DENVER — A popular venue on South Broadway is turning on its music for the first time after a broken water main flooded the basement from floor to ceiling three months ago.
“I spent, I would say, two of those three months being angry… and now we’re here and it’s amazing,” said Scott Happel, co-owner of HQ.
A city water main broke underground in front of HQ on August 15, sending water with such force that it exploded through the brick wall of the building’s basement, HQ Underground. The 3,200 square-foot basement with 10 to 12-foot ceilings was filled with water and mud.
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After three months of scrubbing mud and muck, the dance floor is open again.
“It was one of the places that was kind of the soul of South Broadway, and it was gone,” said Markie Cecelones, who is celebrating the re-opening of the local spot.
But re-opening has been anything but smoothing sailing, said Happel.
“My sort of catchphrase for the last three months is, ‘But it’s only money, right?’” he said.
HQ’s insurance did not cover the damage since the break occurred outside of the venue’s walls. Denver Water avoided paying too because it has liability immunity. The City of Denver, however, did cover the cost of the initial clean-up.
“At the end of the day, we just had to set a lot of money on fire to still be here,” said Happel.
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During the three-month closure, Happel took the opportunity to jazz up the main level, redoing the front of the stage and upgrading the sound system.
The basement is still a work in progress. They hope to open HQ Underground in February or March.
“Once they get that rebuilt, that’ll be really cool to see again. But up here… it’s all about the music,” said Happel.
HQ reopens three months after water main break flooded music venue
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