DENVER (KDVR) — The news that Blake Street Tavern is closing came out Saturday with not much of an explanation why. Sunday, FOX31 and Channel 2 sat down with the general manager to learn what’s the reason behind shutting the restaurant’s doors.
“Our boss isn’t doing very well. He needs to take priority over himself and we’re all ok though sad with that decision,” Rhiannon Arriaga Mackenzie, the general manager at Blake Street Tavern said.
Arriaga Mackenzie said the owner of Blake Street Tavern, Chris Fuselier, made the call.
“It was the owner’s decision,” Arriaga Mackenzie said.
She said they were also at a point of negotiating with the landlord. The company that owns that building is Urban Renaissance Group based out of Seattle. Arriaga Mackenzie said the group has been wonderful to work with.
“They are going to rebuild in our parking lot,” Arriaga Mackenzie said. “We’re a historic landmark, this building can’t be messed with but the tailgate room next door and our parking lot behind us will be changed into an apartment complex or units.”
Arriaga Mackenzie said she’s worked there for well over a decade from being the bar manager to the assistant general manager to general manager.
“I’ve never loved a job like I’ve loved this job. Obviously, that’s why I’ve stayed so long,” Arriaga Mackenzie said.
Arriaga Mackenzie said she and her co-general manager told the staff back on Wednesday, the day of the restaurant’s 20th anniversary.
“Being here every day you can see why we might make that decision,” Arriaga Mackenzie said.
She said in total there are 85 employees and they have over three weeks to find new jobs in the metro area. She said increased crime in the area is not a factor.
“Crime in the area has increased in the last few years but it isn’t a decision to close,” Arriaga Mackenzie said.
Arriaga Mackenzie said they welcome everyone to come out for the last hooray! She is asking everyone to come in and be polite to the staff. She said it isn’t the staff’s decision to close and they have been receiving negative feedback.
“’We are changing the marquee currently that says ‘thank you for all the years Denver, we love you!'” Arriaga Mackenzie said.
Blake Street Tavern will officially close its doors on April 9.