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Number 38 opens in RiNo with COVID-friendly music space

Number 38 looks at the future of going out, leaning into COVID restrictions with contactless payment, 31,000-sqaure-feet of space and live music.

DENVER — While the new COVID-19 dining restrictions were a challenge for many Denver restaurants and bars, one new spot has embraced them and even added their own ideas.   

Spencer Fronk and Andrew Palmquist started Number 38 with music in mind.   

“Think Nashville [or] Austin where you don’t have to pay a cover or buy a ticket,” Fronc said. “You just walk in with your reservation then you’re going to get a show while you’re here.”   

Live concerts are just one of the many things the pandemic changed this year. 

“People are dying to get outside right now, find a safe space where they can meet up with their friends who they’ve already been socializing with in their safe circles,” Fronk said. “We’re just providing that outlet here.” 

Credit: KUSA

But rather than panic over COVID restrictions, they embraced them, which is a little easier when you have as much space as they do.  

“We have 31,000 square feet of space here,” Fronk said.  

But they went a few steps farther.  

“Contactless always was the plan, just using wrist bands,” Palmquist said.  

At the door is the only time you pull out a credit card and ID, then you’re given a one-time use wristband that you scan each time you order. Their reservations are done in blocks.  

“In between those slots we empty the entire facility and disinfect the entire space,” Fronk said. “Nobody’s sitting at that table before you show up.” 

Credit: KUSA

At the bar, guests will find a rotating list of local breweries, wineries and distillers from around the state.   

“Colorado’s the 38th state in the union so we really wanted to lean into the best of Colorado,” Palmquist said. “It’s all local and focused on Colorado.”

Number 38 is working to support small businesses in a time when so many are struggling to get by and changing the way we look at going out. 

“Luckily a lot of things we had planned, the wristbands, the spacing, the outdoor-indoor feel was already in place, so we’re just leaning into it more,” Fronk said. 

They’ll have heaters outside and are planning to continue live music all winter long. 

Right now, Number 38 is open Thursday through Sunday by reservation only.  

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