Why some Denver eating places aren’t closed, however aren’t open both

When Jake and Jennifer Linzinmeir closed their Jovanina’s Broken Italian restaurant on Blake Street in early July, they said they always planned to come back.

Jovanina’s has been open in Denver for less than two years, but for the past two decades the Linzinmeirs have operated restaurants in mountain resorts where businesses don’t close every year during the off-season.

“We’re pretty used to opening and closing, so it wasn’t that intimidating for us,” said Jake Linzinmeir. Though he added, “It’s very expensive to start and stop.”

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and a restaurant only offering indoor seating and serving family-style meals, the Linzinmeirs decided to lock the windows at Jovanina, where they also own the company’s real estate.

They told customers they would be back in a few months, hoping to gain some time and more knowledge about the novel coronavirus.

“We commit in November to saying, ‘All right, we’re opening to as much indoor dining as we (the state and city) can offer and focusing on creating a delivery we’re proud of and then to start producing a lot, ”said Linzinmeir last week.

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He and Jennifer announced that their Denver restaurant will reopen Thursday, November 5th, just as another wave of COVID-19 cases has hit Colorado, Denver County has capped restaurant seating to 25% and more and more restaurants in town are closing temporarily.

Broadway Market, The Way Back, Brightmarten, Earnest Hall, Shanty Supper Club and Bar Helix are currently closed. And while some, like Broadway Market and The Way Back, are planning to reopen by spring, others, like Earnest Hall and Shanty Supper Club, have yet to announce a reopening schedule. Brightmarten is closing its Bonnie Brae dining room, but has limited take-out options.

If the Linzinmeirs and Jovanina are signs, these temporarily closed restaurants could very well resume by spring or earlier if they figure out another, temporary business model.

When it reopens this week, Jovanina’s room will look and act more like a “mini-eataly,” explained Linzinmeir. Pickled foods, sauces, pasta and other items are offered for sale on the shelves between the tables. The Linzinmeirs hope to eventually sell these manufactured goods through a subscription service and through retailers like Whole Foods.

“We’re looking for other channels to broadcast who we are out there when we can’t dine inside,” Linzinmeir said.

Hyoung Chang, the Denver Post

Kendra Anderson, the owner of Cabana X at Bar Helix, poses for a portrait at her bar in Denver on Friday. August 7, 2020.

However, not all restaurants can temporarily close and develop a new business model. Especially if they are still paying rent.

On Monday, Bar Helix owner Kendra Anderson announced that she had 30 days to pay the lease or vacate the Larimer Street space. Anderson said she temporarily closed her store to switch from an outdoor summer setup to a new indoor setup when she got the vacation contract.

“It’s really heartbreaking to consider how hard my team and I have worked over the past eight months to meet all COVID-19-related restrictions, develop multiple pivot concepts, and keep defaulting on our finances,” said Anderson in a press release.

In response to the announcement, her team set up a GoFundMe account to attempt to raise $ 25,000 “to help Bar Helix meet its rental and other financial obligations required to reopen,” it says it in the press release. It’s one last effort that Anderson says she never thought she would put up with this situation.

“I was very careful,” she said. “I’ve never asked for that kind of support before, so it’s very uncomfortable. It was really an answer to people who reached out and asked, “How can we help?” ”

So she started the fundraiser to save her bar and said that whatever is raised will be used to reopen in the same location or elsewhere. When she closed the outdoor bar in early October, she planned about 10 different ways to get a winter business up and running.

“But I need a minute,” said Anderson of the execution.

Updated November 3rd at 9:25 amThe following updated information has been added to this article: Due to this evolving story, the status of the eviction of Bar Helix has changed. Kendra Anderson has 30 days to pay for her lease or to vacate the Larimer Street building.

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