Posted: Thursday August 17, 2017
The History of the Taxidermist and Fur Shop at the Jonas Brothers Furs Building
Although the Jonas Brothers Building is now home to Bar Standard and Milk, it has a history that dates back to 1923, when the building was built for the Jonas Brothers. (No, not the pop group), but a group of brothers who immigrated from Hungary to America in the early 1900s.
Coleman Jonas and his younger brother John started their own taxidermy business in 1908 while younger brother Louis Paul immigrated from Hungary to join the business the following year. Not long after that, brothers Leslie and Guy came into the fold. As the brothers made hunting trophies for their sportsman customers and high-end dioramas (some of which can still be seen in Denver Museum of Natural History) they built their company into one of the most successful taxidermy businesses in America.
With the success came a need for more space to accommodate their growing business as well as enter a new venture: furs. Once they moved a few doors down to the bigger digs at 1037 Broadway, they set up a cold storage plant for both retail and wholesale furs.
There was fur saloon, taxidermy display room and offices were on the first floor while the second floor was where the brothers made fur rugs and manufactured custom furs. A new taxidermy studio took over the entire third floor and included a well-lighted studio for modeling animals.
Iconic History and Signage
One of the best and most enduring features of the building is its rooftop neon sign, which was added in the late ‘20s as neon signs were introduced to America. Although changes to marketing in the area led to the prohibition of neon signs, the Jonas Brothers still stands as the oldest known surviving neon rooftop sign in Denver.
Over the next five decades, Jonas Brother Furs company occupied the building until moving out in the 1970s. Since then, the building has housed several tenants and has been more recently home to two premier South of Colfax (SoCo) Nightlife District venues, Bar Standard and Milk Bar.
Today’s Two Venues
Bar Standard has one of the best rooftop patios in Denver and offers views of downtown and the spectacular surrounding mountains. The multi-tiered patio provides ample seating, an outdoor bar and music to compliment your night in the great outdoors. From the patio, you can see the Jonas Brothers Furs sign up close and personal while taking in the sunset or lights of the city.
Inside, Bar Standard has a large stage and dance floor as well as a VIP seating area, side patio. The venue’s Art Deco speakeasy feel is an ideal match for the historic building. Check out our upcoming events, which feature some of the best DJs in the world.
Milk Bar, located in the basement of the building, offers posh seating, a Jazz Room, and privacy in the Green Room and Red Room, as well as an arcade. With a checkered milk bar, which was based on the Korova Milk Bar in the cult film, A Clockwork Orange, the venue has underground and intimate experience. Milk has long been one of the best places for ‘80s, ‘90s, and retro/goth club nights. Come check out one of our upcoming events. Don’t forget, at Milk Bar, theme and genre-related clothing or costumes are always encouraged.
SoCo welcomes you to both of our venues in this truly historic and beautiful building. Both locations offer exposed brick walls, relaxed atmospheres, and great music for you to dance the night away.