Hidden in plain sight in Denver’s RiNo, just off Larimer Street and around the corner from Central Market, a skip away from the Central Market, Nocturne Jazz and Supper Club sits modestly in an old brick warehouse. This place is Scott and Nicole Mattson’s brainchild, where jazz isn’t just background music—it’s the heartbeat.
Walking into Nocturne, you get a feel of something that’s not trying too hard yet effortlessly cool. Its interiors, a mix of Art Deco flair and industrial grit, make for a vibe that’s both retro and refreshingly urban. Think velvet curtains that could tell stories and murals by Detour that add a dash of local street art charm.
Nocturne’s survival story through the pandemic reads like a jazz improvisation—adaptable, resilient, and somehow always on beat. The Mattsons, who juggled their dreams of music and business since college, have turned Nocturne into a place that’s more than just a nod to jazz. It’s their love letter to Denver’s evolving scene, penned in notes of culinary and musical artistry.
The menu here is like a well-arranged setlist—diverse, intriguing, and harmonious. The small plates and three-course dinner are designed to complement the jazz performances featuring local and traveling musicians. From the Brussels sprouts salad that could make a convert out of a skeptic, to a confit duck leg that’s all about serious flavor without the fuss, it’s clear that the kitchen team plays a tune of thoughtful experimentation. Insider tip: don’t sleep on the sea scallops with coconut curry, it’s as divine as it gets.
Drinks? Nocturne’s got them down to an art. Their cocktails, like the Mood Ichigo and Gold Miner Lore, are like solos in a jazz piece—distinct, memorable, and leaving you wanting more. And for those looking to splurge, the Ellington Experience is their five-course magnum opus, complete with a chef’s visit and sommelier pairings.
But let’s not forget the music. Nocturne’s Artist in Residency program is where the magic happens. It’s where jazz gets personal, telling stories through melodies and rhythms. The December lineup is a testament to this, featuring acts like the Zweifel – Lewis – Wiens Trio that bring the room to life.
In a city where the food and entertainment scene is as varied as Denver’s weather, Nocturne stands out as a spot that’s got its groove. It’s unpretentious yet sophisticated, casual yet refined—a place that reflects the city’s personality. For those looking to step out of the ordinary, Nocturne is a must-visit, a cool cat in the city’s vibrant jazz club scene.