“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’
As yes spring indeed. What a wonderful slightly crazy time of year or as Mark Twain said “In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours”. He must have lived in Colorado. I love seeing our yards starting to come back to life after a nice winter rest but of course we know a few snowy dumps are likely still coming. There will be a late freeze so don’t get too eager to start planting things you aspiring gardeners and of course that yearly spectacle of watching all natures beautiful creation being pounded to pulp by the eventual hail storm followed by subsequent door knocking of roofers wanting to fix the damage. Yep it’s a fun time of year!
Closures and Changes on Pearl Street in Platt Park
So, let’s get right to the hot topic du jour, what the heck’s going on over on Pearl Street in Platt Park? In the span of a couple months we saw Hanson’s, The Tavern and Palizo all closing down. Is this the retail apocalypse coming to Pearl? Should we just throw up a bunch of apartments on Pearl and call it a day? Channel 7 report
In my nearly two decades of writing about Platt Park I’ve seen many a restaurant come and go. It would seem restaurant work is a particularly brutal business but it must have its rewards otherwise no one would venture to try. I remember going to Adelitas during the first year it was open and seriously doubted it would hang on. Now it’s one of the hottest dining tickets on Broadway. Who’d have thought twenty years ago Sushi Den and would still be around and have spawned two and soon to be three ragingly successful sister ‘Dens’. One would think Patrick Mangold-White, owner of the very successful trio of Kaos Pizza, Uno Mas and Bird would have the magic touch once again with Palizo but alas not true. A place like Hanson’s that had been around seemly forever would always be impervious to ups and downs, right?
So, what do we make of all this? Well sorry to say I don’t think a whole lot. I chalk it up more to coincidence of timing than any fundamental shift in the fortunes of Pearl Street. Hanson’s, which opened in 2001 had in recent years gone through a few ownership changes. Some have felt with the last change in 2017 the overall quality of food and service had gone downhill—certainly a recipe for failure in this highly competitive environment. The Tavern was always kind of a bold experiment bringing in a fairly big-time sports bar into our smallish community. Frank Schultz, owner of the Tavern also cited wage hikes, increasing property taxes and the competition for workers as factors that affected profitability and factored into the decision to close. Denverite article
Where to from here? Well the Tavern has been sold to restaurant entrepreneur Steve Lockton for $4 million who obviously believes in the viability of the space to drop that kind of cash. Steve plans to do an overhaul of the interior including bring the kitchen up from the basement. The interior will be “lighter and fresher…it will feel like you’re in a garden” Lockton said and “The kitchen will be a show kitchen at the back with bar seating and a chefs table. This is a family business and it will feel like a family restaurant. You will be coming into our home”. The space will be renamed Jacks on Pearl, a Scratch Eatery. No timetable is yet available for opening. For now, there have been no announcements about the fate of the former Hanson’s or Palizo sites and my rumor mill is quiet. Stay tuned as probably by the next issue we’ll know more. Things change fast around here.
As Frank Shultz mentions there are fundamental factors shifting in our economy that will make restaurant work challenging but it seems that is more of a Denver-wide issue than one specific to Platt Park and Pearl Street. More quality restaurants keep popping up in the area which certainly ups the competition. If, however you’ve read my article a couple issues ago (of course you did) about the expected growth going on around Platt Park it certainly seems that there will be no lack of people to fill all the existing and future restaurants and bars around here. So, hate to see old favorite haunts go by the wayside but such just seems the natural ebb and flow of the restaurant world. We’ll welcome the newcomers and wish them well. Some will thrive and probably some will keep the change-carousel spinning along.
Arches over Old South Pearl Street in Platt Park
The Old South Pearl Merchant Association is moving towards installing arched (pictured below) over Pearl Street at Louisiana, Iowa and Jewel Aves.
Looks cool. I especially like the mountains in the background. Do they come with the arch?
New Business on South Broadway
Platt Parks section of South Broadway was once widely known throughout Denver as “Antique Row” but it would seem that trend is becoming less and less the reality as yet another store closes its doors. Old Glory Antiques recently sold their home at 1930-32 S Broadway to Redeux Development a design-build firm. Likely you’ve seen a Redeux sign here and there around the neighborhood doing a major remodel on a home or building a new home entire. A sign of the times it would seem on Broadway—literally and metaphorically out with the old and in with the new.
Platt Park Farmers Market will be back soon.
Much to look forward to around here. The Farmers Market will shortly be starting up again, May 3rd to be exact. Brewgrass, that annual blend of microbrews and bluegrass will hit Pearl Street on June 8th and of course many new, mostly exciting things brewing (ha) out on the horizon which we’ll get to in later issues. Here’s hoping your flowers bloom, your grass turns green and your next-door neighbor doesn’t scrape their home turning yours into a dust collecting vacuum cleaner.
See you around the neighborhood,