Just a few weeks after they joined forces, the Breckenridge and Wynkoop breweries have taken on an unexpected challenge: slapping together a new concept to fill the former Rocky Mountain Diner space at 800 18th Street, which closed last month after a twenty-year run.
The two companies, which are run by a joint venture, announced Wednesday that they have agreed to purchase the historic three-story Ghost Building from attorney Frances Koncilja, who will continue to use the offices on the third floor.
"What made the building especially attractive is that we had hoped to help the Rocky Mountain Diner stay...and we could have had a hand in keeping that institution open and keeping those people employed," says Marty Jones, spokesman for Wynkoop Holdings.
But Wynkoop leaders weren't able to come to an agreement with Rocky Mountain Diner owners Tom Walls and Brad Anderson, who were forced to move out in February after twenty years because of a disagreement with Koncilja over the terms of the rent. Now the plan is to open a restaurant with a similar menu and hours to the diner, Jones says, meaning it will be open for lunch and dinner, but probably close early. The place, which doesn't yet have a name, will serve comfort food and "really good beer."
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"We have to hustle, and rather quickly, to put something in there," Jones says.
In the meantime, Breckenridge/Wynkoop, which is expected to close on the purchase in early May, is talking to a potential tenant for the second floor, which is vacant. Jones says the group was able to buy the building for "an attractive price," but didn't disclose how much.
The breweries already own several properties downtown, including Wynkoop Brewing Co., Breckenridge Brewery at LoDo and the Wazee Supper Club. They are planning to open a new restaurant, Ale House at Amato's in LoHi on March 28.