Beer Man

Breckenridge-Wynkoop Selling Buildings Housing Wynkoop Brewing, Amato's, Cherry Cricket

Breckenridge-Wynkoop LLC, which has sold off several restaurant properties over the past year, is now dismantling its real estate empire as well. The holding company is selling the buildings that house Wynkoop Brewing, Ale House at Amato's, the Cherry Cricket, Colorado Craft, Phantom Canyon Brewing in Colorado Springs and the Ale House in Grand Junction.

BW plans to lease back all of those spaces, however, as part of each sale agreement, according to company president Lee Driscoll; the leases will all be for twenty years, with four five-year renewal options, giving each business a forty-year future at minimum, he says.

The goal of the sales is “to pay off existing debt and to use the remainder to expand the restaurant and brewing business,” Driscoll says, adding that BW could be interested in buying other restaurants. “We love owning the real estate, but we see tremendous opportunity...for future growth.”

The Colorado Craft building, at 2220 Blake Street, has already been sold to a real estate investor; the others are in various stages of the sale process. Driscoll declined to say how much BW expects to make from the sales. (Scroll down to see a list of each building and its square footage.)
BW Holdings is also selling the Breckenridge Brewery location on Kalamath Street, although that property has been on the market ever since the brewery revealed plans to build its own $20 million, twelve-acre campus in Littleton. The buyer is a real estate developer, which plans to lease the building to the rapidly-expanding Crazy Mountain Brewery in Edwards.

Driscoll says the holding company isn't selling its real estate to help finance the cost of the new brewery's construction.

The most high-profile building in BW's portfolio is perhaps the Wynkoop Mercantile Lofts, home of the Wynkoop Brewing Company, which has a particularly significant history, more so in recent years. Originally built as a grocery warehouse in 1899, the building – across the street from Union Station – was purchased in 1988 by John Hickenlooper and a group of investors who turned the first floor into the brewpub.

But Hickenlooper and company also renovated the upper floors into more than a dozen lofts, including the one that Hickenlooper himself lived in; the project was one of the first loft conversions in Lower Downtown. Although Hickenlooper no longer has a financial interest in the brewery, the lofts are a cornerstone of Denver's recent boom times.

BW Holdings was formed in 2010 when the parent companies for Breckenridge Brewery and the Wynkoop joined forces.
Over the past year, BW has sold two of its restaurants, the Goosetown Tavern and the Wazee Supper Club. Driscoll says those sales were made because the properties were too small and didn't fit BW's current business model.

Here is the square footage of the buildings that BW is now selling:

Cherry Cricket
14,865 square feet in two buildings

Wynkoop Brewing
39,582 square feet

Breckenridge Colorado Craft
9,322 square feet

Ale House at Amato's
8,228 square feet

Phantom Canyon Brewing 
24,954 square feet

Breckenridge Ale House
7,803 square feet

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes

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