by Cafe Society
Denver swingers can't catch a break. 3090 Eden, the members-only swingers' club that opened for business just last March, has closed, as has the Downing Street Grill, which was located in the same building at 3090 Downing Street. "It was a lot of money spent, but there wasn't enough support from the community that we were hoping to tap into," says James Riggs, a construction-industry exec who ran both businesses. "If we had opened up the right way, with everything the way we had wanted it, maybe it would have stayed open. But we just didn't have everything in place the way that the swinging world wanted it."
In other words, there wasn't enough swinging going on.
While 3090 provided a bar, food and a place for members of "the lifestyle" to gather, it didn't allow nudity, sex or "play." Riggs says he was trying to work with Denver officials on fire code, building code, liquor-license rules and other issues so that he could establish "play areas," but found himself buried in paperwork -- and swingers weren't willing to wait around.
After all, they'd already been loaded down with rules on the 3090 Eden website: Do Not Be Creepy; Ask Before You Touch -- Ask Once and Only Once; Do Not Open Closed Curtains; Do Not Interrupt Others; Nudity only in designated areas; No sex of any kind past the doors of the play area; Clean Up Your Own Mess.
The building at 3090 Downing has had trouble getting lucky as well. Decades ago it was a church, then for many years it was home to Tosh's Hacienda, which got overly ambitious with an expansion and wound up reneging on a city loan and closing altogether. The spot was later purchased by the folks behind Tracks and Exdo, and since then it's hosted an assortment of restaurants, including Kiva, Blackberries Bar, Swallows and, most recently, Eden, a lesbian-centric vegetarian spot that closed last summer.
The recent history of Denver swingers' clubs has been equally tumultuous. Sugar House, which was founded by infamous escort-service magnate Scotty Ewing on West Alameda Avenue, closed in March 2012 after a liquor-license violation. Ewing, who moved to San Diego, recently returned to Denver, however, and has promised to host a series of patio and pool parties, under the name Sugar House Events, targeting Denver's "young, fit, fun, and sexy open-minded couples and women."
And the Scarlet Ranch, which had occupied a nondescript building at 424 Broadway, was run out of town that same year, following raids and investigations by both the Denver fire and police departments. Owner Kendall Seifert later sued the city, but he has since opened a sprawling new place, called Squirrel Creek Lodge, in the former Northwoods Inn...of all places.