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Meet Nicole Mattson of Nocturne in RiNo Arts District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Mattson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Nicole. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been in hospitality for over 15 years, working in hotels and creating experiences for guests, but always hopeful that I could take the entrepreneurial leap someday. That leap came in 2014, when we signed the lease on a warehouse space in RiNo that included a forklift, a sketchy staircase and beautiful tall acoustically magic original wood ceilings. We poured some literal blood, sweat, and tears into repurposing 1330 27th Street into Nocturne.

We dreamt of making Nocturne into a place that would make jazz more accessible to a broader audience. After visiting a number of jazz venues across America, we determined that food, drink, and community was all necessary components to making a modern jazz club thrive. We opened the doors in March 2015 and are proud to have brought the modern jazz and supper club experience to life now for over two years. Our cocktails are some of the best in Denver, our menu includes a tasting menu that is inspired by a jazz album, our culinary team is putting out dishes that are unexpected at any restaurant much less a jazz venue. Our entire team is as passionate about hospitality as they are music.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a restaurant is a roller coaster ride! We had to raise capital and find believers in both jazz and in food and beverage as a business. It wasn’t easy and we are eternally grateful to those that took that leap of faith with us. After the struggle of fundraising, came opening the doors on a business model that was rather untested. How would people feel about the music? How could we ensure fair pay for musicians even as we built an audience? How could we position Nocturne to be an unforgettable experience, even for those less well-versed in jazz? These were all questions that we wrestled with and found answers for along the way. I believe we are always learning and always working to get better. It’s part of the fun and the challenge of being a business owner.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Nocturne – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We’re a modern jazz and supper club that combines the art of music, culinary arts, and great cocktails and wine. One thing that makes me most proud is the support that we’ve been able to give the live music community in Denver. By offering musicians a residency, we give them a chance to treat Nocturne as more than just a gig. Many musicians use their residency as a launch point for a new project or new album. It’s thrilling to see a group perform for their first time as a band and then hear them again at the end of eight weeks and know that they’ve developed a relationship on stage that might spark something even bigger.

As for what sets us apart, I am always telling the staff that our goal is to create a great night out for every guest. For some, the music might do that alone, but for many, it’s the combination of delicious food, balanced and creative cocktails, warm hospitality and just the magic of the ambiance once you’re inside Nocturne.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Check out Noble Riot! We are excited to be opening an unpretentious, fun, adventurous wine bar right next door to Nocturne. It is a little more casual and a lot more off-the-cuff, allowing a relaxed vibe when compared to the elegance of Nocturne. With a great group of knowledgeable “wine geeks” running the program over there, I’m so excited for our neighbors to have a place they can comfortably explore new wines.

Pricing:

  • At Nocturne, there is a nightly artist fee that generally ranges from $8 – $19 per person. The fee allows us to pay all our musicians for their work.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
University of Denver Magazine

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