Less than a month ago, the artsy club in RiNo called Yeah Baby closed its doors after six months in operation in order to renovate. Then, an opportunity to reopen a disco-centric club in LoDo popped up, and they, of course, said, “yeah, baby” to the space. Within four days, the team behind Yeah Baby opened a little sister version — called Neon Baby — on Thursday, May 9 adjoined to Lodo’s Bar and Grill.
One of the selling points on the location for Neon Baby was the historic nature of the building — constructed in 1889 as “the classiest bordello in the Rocky Mountain West,” according to the plaque on the front. In 1911 it changed hands to Mattie Silks and continued to operate as a brothel until 1915. In a dramatic change of events, from 1920 to 1998, the building became a Buddhist temple. But after that, the so-called House of Mirrors lay dormant until this past Thursday.
Even though the transformation to Neon Baby feels a little rushed, the narrative and atmosphere of the space are right on. Think Legends of the Hidden Temple meets Tron — a great mixture of old and new. On the first floor, mirrors on the ceiling reflect the saccharine colors from the backlit bar and the vertical striped wallpaper that defined the RiNo location. Tropical plants line the arched front windows, softening the stone backbone of the building.
If you stay on the first floor, the magic of Neon Baby will be lost on you because upstairs is where you’ll find the disco ball. Even the most skeptical club goers are enchanted by the illusions created when lights bounce off a disco ball, and the second floor is designed to enhance that experience. The disco ball is so central to the design of the club that walking through it can feel dizzying — like the walls and floor are revolving around you. The narrow room is punctuated by the same DJ booth that occupied Yeah Baby on one end and an illuminated blacklight bar on the other.
There are only a few couches and other seats to take a break, but the purpose of Neon Baby is to dance so the limited options are entirely purposeful. Don’t expect to stop in and enjoy a cocktail and conversation — go here if you want to dance your problems away.
For refreshments, expect more club-oriented drinks, which are easily held while dancing. Cocktails like the Mirror Luv ($10) with vodka, WTR MLN WTR and lemon or the Whiskey Dix ($10) with Bulleit, ginger beer and lemon are simple yet effective. Otherwise, expect cans — from Montucky Cold Snacks ($5.50) to Infinite Monkey Theorem’s canned rosé ($8). Unlike Yeah Baby, the partnership with CapRock doesn’t appear to be a piece of Neon Baby. Additionally, the new spot is going back to a more traditional order-at-the-bar setup rather than Yeah Baby’s waiter-delivery system.
Neon Baby is open at 1942 Market Street every Thursday to Saturday from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.