Ace Gillett’s Lounge: Where Music and Community Flow From Underground


Sophia Stern

A wall of records decorates the Ace Gillett’s bar along with a neon sign and chandeliers over the booths Feb. 4.

Sasha Beran-Hughes, Visual Editor

As one descends the stairs into the basement of The Armstrong Hotel, they begin to hear the swell of music in their ears. They then enter a dimly-lit lounge filled with ornate furniture, chandeliers, vinyl records, and neon signs. As they enter the main dining area, they come to realize that the music isn’t coming from a speaker, but rather live musicians. Ace Gillett’s Lounge has been a part of The Armstrong Hotel since 2010, and was named after Ace Gillett; a previous owner of the hotel.


Each week, from Wednesday through Sunday, Ace Gillett’s hosts live musicians who play all sorts of music such as jazz, folk, blues, and even 80’s. These performances transform the community and atmosphere of the lounge entirely. “It just sets the tone; it sets the base if you will,” Samantha Garoutte, a manager at Ace Gillett’s, says. “Whether it’s just even kind of background music, or if people are sitting in, they are here solely for entertainment. They’re a huge heartbeat and backbone to the magic of Ace Gillett’s.”

The people are really awesome.

— Paul Falk


Marion Powers and Paul Falk are frequent performers at Ace Gillett’s. The pair enjoy working together because, “The dual aspect allows for a lot of communication and makes it a lot of fun actually,” Powers says. Falk is a high school choir director and teaches vocal jazz at University of Colorado Boulder, and Powers is a vocal jazz teacher at the University of Northern Colorado, as well as an ensemble director.


The two enjoy playing at Ace Gillett’s because, “They (Ace Gillett’s) really enjoy what music brings to the club,” Falk says. “It’s very cool to see the different energy that happens in the room when the music is different. But yeah, the people here are really awesome.”


Ace Gillett’s is a wonderful hub for not only hotel guests, but the musicians who perform there and a lot of people around Fort Collins as well.

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  • The back room at Ace Gillette’s offers a more private space with disco balls and neon signs Feb. 4.

  • Marion Powers sings alongside Paul Falk at Ace Gillette Lounge in Old Town Fort Collins Feb. 4. Powers and Falk met and played together for the first time when they judged at a Jazz festival.

  • The Ace Gillet’s bar shelves are filled with different brands, flavors and types of spirits Feb. 4. Ace Gillet’s located below the Armstrong Hotel serves handcrafted cocktails and food menus hosting live music and spinning vinyl.

  • Marion Powers sings alongside Paul Falk who plays the piano at Ace Gillette Lounge in Old Town Fort Collins Feb. 4. Along with being a jazz teacher at the University of Northern Colorado, she also directs ensembles and performs with other bands.