's bathrooms will also remain there, Larkin said.
News of Catacombs' impending end was met with a mix of mourning and optimism on Pearl Street on Saturday.
Rose Schmidt, 27, said she was hardly a regular, but she stopped by Catacombs from time to time over the last three years. While she is curious about the new concept, she will miss the old basement bar's unique charms.
"I like dive bars," she said. "I'm a fan of having old, shady dive bars that have been around a while and have a familial feel."
Boulder resident Anders Carlson, 25, said he made regular stops at Catacombs over recent years and always liked the vibe there. Even so, he said he is open to the planned changes.
"I think it's cool for a spot to be focusing on Colorado breweries and distilleries. I'm definitely supportive of that," he said. "I'm not nostalgic. I'm sure it will be cool."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Joe Rubino at 303-473-1328 or firstname.lastname@example.org