Arvada is attracting more than bars and restaurants; other food-service businesses are finding the town attractive, too. Footers Catering, founded by restaurateur Jimmy Lambatos, has decided to put down roots at 6543 Wadsworth Boulevard, opening a spacious new event center there called Social Capitol.
Lambatos — best known as the founder of Quiznos and the pants-less chef in the sandwich chain's 2003 Super Bowl ad, and now the proprietor of Jimmy's Jersey Cafe, at 932 Jersey Street — started Footer's in 1981. His son and daughter-in-law, Anthony and April Lambatos, took over the business in 2010.
If opening an event space in the midst of a pandemic that has curtailed social gatherings for the past year seems curious, consider that catering gigs were tough to come by for most of 2020, and the business is now looking to move forward as COVID-based restrictions ease. The new building will serve as the headquarters for Footer's, but with plenty of extra space to host all the weddings, parties, corporate gatherings and other celebrations that have been put on hold for the past year.
April Lambatos says that Footer's was able to keep most of its team employed last year, and that Social Capitol will offer new opportunities for growth. The building was previously a sporting goods store, but kitchens, offices, production facilities, event spaces, a mezzanine and breakout rooms have been added. The main event hall will offer 20,000 square feet of floor room.
The Lambatoses hope to open Social Capitol this spring, with the help of development services from the Arvada Economic Development Association. That organization points out that although 223 businesses closed in 2020, 361 new licenses were granted, with Social Capitol and many upcoming restaurants included.