After spending 88 years at 740 S. University Blvd., Bonnie Brae Tavern will close later this month.
Ricky Dia, who runs a restaurant with his cousin Michael and founded the restaurant in 1934 by his grandparents, told Business Den that its final day would be June 25th.
“It’s very bittersweet,” he said.
According to public records, the Dia family sold the property for $ 4.5 million at the end of May. In addition to the 740 S. University Blvd. The building home to the tavern and dry cleaners also included the Wish Gifts building at 750 S. University Boulevard. And the surrounding parking space.
The buyers were Alpine Investments, led by Churchill Bunn, and Revesco Properties, led by Rhys Duggan.Two companies in Denver Said last year They planned to team up for the development of four apartments in the city.
“We are in the early stages of concept planning for a three-story apartment project with a first-floor retail store alongside the university,” Bunn wrote in an email on the Bonnie Brae site.
The site is 0.72 acres. That is, Dagan and Van paid about $ 144 per square foot to the land.
Karl and Sue Dia have opened Bonnie Bray Tavern in their current location in the midst of the Great Depression. For lunch and dinner, we serve burgers, salads, sandwiches, as well as classic Mexican dishes and bespoke pizzas.
Ricky Dia, 57, said he had been working in a restaurant for 44 years in August of this year. He said his cousin and co-owner Michael Dia has been there for 40 years.
The sale is not sudden. 2019, diamond Applies to When received Designation to facilitate the demolition of the building for 5 years. Real estate owners often request a designation now called a Demolition Eligibility Certificate when they are considering a sale and the next owner wants to redevelop the site.
Why didn’t it sell until last month? “We are in Buyer No. 3,” Dire said. “It had something to do with it.”
The first stakeholder was Rhode Island-based CVS Corp., which considered a pharmacy there before passing through it, Dire said.Second interested buyer who submitted a development plan to the city In early 2020It was Joe Jundt, a local developer. Then came Bunn and Duggan.
Dire cited several reasons for deciding to sell and close, including the building itself.
“We had an 88-year-old building with 88-year-old electricity and plumbing,” he said.
Dia said the building was exempt from old standards, but the city said it needed to be code-compliant, which meant installing ADA-compliant bathrooms and sprinklers on the ceiling in the near future. rice field. , Above all.
In addition, the restaurant business is “hell,” Dia said. He and his cousin said that during the COVID period, staffing was difficult due to the tight labor market, which required funding to continue the business. In December 2019, Bonnie Brae Tavern had 33 employees. There are currently nine, and Dire said he couldn’t afford to pay $ 20 an hour to attract any more.
Monday, June 6th was the 88th anniversary of the tavern, Dia said. The business did not mark the opportunity. Closed on Mondays. And Dia said there were no major plans by June 25th.
“We’re going to stay open. Hopefully we’d like to thank Denver for helping us in 1988,” he said.
Asked about the restaurant’s heyday, Dire said, “During the first five years of the late ’70s and’ 80s, we waited an hour for dinner.” It was before Cherry Creek North actually developed, and LoDo was not a destination. In the years that followed, it gave people “much more choice.”
“We still have some of the best pizzas,” he added.
In addition to Bonnie Braysite, Alpine and Rebesco are collaborating on an apartment project at 955 Bannock Street in the Golden Triangle, 46th and Tennyson in Berkeley, and 2000 Chestnut Place in Union Station North. Revesco is the company planning the River Mile project, which is currently run by the amusement park Elitch Gardens.