4/20 in Colorado this year was a weekend of foggy bliss thanks to a little lounge in Denver, the first of its kind. Dean Ween’s Honey Pot Lounge is a stoner haven located on N Broadway just outside of downtown Denver. Guitar legend Mickey Melchiondo, better known as Dean Ween, modeled the establishment after an idea of his personal happy place. The idea was to create a smoker-friendly space that would also host music and other live events. It’s a getaway to appreciate the finer things like good tunes, games, and friends, all while simultaneously enjoying a solid buzz.
The lounge is a comfy cave of indulgence that allows you to bring cannabis products of your choosing and enjoy them with the help of an educated “Bongtender.” Owner and partner with Melchiondo, Michael Polanksy, brings a smiling face and a hilarious charisma to the designated bar. “I’m going to torch it, you’re going to give me a thumbs up, I’ll pull it, and then we’ll give each other a high five.” The HPL is equipped with a stock of video games, board games, books, records for sale, and even vending machines to combat the munchies and cotton-mouth. It’s all tied together with Ween/Cannabis-inspired artwork and a Dean-Ween-approved playlist to bless the atmosphere. Happenings at the lounge already include Comedy Night, Saturday Morning Cereal Brunch, Stoner Cinema, and Deaner’s own Open Mic Jam.
April was opening month for the Honey Pot and apart from the numerous events that have already made themselves a weekly staple, the biggest party of all took place on Saturday, April 20th, the mother of cannabis holidays. Hosted by the Honey Pot Lounge, but taking place at the Summit, Dean Ween Group with Kidd Funkadelic and the Color Red All-Stars performed together for the very first “Puff Ball.”
Sadly, smoking wasn’t allowed in the downtown venue, but with the help of the Honey Pot Lounge, weeners made their way (slowly) to the spot and filled it to the brim with brown vibes. The Color Red All-Stars, consisting of members from The New Mastersounds, the Motet and other groups, made their debut performance at Dean Ween’s Puff Ball. They presented the crowd with upbeat, instrumental funk from their brand new record and then cleared the stage for Dean Ween Group.
DWG opened with “Ritz Carlton,” plowed through “Exercise Man,” and then tasted the “Waste Station 9.” It was an evening of particular funkitude, especially with the presence of special guest Michael Hampton, aka Kidd Funkadelic. Throughout the show, Hampton and Melchiondo looked lost in paradise, ripping solos on their matching Alembic guitars and celebrating Funkadelic tunes like “Doo Doo Chasers,” “Red Hot Mama,” and “Cosmic Slop.” The setlist also yielded plenty of Deaner’s own work and a couple of Ween gems such as "The Rift” and a traditionally greasy-brown “Frank.”
After an extended, extra-psychedelic “Rift,” Dean Ween Group returned for an encore of “Sunset Over Belmar,” which had the perfect feel for the end of a dream-like holiday. Almost a guitar lullaby, the final track of the night swept over the crowd, satisfying ears and relaxing shoulders for the full day of slumber that would inevitably follow. That’s one memorable and successful 4/20 for Dean Ween’s Honey Pot Lounge in the books. Here’s to several more!