Denver Bicycle Cafe says expensive lease, nearby construction among reasons for closure

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DENVER -- The Denver Bicycle Cafe and Tandem Bar in Uptown Denver will close at the end of October. Its owners say the closure is largely due to their expensive lease and nearby construction.

For the last eight years, the establishments on East 17th Avenue near North Lafayette Street have become popular.

"It’s a huge spot that I think is going to be missed in general," said customer David Bencomo.

Co-owner Jessica Caouette says the closure is devastating.

"We do not want to leave this community. We really love it here. We feel like family. We feel supported, so we’re sad to have to go," she said.

The businesses operate under a "triple net lease," which passes the rising cost of living onto small mom-and-pop shops.

The lease requires the business -- rather than the building owner -- to pay increases in property taxes and maintenance costs.

According to BusinessDen, the lease is common among small businesses in Denver.

"So when the assessed value of the property goes up, the business can be paying more each month even if its rent hasn’t changed," said BusinessDen reporter Thomas Gounley.

Caouette also said nearby construction has forced the closure of sidewalks and less parking, leading to fewer customers.

Caouette says the story of small businesses having to shut down is becoming all too common. She says nearby businesses are facing similar challenges.

Caouette said she does not yet know whether the businesses will reopen elsewhere.

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