“When we started out, we were living on $75 a day and eating Top Ramen, sleeping in the bar most of the time,” Phil Bianchi says of opening Quixote’s True Blue in 1996. “When we made it through the first month and paid rent, we high-fived and jumped around. Then we had to worry about the next month.”
This uphill battle to keep Quixote’s alive continued for Phil, 38, and his brothers Jay, 36, and Aric, 32, long after they first unlocked its doors on seedy East Colfax Avenue. To make ends meet, the neophyte business owners strained to cater to two crowds: the graveyard shifters ready to belly-up at 7 a.m. and young party animals still going strong at 2 a.m. Along with help from Aric’s wife, the three kept Quixote’s open 19 hours a day.
“We could have given up about 30 times when we started, but it’s just something worth fighting for with us,” Jay says. “Everything started as just a gathering place for like-minded people to trade tapes, talk about the Grateful Dead, and enjoy the company of similar people.”