Nissi’s reopens in larger, renovated Lafayette location – The Denver Post

Nissi’s, which opened at 2675 Northpark Drive in Lafayette in 2006, earned a faithful following and reputation for being a source of memorable nights.

Locals and visitors from afar would visit the supper club to fill up on mouthwatering fare and take in the best of jazz, blues and rock while enjoying a spin around the dance floor.

According to a release, the venue was scheduled to move to a new, larger location from its spot on Northpark Drive, then the pandemic hit. But now, two years later, the beloved entertainment venue is set to enter a new era at a larger location in Lafayette Crossings at 1455 Coal Creek Drive.

While the space will be different and fresh acts will take the stage, staff promises the same top-notch hospitality, returning favorites and the undeniable energy the original establishment delivered for 15 years.

“Nissi’s was and will still be a place for guests to not only listen to and watch live music, but also enjoy, dance and party to the music of their generation,” said owner Marc Gitlin. “The new location will just look to extend to other eras and continue booking an eclectic lineup of music including country, jazz, blues, acoustic, dance, a cappella, rock, comedy and so much more.”

Prior to moving to Colorado, Gitlin lived in New York City and worked in the entertainment and hospitality industries. As manager at Caroline’s Comedy Club in the Big Apple, he booked Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and David Spade, among many other notable stand-up comedians.

At the age of 27, he opened Nowhere Bar outside of New York City and hosted a selection of ‘90s grunge and ‘80s hair-metal bands.

He took over Nissi’s in 2009 and revamped it from an under-the-radar joint to a happening haunt that eventually attracted a bevy of regulars.

“The former location was more of a seated supper club with a small dance floor that required guests to plan and buy their tickets in advance due to our limited capacity,” Gitlin said. “Now, we can be more accommodating by providing reserved seating, a large general admission area and a large dance floor and stage. The new location is also perfectly suited for medium to large-scale private events.”

On April 18, Nissi’s will host an open house from 6-9 p.m. with music by Def Trio, a cash bar and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

April 19 will feature The Longmont All Stars Jazz Band — a group composed of top high school musicians from the region.

“The All Stars are very excited to be one of the first groups to perform at the new Nissi’s location,” said director Bill Wilkinson. “It’s a beautiful venue. Before COVID, we played at Nissi’s several times. Nissi’s has always been the highlight performance for us.”

The band features 20 musicians from Longmont High School, Niwot High School, Silver Creek High School and Erie High School.

“The All Stars play big band, rock and jazz standards,” Wilkinson said. “We play at a very high level. We also have two vocalists.”

Tickets are $10 online and $13 at the door. Looking to add more talent to the crew, the Longmont All Stars Jazz Band is hosting auditions for new members at 5 p.m. April 11 at Longmont Christian School, 1440 Collyer St., Longmont. Should students feel the call to try out, they can access the audition music on The Longmont All Stars Jazz Band’s website.

Nissi’s has welcomed Chris Kresge Jr. as its general manager. Kresge is the son of legendary DJ and musician Chris Kresge, host of “Chris K’s Colorado Playlist” on 105.5 The Colorado Sound.

Kresge Jr. brings his passion for music and extensive experience as former manager of the eatery ViewHouse in Centennial to the position.

“My favorite thing about making the switch is that I get to be a part of the music scene, which I have wanted for over 10 years,” Kresge Jr. said. “I have been playing music for 20 years and always wanted to take my experience in the restaurant business and carry it over to the music business.”

While Nissi’s has yet to open its doors, the music schedule continues to fill up with a diverse selection of acts booked into June.

“The booking in the early months has mostly focused on bringing back our customers’ favorite dance and rock bands as an appreciation of how hard (the pandemic) has been for all of us in the community and entertainment industry,” Gitlin said. “The new, larger space has enabled me to bring in strong national touring tributes.”

On tap is Kalimba, a tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire, along with Elton Dan and the Rocketband, an Elton John tribute. In the coming months, folks can expect more acts to be added to the evolving roster.

“I am now in discussions to bring in some national jam-funk and alternative bands, comedy headliners and some rock legends,” Gitlin said.

While Gitlin is looking forward to bringing in entertainers from outside of Colorado, he is equally as enthused to continue to provide a platform for local talent.

“We are most excited about partnering with Doghouse Studios and Shady Booking in doing a new monthly music showcase featuring some of the area’s best original music bands,” Gitlin said. “In May, we are also bringing Colorado’s most popular country acts, Buckstein and Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts.”

On April 20, ThreeShots — a rock band based out of Fort Collins — will take the stage at Nissi’s for the first time.

“The reputation that Nissi’s carries is staggering,” said Andrew Tatro, guitarist and vocalist for ThreeShots. “Having the opportunity to play such a legendary room is a mix of thrilling, humbling and a little intimidating. Knowing the rich history and all of the amazing acts that have graced the stage at Nissi’s, ThreeShots is honored to play such an iconic space and be part of Nissi’s story.”

There is no cover charge for the April 20 show.

“We have spent our existence carving out our own corner in the music scene with dance-focused, hard-hitting originals,” Tatro said. “We don’t limit ourselves to the standards and try to break out of the worn tropes.”

Attendees can expect to hear elements of hard rock, R&B, rockabilly and funk throughout the set by ThreeShots.

“There’s something to like for everyone, from the blues purists to folks who are looking for something new and innovative,” Tatro said.

While admission is free, ThreeShots will have a merch tent set up. Donations in the tip jar are always appreciated.

“Like many other folks in the music industry — especially homegrown, local acts like us — COVID hit really hard,” Tatro said. “We played where it was practical and safe, and we were thankful to find that Summer of 2021 kept us busy with plenty of outdoor shows and festivals across the state. We spent much of the downtime working on a new album, recording parts separately or remotely when it wasn’t feasible to get the whole group together.”

There will be ample opportunities for folks to boogie in the upgraded space.

“Those who are inclined to dance will have more than enough chances to do so as we have always written and performed with dancers in mind,” Tatro said.

Patrons can also expect fresh and flavorful cuisine to savor while enjoying a rotating live soundtrack.

“Chef Dan Haddad and the rest of the kitchen staff are back at Nissi’s,” Gitlin said. “He will offer an eclectic Mediterranean-influenced menu of shared appetizers, well-prepared entrees and fine desserts to match our amazing entertainment lineup. Our kitchen will stay open later and include a late-night menu.”

The renovation also brought in state-of-the-art elements.

“Nissi’s will feature a new sound and light system designed and installed by RockFan,” Gitlin said. “The upscale and contemporary layout and design was conceived by me and my wife Stacy, Douglass Construction, Caddis Architecture and Shalls Design Studio.”

Some upcoming shows include Deborah Stafford & The State of Affairs, Mojomama and The Long Run.

Next month, Nissi’s will celebrate its official grand-opening weekend with That Eighties Band playing May 6 and Wash Park playing May 7.

“My favorite kind of music is funk with some of my favorite bands being The Motet, Lettuce, Galactic and Vulfpeck,” Kresge Jr. said. “I am very excited to play a part in the booking at Nissi’s. I have never been happier and am so excited to have the dream job I’ve always wanted.”

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