Mecca joins club scene | AspenTimes.com

Mecca joins club scene

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

An Aspenite with plans to revive the spirit of long-gone legendary nightclubs like the Tippler and Club Soda will open Mecca tomorrow with a Tuesday night tradition: ?70s night.

Jeremy Guterman has leased the former NXT space on the Cooper Avenue mall and is busy remodeling the interior for Tuesday’s debut of Mecca, Aspen’s newest nightclub.

“I was always interested in the club business,” he said. “I always felt that one day I’d do it somewhere, whether in Aspen or someplace else.”

The Aspen High School graduate said he got his start as a coat checker in the old Paragon, which became Club Soda, and later became floor manager there.

Aspen offers world-class skiing and dining, Guterman noted. “My intention,” he said, “is to help in reviving the world-class night life.

“We needed to get into this now. Night life is so important to Aspen ? so important to the community.”

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The resort’s club scene took a couple of hits recently with the closing of NXT and Club Chelsea. Mecca is ready to fill the void.

“We’re going to put the ‘legendary’ back into the night life,” Guterman vowed.

With a lineup of familiar local DJs and DJ Ananda as events organizer, Mecca will offer a diverse musical format that Guterman hopes will appeal to locals and visitors of all ages. In fact, he may step into the DJ booth himself on occasion.

The club will be a nonsmoking venue, he added.

Longtime local Frank DeLuca is in charge of the kitchen, which will be offering a dinner fare of sandwiches, rice bowls, noodle bowls and the like.

Although Aspen’s club scene is notoriously fickle ? the hot new club one year can be forgotten the next ? Guterman aims to keep things fluid at Mecca, and keep the dance crowd entertained.

“I think if you mix it up, keep it fresh and give the people what they want ? I think diversity is the plan,” he said. “Aspen is always in motion. You just have to stay ahead of the game. I think we’re ready.”

A big part of that diversity will come from the DJ booth.

“Really, the idea is to play a little bit of everything for everyone,” Ananda said.

Popular, well-known music early in the evening will give way to a more progressive sound after midnight, he predicted.

The subgrade space at the corner of Cooper Avenue and Galena Street that will house Mecca has seen its share of changes in the past few years.

NXT, a restaurant/nightclub, opened in the space a year ago, run by the owners of Aspen’s Elevation restaurant. NXT closed when the partners’ 10-month sublease was up in October. Before NXT, the space was home to Hannibal Brown’s, a restaurant and nightclub offering live music.