Ace of Spades
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Alias Soapy Smith



In 1896 the Blongers opened Denver's fanciest saloon.


Denver Evening Post, October 6, 1896

Will Be Opened by the Blongers This Evening.
Sam and Lewis Blonger open their magnificent palace saloon at 1628 Stout street, next to the Equitable Building, this evening. It is a veritable palace of luxury—mahogany fixtures and frescoed ceilings at a cost of $8,000—marble floors and an elegant cafe in the rear part of the saloon. In this cafe a fine merchants' lunch will be served from 10 a. m. to 2 p. m. and this will be one of the features of which the genial proprietors will make a specialty. The interior of the new saloon is without doubt one that will be a feast for the eyes of anyone who loves the beautiful. The marble floor will glisten with splendor this evening, and in the language of one of the proprietors, "There isn't an old thng in the house."
This evening the gentlemen in charge will make a special effort to make friends for their new palace—not that they will not always do this, for it is a fact pretty generally known among the boys that Sam and Lew are built on just such plans and specifications. Mat Murray, formerly of the Arcade, Mr. Lockney and Mr. Kelley will be the bartenders in charge, and every one of them is well known in the city as genial, gentlemanly fellows.


Rocky Mountain News, October 25, 1896

...Nowadays men drink like gentlemen and it is little wonder that when they drink they insist on surroundings befitting them. There are gentlemen in Denver who realize this truth. They are the Messrs. Blonger Brothers. They have constructed a temple—a palace—at 1624 Stout street for the accommodation of gentlemen who, for infirmities and for good fellowship, now and then indulge a cup that braces up and cheers. They have named this veritable place The Elite. There is nothing like it anywhere. There is nothing equal to it in richness of material or design or price in any other Western city. It must be seen to be appreciated...


This is the Equitable Building (built in 1892). It's still there — an historic landmark. 17th Street goes left, Stout Street heads to the right. Based on our evidence, in this picture the Elite Saloon is immediately to the right of the Equitable Building.

The Equitable Building, Denver


Elite ad


Rocky Mountain News, February 7, 1897

Blonger's saloon was closed yesterday afternoon on a writ of attachment secured by Attorney Parks.


Rocky Mountain News, February 19, 1897

The inventory of Herbert Emerson, assignee of Blonger Bros., filed in the district court yesterday, indicates that there is not much left for the general creditors. The assets consist of the stock, $3,000, against which there is a chattel of $2,500, leaving an equity of $500. The fixtures are entirely covered with chattel. The liabilities are about $13,000, including the $0,500 [sic perhaps $10,500?] in notes which the chattel mortgages secure.


Rocky Mountain News, March 3, 1897

The saloon and cafe of L. H. and S. H. Blonger, at 1624 Stout street, was sold Monday afternoon by F. W. Parks, under foreclosure, to W. G. Brown, for $3,180.




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