This is a restaurant on the historic Welton St. The name translates to "good acid" in Dutch. This pub is famed for its outstanding beer. It resides in a building that has a long history. In the 1920s it was Smith Louis Billiards. In the 1950s it Rices Tap Room and Oven and the Simmons Hotel. It was renovated in 2015. Owner Otha Rice, had ties to starting the Juneteenth celebration in Denver. During renovations of the building an old mural from the 1930s was uncovered.
Backstory and Context
This bar is the current occupant of a historic building. The location has a rich history. It was home to Smith Louis Billiards. A most notable tenant was Rices Tap Room and Oven. This old haunt was owned by Otha Rice. He is credited for bringing the Juneteenth celebration to Denver. In 2015 the building was renovated. During construction, Goed Zuur and Star Mesa Property uncovered a sweet surprise.
This building was built in 1895. It housed Smith Louis Billiards in the 1920s. In the 1950s Otha Rice established Rice’s Tap Room and Oven. The tap room included a jazz and blues club, bar and restaurant on the first floor. The Simmons hotel was on the second floor. Locals enjoyed live jazz and blues weekly sessions on “Blue Monday.”
Otha Rice, originally from Texas, moved to Denver as a young boy. He graduated from Manual High School in 1934. He went to college in Chicago, but returned to Denver afterwards. He worked as a porter on the railroad and postal mail carrier. It was at the Tap Room that he became an honorable name for the African American Community. He and others brought the Juneteenth celebration to Denver. Juneteenth is the holiday that celebrated the abolition of slavery in Texas. Rice hosted an event each year until 1966. The Five Points Business Association now runs this event.
In 2015 the building was renovated. The Star Mesa Property group plugged $1 million into the project. The brick facade was covered with stucco in the 1940s. During removal of the stucco, a classic Coca-Cola mural was uncovered. Goed Zuur opted to preserve the mural. The painting is dated to the 1930s. After a painstaking restoration, the building reopened in 2017. Goed Zuur is now slinging drinks. They specialize in sour beers, and delicatessen plates. Their name means “good acid” in Dutch.
Five Points - Whittier Neighborhood, The Denver Library. Accessed June 26th 2020. https://history.denverlibrary.org/five-points-whittier-neighborhood-history.
Chapter 2: Out of Rubble a Palace Appears, Goed Zuur. September 9th 2017. Accessed June 30th 2020. https://goedzuur.com/blogs/news/chapter-2-out-of-rubble-a-palace-appears.
Rolett, Burl. Developer reviving Welton St. building, Business Den. July 9th 2015. Accessed June 30th 2020. https://businessden.com/2015/07/09/developer-reviving-welton-st-building/.
The Denver Library