Denver’s licensing department has stripped a nightclub in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of its liquor and dance licenses after employees were caught letting an underage police cadet into the club and serving her a cocktail because she “looked old enough.”
The Viceroy Lounge at 778 Mariposa St. must shut down by Oct. 30, the Department of Excise and Licenses ruled Friday. It was also ordered to pay a $6,000 fine.
The Viceroy markets itself online as an “avant garde rock and roll lounge” with craft cocktails and live music not far from the Santa Fe Art Walk. It has a recent history of infractions, which led to the city’s unusually harsh punishment late last week.
In May 2021, Viceroy owner Adam Crockett admitted the club had violated Denver’s stay-at-home order the previous October and agreed to pay a $1,000 fine. He also agreed not to commit another violation within one year, a promise he and the club did not keep.
Around 10 p.m. on April 22, a member of the Denver Police Department’s vice team arrived at the Viceroy with an underage police cadet. According to Officer Andrew Carman, a bouncer looked at their IDs, including the cadet’s that showed she was underage, and told them they “looked old enough.” They were waved through, according to a report Carman wrote.
Once inside, the cadet went to the bar and ordered a Jack and Coke. Her ID was not checked and she was served the cocktail, according to Carman.
Crockett was told to appear at a hearing June 9 and explain why the club’s liquor and dance licenses should not be suspended or revoked. He did not appear. As a result of his absence and the club’s past problems, a hearing officer recommended that Excise and Licenses either revoke the Viceroy’s licenses or fine it $56,000. The department chose the former.
It is rare for Excise and Licenses to revoke a liquor license. This is the first time it has done so in 2022 and only the third revocation in the past three years. The others were Cabin Tap House and Beta Nightclub last year.
Several requests for comment from the Viceroy Lounge and Crockett were not answered.
The building at 778 Mariposa, which is advertised as “The 778” on signage out front, was purchased for $595,000 in April by Regas Christou. Christou owns several nightclubs in the city through his company CoClubs.
Christou did not respond to an email seeking more information about his plans at 778 Mariposa. In April, he also bought a vacant lot at 768 Mariposa, south of the Viceroy, and requested it be rezoned for a mixed-use development up to five stories tall. That request was unanimously approved by the Denver City Council on Sept. 19.