We had the good fortune of connecting with Andy Bercaw and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I started playing music at a young age, and have been a touring musician for nearly twenty years, so traversing into a creative career came very naturally.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I have been the owner of The Oriental Theater for the past 11 years. Previous to that, I owned Cafe Cero on South Broadway which was a restaurant/bar that focused on live music and the arts. After a successful run there, and when the theater became available, I felt it was a natural transition to take over the business. In addition to being a venue owner, I am a touring musician as well as the vice president and music director for City Park Jazz, which is a 10 week summer jazz series here in Denver. The O is one of the last independently owned venues in Denver, and the only truly independently owned live music theaters in the city. In a scene quickly being swallowed up by major entertainment corporations, staying competitive and relevant is especially challenging. We take pride in our creative programming which includes live music, comedy, independent local and touring film, fundraisers, private events and so much more. Our biggest challenge to date has been surviving during a pandemic. We were the first to close and will be the last to fully open. Needless to say, the cost of operating a venue, even while closed, is staggering. Fortunately with the help of our fundraising program, “Friends of the O”, and some grants, we will weather the storm and we highly anticipate re-opening when allowed. We can’t wait to bring our staff back to work and continue our commitment to live music and culture here in Denver.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Until recently, and now sadly closed permanently due to Covid, I would have taken my friend to El Chapultapec in downtown Denver. However, we could still hit Dazzle, Nocturne and The Meadowlark for some great live music, and of course there are tons of great restaurants in town that are still hanging on. And of course since we are in the great state of Colorado, the mountain trips can be endless.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father was a photographer, journalist and musician and inspired me at a very early age to explore my creative side.