A neon light show in the Church Nightclub. The dance floor is packed

The 1990s are Alive in Denver

A lot of great things came out of the 1990s including “The Simpsons” television show, the movie Clueless, the internet and Google, and Alanis Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill. The latter will be celebrated via a lively musical of the same name come August 16 though 27 at the Buell Theatre. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus and featuring the Tony-winning book by Diablo Cody, the musical tells the story of the 1990s, all while using Morissette’s iconic, not Ironic, album.

Before the show, tap into the 1990s by visiting some of the Denver’s long-running hot spots, which have been staples here about as long as Jagged Little Pill has been a staple in rock music. From nightclubs to sports venues to restaurants, check out what venues in Denver You Ought To Know that launched in the 1990s.


Exterior of Pablo's Coffee on Colfax

Photo courtesy of Pablo’s Coffee


Though it’s changed locations and style over the years, Pablo’s Coffee and Roaster originally opened in 1995, right in the Denver Performing Arts Complex (where Dazzle will be opening up). Now the coffee shop has spread to three other locations with a whole coffee roasting program that provides custom beans for restaurants around town. The operation is still run by Craig Conner and remains true to the original idea of having a place to gather, relax and get a solid cup of Joe.


An overhead view of Coors Field on a sunny day

Coors Field


While for many people Denver has always hosted the Colorado Rockies, older residents remember when the team officially launched in 1991. In fact, the Rockies were the first Major League Baseball team in the state (there were plenty of minor league teams however). The first game the team ever played was on April 5, 1993, against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Denver’s own stadium, Coors Field, opened in 1995. While the players certainly have changed since the 1990s, sports fans can still enjoy a home game in the stately stadium.


A plate of fried cauliflower, vegan macaroni, and slaw from Watercourse Foods

Photo courtesy of Watercourse Foods


Back in the 1990s it wasn’t easy to find a good vegetarian and/or vegan meal, until Watercourse Foods opened in Capitol Hill in 1998. Over the decades the menu has changed a bit and now there are animal proteins available, but the kitchen still churns out plenty of vegan dishes such as country fried seitan steak, cauliflower wings, buffalo tofu sandwiches and sesame tofu. Watercourse also moved locations, and now diners can enjoy a nostalgic meal at 837 East 17th Ave., in Denver.


The bright pink exterior of Museo de las Americas

Museo de las Americas


In 1991 the Museo de las Americas opened, bringing Denver an institution dedicated to Latin American art and culture. The museum hosts three to five visual art shows each year,but also has programming focused on educating and showcasing both modern and historical aspects of Latino countries. Visit the venue everyday save Mondays in the Santa Fe Arts District at 861 Santa Fe Drive.

Funded by SCFD


A neon light show in the Church Nightclub. The dance floor is packed

The Church Nightclub


Formally a religious institution, The Church at 1160 Lincoln St. has been a unique dance club in downtown Denver for decades. Technically it opened in 1996, but a fire right before the official launch had the building condemned for a few months while the owner got it back up to code. Come for the live music, DJs, gospel drag show and themed nights, and stay to check out the stained-glass art and stunning 140-year-old Gothic architecture.


Exterior of Ball arena

Ball Arena


Chances are you’ve visited the Ball Arena in downtown Denver; it’s one of the largest venues around and hosts the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, Denver Nuggets and numerous musical acts. However, before it was called the Ball Arena it was the Pepsi Center and opened in October 1999. Aside from the name and some updates, not much has changed.


Exterior of the Ogden Theatre

Ogden Theatre


Technically the Ogden Theatre has rich history that starts well before the 1990s, it was built in 1919 after all. However, it was in 1992 when the theater got its second life thanks to live music promoter Doug Kauffman, who rescued it from demolition. Today the venue at 935 E. Colfax Ave. is on the National Register of Historic Places, and hosts around 150 shows a year, mostly live music.


The exterior of a Chipotle restaurant



At this point the fast casual burrito and taco joint Chipotle feels like it has been here forever, but it actually started in Denver in 1993. The first location popped up at Evans Avenue and Gilpin Street, taking over an old Dolly Madison ice cream shop. It’s still there, though there’s little to distinguish it from the other 3,200 shops around the country.


Exterior of the downtown Aquarium

Downtown Aquarium


Go to see the sharks, tropical fish, tigers and sting rays at the aquarium, and while these beautiful sea creatures haven’t been around for decades, the aquarium has. It opened in 1999 under the name Colorado’s Ocean Journey as a non-profit. In 2003 Landry’s Restaurants, Inc bought the institution, renaming in and making it what it is today.