Do you ever feel not so fresh? Spring is about new beginnings and, should you desire to shake things up a bit, Santa Fe now boasts not one, but two new hot spots for the discerning nightlife participant.
Below the beloved Coyote Café and Cantina (which is fully open now, by the way) is a new cocktail lounge called The Den. The venue opened April 7 and features minimalist atmosphere and décor—a bit swankier than other spots around town. Mood lighting sets the tone, and large windows provide an excellent opportunity to check out the action on Water Street. The drinks are similar in extravagance to those at Coyote and are on the more expensive side.
Accordingly, the drink menus light up via small LED lights embedded within and add to the poshness. Luckily, there’s no cover.
Coyote Café and Den partner Sara Chapman has big plans for the new space, including live music.
“We want to stick with live music at The Den because there are plenty of DJ options downtown,” Chapman tells SFR. “We had [bluesman] Todd Tijerina perform for a private party and a lot of people were coming in off the streets to check it out, so we think people will want to have the chance to see actual, live musicians.”
Chapman does not, however, rule out DJs.
“We may have a DJ perform once in a blue moon, just to get people dancing,” she says.
Performers are encouraged to send The Den demos for review.
In the meantime, the venue adds welcome variety to the downtown club landscape, and is sure to fill a missing niche. If you’ve been looking for an upscale place to dress up and take a date, this is the bar you’ve been waiting for.
On the casual end of the spectrum is Plush Ultra Lounge & Cigar Bar, which opened Feb. 28. Nestled in the small house on Paseo de Peralta that formerly housed Diogenes Cigar Club, Plush is a private social club with annual dues of just 10 bucks. Currently, membership is at capacity. This has resulted in dues temporarily marked up to $150 but, according to co-owner Alvin Valdez, new spots will be available near the end of May at the original price.
The best part about Plush is a chance to smoke without glances from nonsmokers who think you’re worse than Hitler. The club offers a variety of cigars and cigarettes, and even a gigantic hookah with a rotating selection of exotic tobacco blends. A full bar with comparable prices to any other downtown club is available, along with an assortment of Marble Brewery beers on tap.
Plush offers a different experience for those tired of smoking in the cold and who’ve always wanted a neat jet-black membership card, which is basically an “I’m cool!” license. The club features several rooms and a dart league in the making—more than you’d expect from something called Plush.
“I think, because we’re called Plush, people might think we’re a little more uppity than we really are,” Valdez says. “In reality, we are very down to earth and easy to get along with.”
Plush hosts three DJ nights a week: with Your Boy Reflex on Wednesdays, Circumference on Thursdays and Luna on Fridays.
“Even though it’s a little small, the dance floor totally gets packed,” Reflex tells SFR.
Guest passes are available for the curious, but chances are you already know a member who will let you tag along. I’ll be there bumping my head to the hip-hop and dance jams. And smoking. Like a bastard.
132 W Water St., 983-1615
Open evenings daily
Plush Ultra Lounge & Cigar Bar
1413 Paseo de Peralta
Open evenings Tuesday-Sunday
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