Nissi’s reopens in a larger, renovated location in Lafayette – Boulder Daily Camera
Nissi’s, which opened at 2675 Northpark Drive in Lafayette in 2006, has earned a loyal following and a reputation as a source of memorable evenings.
Locals and visitors from afar flocked to the supper club to fill up on mouth-watering food and enjoy the best of jazz, blues and rock while enjoying a lap on the dance floor.
According to a statement, the venue was to move to a new, larger location from its location on Northpark Drive, then the pandemic hit. But now, two years later, the beloved entertainment venue is about to enter a new era in a larger Lafayette Crossings location at 1455 Coal Creek Drive.
While the space will be different and new artists will take to the stage, the staff promises the same top-notch hospitality, returning favorites and the undeniable energy of the original establishment for 15 years.
“Nissi’s was and always will be a place where customers can not only listen and watch live music, but also enjoy, dance and party to the music of their generation,” said owner Marc Gitlin. “The new location will simply seek to expand into other eras and continue to hold an eclectic range of music including country, jazz, blues, acoustic, dance, a cappella, rock, comedy and more.”
Before moving to Colorado, Gitlin lived in New York and worked in the entertainment and hospitality industries. As manager of Caroline’s Comedy Club in the Big Apple, he booked Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and David Spade, among many other notable stand-up comedians.
At the age of 27, he opened Nowhere Bar outside New York and hosted a selection of 90s grunge and 80s hair-metal bands.
He took over Nissi’s in 2009 and revamped it from an under-the-radar joint to a den that eventually drew a crowd of regulars.
“The old location was more of a sit-down supper club with a small dance floor that required guests to plan and purchase tickets in advance due to our limited capacity,” Gitlin said. “Now we can be more accommodating by offering reserved seating, a large general admission area and a large dance floor and stage. The new venue is also perfectly suited for medium to large private events.
On April 18, Nissi’s will host an open house from 6-9 p.m. with music from Def Trio, a cash bar, and complimentary appetizers.
April 19 will feature the Longmont All Stars Jazz Band, a group comprised of the area’s top high school musicians.
“The All Stars are very excited to be one of the first bands to perform at Nissi’s new location,” said producer Bill Wilkinson. “It’s a beautiful place. Before COVID, we played at Nissi’s many times. Nissi’s has always been the standout performance for us.
The group includes 20 musicians from Longmont High School, Niwot High School, Silver Creek High School and Erie High School.
“The All Stars play big band, rock and jazz standards,” Wilkinson said. “We are playing at a very high level. We also have two singers.
Tickets are $10 online and $13 at the door. Seeking to add more talent to the crew, the Longmont All Stars Jazz Band is holding auditions for new members at 5 p.m. April 11 at Longmont Christian School, 1440 Collyer St., Longmont. If students feel the call to try out, they can access audition music on the Longmont All Stars Jazz Band website.
Nissi’s welcomed Chris Kresge Jr. as general manager. Kresge is the son of legendary DJ and musician Chris Kresge, host of “Chris K’s Colorado Playlist” on 105.5 The Colorado Sound.
Kresge Jr. brings to this position his passion for music and his extensive experience as the former manager of the ViewHouse Restaurant at Centennial.
“My favorite thing about change is being part of the music scene, which I’ve wanted for over 10 years,” Kresge Jr. said. “I’ve been playing music for 20 years and I always wanted to put my experience in the restaurant business to work for the music industry.”
Although Nissi’s has yet to open its doors, the music schedule continues to fill with a diverse selection of acts booked through June.
“Booking in the first few months has been primarily focused on bringing back our customers’ favorite dance and rock bands to appreciate how difficult (the pandemic) has been for all of us in the community industry and entertainment,” Gitlin said. “The new larger space allowed me to bring strong national touring tributes.”
On the program, Kalimba, a tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire, as well as Elton Dan and the Rocketband, a tribute to Elton John. In the coming months, people can expect more acts to be added to the growing list.
“I’m now in talks to bring in national jam-funk and alternative bands, comedic headliners and rock legends,” Gitlin said.
While Gitlin is eager to bring in artists from outside of Colorado, it’s equally excited to continue to provide a platform for local talent.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Doghouse Studios and Shady Booking to host a new monthly music showcase featuring some of the area’s top original bands,” said Gitlin. “In May, we’ll also be featuring Colorado’s hottest country artists, Buckstein and Ryan Chrys and the Rough Cuts.”
On April 20, ThreeShots – a rock band based in Fort Collins – will take the stage at Nissi’s for the first time.
“Nissi’s reputation is astounding,” said ThreeShots guitarist and vocalist Andrew Tatro. “Having the opportunity to perform in such a legendary venue is a mix of thrills, humility and a little daunting. Knowing the rich history and all the incredible acts that have graced Nissi’s stage, ThreeShots is honored to play in such an iconic space and be part of Nissi’s story.
There is no entry fee for the show on April 20.
“We’ve spent our lives carving out a wedge in the music scene with hard-hitting, dance-focused originals,” Tatro said. “We don’t limit ourselves to standards and try to get out of worn out tropes.”
Attendees can expect to hear elements of hard rock, R&B, rockabilly and funk throughout ThreeShots’ set.
“There’s something to like for everyone, from blues purists to people looking for something new and innovative,” Tatro said.
Although admission is free, ThreeShots will have a merchandising tent. Donations in the tip jar are always appreciated.
“Like a lot of other people in the music industry — especially grassroots, grassroots bands like us — COVID has hit really hard,” Tatro said. “We performed where it was convenient and safe, and we were grateful to find that the summer of 2021 kept us busy with many outdoor shows and festivals across the state. We spent a lot of free time working on a new album, recording parts separately or remotely when it wasn’t possible to get the whole band together.
There will be plenty of opportunities for people to boogie in the improved space.
“Those who are inclined to dance will have more than enough chance to do so, because we’ve always written and performed with dancers in mind,” Tatro said.
Customers can also expect fresh and tasty cuisine to savor while enjoying a rotating live soundtrack.
“Chef Dan Haddad and the rest of the kitchen staff are back at Nissi,” Gitlin said. “It will feature an eclectic Mediterranean-influenced menu of shared starters, well-prepared starters and fine desserts to match our incredible range of entertainment. Our kitchen will stay open later and will include a late night menu.
The renovation also brought in cutting-edge elements.
“Nissi’s will feature a new sound and light system designed and installed by RockFan,” Gitlin said. “The upscale, contemporary layout and design was done by me and my wife Stacy, Douglass Construction, Caddis Architecture and Shalls Design Studio.”
Some upcoming shows include Deborah Stafford & The State of Affairs, Mojomama, and The Long Run.
Next month, Nissi’s will celebrate its official opening weekend with That Eighties Band on May 6 and Wash Park on May 7.
“My favorite genre of music is funk, some of my favorite bands being The Motet, Lettuce, Galactic and Vulfpeck,” Kresge Jr. said. I’ve never been happier and I’m so excited to have the dream job I’ve always wanted.