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The Velvet Elk Lounge, a new music venue on 13th Street in Boulder, will open Sunday with an album release party. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
The Velvet Elk Lounge, a new music venue on 13th Street in Boulder, will open Sunday with an album release party. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
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As Boulder’s music scene begins to rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic, a new venue will soon give local artists a stage to crank up the sound and get people back on the dance floor.

This weekend the public is invited to listen to live music, sip on a cocktail — or two — and dance at Boulder’s new venue the Velvet Elk Lounge, 2037 13th St. The lounge is the Big Red F Restaurant Group’s latest endeavor, said Dave Query, chef-owner of the group. The group also owns several restaurants, including Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, The West End Tavern and Centro Mexican Kitchen.

“We are really excited,” Query said. “We’ve wanted to do it for a long time and certainly the pandemic was not the time to open anything. We are hoping we are getting through the heaviness, although we are going to go slow because we are not through it yet. We are going to proceed with caution.”

The lounge will hold a private event on Saturday for friends and family but will formally open to the public on Sunday. During the public event, the Strangebyrds will perform as part of an album release party. The bar will open at 4:30 p.m., and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. Drinks and food will be limited during the Sunday event.

Tickets are $21.99 and are available at bit.ly/3kXABH2. People can sign up for the lounge’s newsletter at velvetelklounge.com to be notified when tickets for future performances are available for online purchase.

Query said the venue is in a shotgun building that has a bar in the front and stage in the back. The lounge will showcase local bands, DJs and will also have open mic nights, comedy shows and dance parties. In addition to drinks, it will offer small shareable foods such as spicy fried Korean chicken saam, fried mushrooms and chicken poutine.

“This will be a small room with a good sound system and great little stage and a fun little place to get some drinks and listen to live music,” Query said.

The lounge will be open seven days a week starting at 4:30 p.m. with last call for alcohol at 10:30 p.m. on weekdays and 11:30 p.m. on weekends.

“We are just trying to add to the live music in Boulder and continue the tradition of venues that provide great local live music,” he said.

Before the Big Red F Restaurant Group took over, the building was occupied by Silver Vines Winery. The Big Red F Restaurant Group previously had a small space available for events in the back of The Post Chicken & Beer on 13th Street, said Downtown Boulder Partnership CEO Chip.

“It’s a much needed element to the cultural environment down here,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have venues like eTown and the Boulder Theater, but this is a very different style and size.”

Boulder Chamber President John Tayer said the Velvet Elk Lounge will help Boulder turn a corner and reignite the city’s vibrant music scene.

“What it reflects is an opportunity to maintain Boulder’s character as a great place for business and a place that has wonderful attractions,” Tayer said.

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