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2022 East Colfax Avenue; Denver band Tyto Alba performs at the Lion’s Lair in front of a boozy Tuesday night crowd. —Photos by Benjamin Rasmussen

The Chronicles of Colfax Avenue

A pictorial exploration of Denver's most famous thoroughfare.

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The infamous thoroughfare that served as one of Denver’s main arteries before the Interstate Highway System was born has evolved over time, reshaping itself as the city has changed around it. As one section of this 26-mile stretch of asphalt bleeds into the next, the road’s multiple personalities reveal themselves, illustrating how this noteworthy avenue is so much more than its devilish reputation implies.


9495 West Colfax Avenue
Davies’ Chuck Wagon Diner, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1957 in New Jersey and shipped by rail to Colorado.


2022 East Colfax Avenue
Inside the Lion’s Lair, a small watering hole that has been hosting concerts since 1991—and serving adult beverages since the late ’60s


East Colfax Avenue at Quentin Street
Dr. Chris McStay, 39, chief of clinical operations for the emergency department at the University of Colorado Hospital, pauses in a trauma bay between caring for patients.


9625 East Colfax Avenue
A woman has her hair braided at Mariam African Hair Braiding.


18885 East Colfax Avenue
Kade Jacobs (left), a sales rep for Texas-based Serratelli Hat Company, talks with assistant manager Pancho Vega, who has worked at 48-year-old Corral Western Wear for almost a decade.


8315 East Colfax Avenue
A longtime dancer, who goes by the stage name Legend, at PT’s All Nude II strip club


East Colfax Avenue at City Park Esplanade
Blake Jonsen, 18, a senior at East High School, after raising the flag outside the school as part of his color guard duties in the JROTC, where he is a command sergeant major


9541 East Colfax Avenue
A customer stocks up on “pasteles,” or pastries, at Panadería El Paisa.


3602 East Colfax Avenue
Synthesizer player Dennis Hernandez, 28, before a show at the Lost Lake Lounge in August with his band, Rumours Follow


East Colfax Avenue at Havana Street
Somalia native Haja Nil (left), 42, and her daughter, Mawada Ali, 19, wait for the 105 bus, which runs along Havana Street.


16051 East Colfax Avenue
Mary Mahieu sits on the front steps of her daughter’s home—located in Skyview Trailer Ranch—after picking tomatoes from the garden. Her grandson and one of the family dogs peek out the front door.


East Colfax Avenue at Emerson Street
Jacob Everhart, 26, works out at two-and-a-half-year-old CrossFit Colfax while head trainer and director of operations Jake Humphrey, 33, stands watch.


200 East Colfax Avenue
A woman shares a pipe with a friend on Monday, April 20. The previous weekend, the official 420 rally drew an estimated 125,000 people to Civic Center Park.

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