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'Normal stuff that would happen on Colfax' blamed as Hangar bar closes after 80 years

The Hangar Bar has been on East Colfax Avenue for 80 years. But, it's being forced to close because the city calls it a public nuisance, citing high crime.

DENVER — Since before World War II, the Hangar Bar has been a part of life on Colfax Avenue in Denver and a part of life for Moose Roy.

"I've been coming in here 26 years. I've worked here off and on for 20 years," Roy said.

He calls himself a "consulting bartender" and loves to hang out with friends like Katie Warne.

"It's a place that I've been coming to before and after I worked here," Warne said.

But, after all the time on East Colfax Aveue, the bar with the airplane theme has to depart.

"There is a very realistic possibility that this is our last day," Warne said.

The city has ordered that the bar be shut down.

"At 2 a.m., we're going to be forced to close our doors," Roy said.

Roy says the issue isn't what goes on inside the bar, but what happens outside the bar on Colfax.

"Normal stuff that would happen on Colfax, whether it be prostitution or drug dealing, whatever," Roy said. "Nothing has happened in this bar. But, we've been wrongly associated with things that have happened in the neighborhood."

It's the neighborhood that has complained to police. Denver Police spokesman John White says The Hangar Bar has a history of officers responding to the locatio, calling the Hangar Bar a "public nuisance" because it's a source of crime.

"If illegal activity is going on there, you have to address that location," White said.

Warne scoffs at the idea of rampant crime at the bar.

"Not everyone here is drug dealing, you know, like come on seriously," Warne said.

For now, Friday night will be the final night for The Hangar Bar. This is an event nearly 80 years in the making -- to the day.

"Actually, tomorrow we were supposed to have our 80-year anniversary party," Roy said.

Saturday, The Hangar Bar will be closed. The bar owner, Lorie Thomas, says is trying to work with the city to get her bar reopened. She says she has worked over the last 12 years as the owner improving the bar and its security measures. The city will hold hearings on the bar's future next month.

Roy believes somehow the Hangar Bar will hang on.

"We have this thing we say here, 'We are Hangar Bar,'" Roy said.