The home of the original Spicy Pickle, which opened in 1999 at 988 Lincoln Street, is vacant once again with the closing of RT Cafe & Bar, which opened in the space two years ago, nearly to the day. The spot started out as a breakfast restaurant but soon added dinner hours and a full liquor license, turning into a little Russian cafe. Still, those changes weren't enough to get customers in the door.
While the block seems like a prime location for a neighborhood restaurant that could draw pedestrian traffic from the many nearby apartment buildings, the space that housed RT Cafe has seen its share of turnover. The flagship Spicy Pickle, which closed in 2012, gave way to Drew's Deli, which lasted two years before folding.
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The Spicy Pickle was originally opened by Tacos Tequila Whiskey founder Kevin Morrison, then went public and expanded into a nationwide sandwich empire before the chain collapsed in 2012. But it never completely disappeared: Franchises in Qatar, Dubai and Las Vegas are still active, and plans are under way to open a new spot at 1875 Lawrence Street.
Since new franchise owners Garth Moore and John Ward want to open several other Spicy Pickles in Colorado, they might want to look at taking over the place where it all started.