Brauns Bar and Grill, which had been a prime hangout for Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets fans since it opened in 2002, has left its giant warehouse spot on the Auraria Parkway; the Pepsi Center, which owns the building, did not renew Brauns's lease.
But the Brauns concept lives on at Brauns on Blake, which owner Troy Johnston and his business partners opened in February at 2401 Blake Street. That's the former home of the Blake Street Tavern, which made a big move to 2301 Blake last year. And it's a much cozier, more communal spot than the massive Auraria Parkway Brauns.
As for that building, the Pepsi Center is reportedly going to hang onto the space, and just open it up on game days, when Aramark will run the bar/restaurant much as it does the Blue Sky Grill that's actually inside the Pepsi Center.
Even with the closing of the Brauns on Auraria Parkway, there are plenty of seats along that strip -- more than 850 of them at Brooklyn's at the Pepsi Center, located in another big red-brick warehouse building, at 901 Auraria. (The original Brooklyn's is still open, too, in the shadow of the football stadium, at 2644 West Colfax Avenue.)
The Auraria Brooklyn's opened just two days after the Pepsi Center made its debut. Given those locations, Craig Caldwell and Dave Keefe, the owners of both Brooklyn's spots, know how business can ebb and flow along with the sports seasons. But while they sold the building on Auraria to the Pepsi Center four years ago, they have a long-term lease on the 16,500-square-foot space. "We're going to be there for a long, long time," Keefe says. "We're looking forward to the next season. Hopefully, there will be a season."