Dos Hermanos owner decides to close down |

Dos Hermanos owner decides to close down

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Dos Hermanos is closing down.

The restaurant owner, David Edgar, did not show up to a Garfield County liquor license hearing Monday.

Attorney Damien Zumbrennen, retained by the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, said Monday that Edgar called him about 45 minutes before the liquor license hearing and said he is withdrawing the application for a new liquor license and is “closing down the nightclub.”

The restaurant opened in December 2007 at the site of the former Sopris Restaurant on Highway 82 between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. Edgar also closed the Aspen Comedy Club in March last year.

Edgar said of the restaurant, “Business has just dropped off, so much so that there’s just not enough customers in our area. We were hoping the Cattle Creek development might at least break ground but they’ve asked for another delay.”

The county said Dos Hermanos was operating without a state retail food license and had violated the terms of its hotel and restaurant liquor license requiring it to have at least 25 percent of its sales come from food. The Sheriff’s Office has received over 40 calls to the restaurant for reported fights and other disturbances.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) said in a letter that it received a complaint in January 2008 about a “rodent infestation,” bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods, questions as to whether well water was chlorinated or safe for drinking, dishes coming out of a dishwasher still soiled and other alleged problems at the restaurant.

A CDPHE inspector visited the next day, found 28 violations and told the restaurant to contact a pest control company and have it fax its reports to the CDPHE, according to the letter. The CDPHE made additional recommendations such as installing sinks with hot and cold water on the cook-line and in the bar. It also found violations in subsequent site inspections.

Edgar said the rodent complaint was made by a former employee.

“That was not true,” he said. “There has never been a rodent infestation there. It was over a year ago. We did comply with everything that was asked of us.”

The CDPHE letter sent to the county Jan. 28 says, “This facility is still not in compliance with this department.”

Earlier this month, the county gave Dos Hermanos two weeks to comply with the state and also apply for a tavern liquor license instead of trying to renew its hotel and restaurant liquor license. Edgar said the liquor license and public health department issues had nothing to do with the decision to close.

Edgar said he hadn’t planned on hosting events like dances on the weekends but had to in order to stay in business. Plus, Edgar is not sure if Cattle Creek Colorado, which could include over 1,000 homes nearby, will ever be built.

“We really don’t want to be a night club. We did that before to try to pay the rent,” he said. “That’s not the business we’ve ever been in before and we don’t want to be in that business, but it’s just not a viable restaurant.”

The business was operating on property rented from Sopris Properties, LLC, of Texas, which purchased the restaurant property in January 2006 from Kurt Wigger for $985,000, according to Garfield County Assessor’s records.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether there are additional buyers or renters lined up for the property. Edgar said the building will probably be eventually destroyed and the owners see it as “an investment that is the last piece of the puzzle that Cattle Creek has to have.”

Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

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