Grabowski’s Pizzeria checked out at The Source Hotel.
Owner Jared Leonard closed the Chicago-style pizzeria, located at 3350 Brighton Blvd., on May 10 after realizing the space was no longer suitable for Grabowski’s.
“About 75 percent of our business was takeout, but for that space and rent it really has to be more of a cocktail bar or something where there are more customers to dine in for the economics of it all to make sense,” said Leonard.
Leonard, who also owns AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q in Denver and Campfire in Evergreen and Lakewood, opened Grabowski’s in 2019. The owner of the Chicago-based SSC Hospitality Group wanted to introduce Denver to 1950s tavern-style pizza with rectangular slices and a papery thin crust.
And while business was going pretty well, Leonard said the vision for The Source has changed since Zeppelin Development sold The Source Hotel + Market Hall in RiNo to Los Angeles-based Stockdale Capital Partners for $70 million last year.
He said parking has become too difficult for takeout and delivery as the 100-room hotel has gained popularity. And he just doesn’t need 4,500 square feet for a pizzeria anymore.
“That neighborhood will soon be like Ballpark with all the new offices and apartments,” said Leonard. “The Source is no longer a funky industrial building off the beaten track; it is now right in the middle of the path.
While The Source may not be the right choice for Grabowski’s, Leonard said he’s not giving up on the concept just yet. He has kept all the equipment and is floating around the idea of reopening Grabowski’s in a smaller spot near AJ’s in south Denver, Littleton or Lakewood.
“We don’t have the mechanics, the systems and the knowledge of the operation, but sometimes the economics just don’t make sense in spaces as neighborhoods change,” Leonard said.
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