The Mercury Cafe in Denver bought however it’s going nowhere – The Denver Publish

Poetry nights, tarot readings, book signings, live bands and dances, organic meals accompanied by local musicians – the list of community offers at the Mercury Cafe over the past 45 years goes on.

And after a sale very early on Tuesday, June 22nd, the Merc will also continue to operate under new owners.

“I was really lucky because I was afraid the Mercury would be developed or something,” said founder Marilyn Megenity.

The longtime astrologer and cook founded her community café in 1975 at her first location in Indian Hills. Now, at 70, she is passing the business and properties on to three Denver partners and fans of space, entrepreneurs Danny Newman, Christy Kruzick and Austin Gayer.

“I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring the Mercury into a good, safe future in the year before COVID,” Megenity said. “It is not a wise bet that it will rest on an old woman’s shoulders.”

For Newman, Kruzick, and Gayer, the Mercury was wrapped in its own Denver story and needed to be saved.

“Within minutes of seeing the (property) listing, I called Marilyn and said something like, ‘I don’t have a plan, but I just wanted to call and tell you we can’t lose this place. and we can figure something out to make it work, ‘”Newman recalls. “I only know, purely emotionally, that it had to happen.”

They closed on sale at 5:15 a.m. on Tuesday – a time Megenity chose to position the stars to ensure Mercury’s bright future – for just over $ 2 million. She bought the property in 1990 for $ 157,000 after 15 years in the business.

When the business started in 1975, “I had a little bit of money, less than $ 2,000,” Megenity said, “and I thought I knew how to run a restaurant because I’d worked at some … I thought, okay, me I’ll be an actress and a star in Hollywood one day, and that’s going to be my job for now. And (a few years later) I realized that my goal was community. “

Once at a permanent home on Denver’s California and 22nd Street, Megenity cared for the same Mercury ward that would one day save her life’s work.

Newman, 40, recalls growing up in Denver in the 1990s, when the Mercury was “sort of a cultural hub for everything,” he said. “Everything that happened there was cool: poetry readings, jazz bands and on top of that all the great big national acts that got through.”

“I spent my formative years there, probably several times a week,” he added.

His wife Kruzick took her final driving test with her parents when she was 15, navigating to and from the Mercury, where she would inevitably spend her free time. And Gayer also found sociable dance evenings in the café when he moved to Denver.

“We want to make sure Marilyn and the staff know we’re not going to change anything,” Newman said. “We are there to leave it as it is. We are not closing, we are not carrying out any renovation work, but will continue as before for the foreseeable future. “

Community members can check out Newman’s work in My Brother’s Bar, which he bought in 2017, to get an idea of ​​how the tech entrepreneur is preserving Denver institutions.

And Megenity will still be around the Mercury Cafe for the foreseeable future. She plans to help a lot during the transition in the coming weeks, and then less to enjoy the space as a friend and client.

Along with her longtime collaborators (who will stay), Megenity spent her last weekend owning the Mercury, enjoying performances by Hadgaba, Gora Gora Orkestar and Spicy Pickles. She hosted her 33rd annual poetry rodeo, and hosted community yoga, a book signing, and the solstice party.

It was just a typical weekend for the Merc, but a “spectacular” one for the retiree, full of dance, poetry and music – “and I plan to keep doing it,” Megenity said emotionally.

Subscribe to our new food newsletter, Stuffed, to get Denver food and drink updates delivered to your inbox.

Comments are closed.