Request to City to Save the Saturday’s Sign at 8315 East ColfaxAvenue

As the City of Denver prepares for H.U.D.-assisted demolition of the former PT’s II, Friday’s and Saturday’s, Famous Chef Restaurant locates at 8315 East Colfax Avenue to make way for a housing development, our neighborhood association has drafted the following letter in hopes of saving the historic sign. Below is a draft of the letter.

The East Colfax Neighborhood Association

In accordance with 36 CFR Part 800, the East Colfax Neighborhood is contacting you with comments on the historic signage and resources located at 8315 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80220 potentially affected by the proposed H.U.D.-assisted demolition of structures located at said address.

The East Colfax Neighborhood Association (ECNA) is a Registered Neighborhood Organization. Our boundaries are East 11th Avenue to East 23rd Avenue between Quebec Street and Syracuse Street and East 11th Avenue to Montview Blvd between Syracuse Street and Yosemite Street. Approximately 8,500 total residences and businesses. Our membership is voluntary and requires an annual dues payment of $10 per household ($25.00 per business).

The neighborhood association supports the H.U.D.-assisted demolition of the building structure located at 8315 East Colfax Avenue; however we have an interest in saving the historic signage located on the property that fronts East Colfax Avenue.

The property was built 68 years ago in 1950 and opened as the Famous Chef restaurant operated by the Willner Brothers, Harry, Jack and Milton Willner, restaurateurs in the Denver area.

The base of the current sign dates to 1950 when it was the Famous Chef Restaurant sign. (See attachment 1, exhibits1-4)

In 1967 Gerald "Jerry" Kernis purchased the property and it opened as a music venue called "Friday's and Saturday's" 50 years ago in 1968.

In 1968 the original Famous Chef Restaurant signage was altered and a new “Friday’s” sign was created with golden arches that included a track of chasing lightbulbs around the perimeter and neon letters for "Dancing" that are still styled in their original 1968 post-Summer of Love font. Also a peace symbol was next to the neon letters. (See attachment 2, exhibits 1-6)

As a music venue, Friday's and Saturday's hosted musicians such as Tommy Bolin, Chicago, Birtha, Davis Brothers Garage Band and Kit Andree.

It was one of many music venues on Colfax Avenue - a street that now hosts some of the most popular venues in Denver, including The Fillmore, The Bluebird and The Ogden. Back then the music stretched further down the strip to clubs like Zanza Bar and the 4 Seasons.

In 1972 Saturday's dropped the "Friday's" from its name and became just “Saturday’s” remaining a music venue and nightclub for over a decade. (See attachment 3, exhibits 1-4)

In 1987 Saturday’s changed from a music venue to an adult strip club and the neon word "Nude" was added to the sign. (See attachment 4, exhibits 1) The sign was painted from yellow to red in 1994. (See attachment 5, exhibits 1-2)

In the 2000’s the property was purchased by PT’s and became PT’s II another strip club and the Saturdays logo was changed to reflect the new ownership. (See attachment 6, exhibits 1-2)

The current sign itself has several interesting features that make it worth saving. The neon letters for "Dancing" are still styled in their original 1968 post-Summer of Love font. The word "Nude" could easily be painted over and replaced with the original peace symbol.

The track of chasing lightbulbs around the perimeter is another great feature that could easily be reanimated.
Although it would be nice to see a replica of the original "Friday's" panel return to the sign, we would be happy to see a different name in that space as long as they keep the rest of the sign intact.

Whether staying in place and adjustments made to include the name of the proposed housing project or by removing elements of the sign including the arches with chasing lights and the neon Dancing sign to be incorporated into a lobby or entrance of the new housing project.

In short, the Saturday's sign is a piece of Colfax history that embodies two of the features that make the street great: live music and neon signs. It should be saved.


Tom Fesing, Board Member At-Large
Licensing and Zoning Committee Chair
The East Colfax Neighborhood Association
PO Box 201273
Denver, Colorado 80220
East Colfax Neighborhood Association PO Box 201273 Denver, CO 80220 USA
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