Reader: Denver Is Losing Landmark Restaurants to Gentrification
Mataam Fez

Reader: Denver Is Losing Landmark Restaurants to Gentrification

Denver is losing some of its most iconic restaurants, including a trio that have been open for more than forty years. The last day of 2017 marked the last day of the downtown Broker, which had opened back in 1972. The Wazee Lounge and Supper Club is slated to serve its last pizza this month. And word came down this week that Mataam Fez, which opened in 1976, will close this month, though the owner hopes to reopen in another location. The news inspired a flood of memories....and comments. Recalls onetime Denver restaurant critic Thom Wise:

One of my favorite jobs ever! As a waiter, back in the late 70s. Yup, I wore a fez hat and poured sugary mint tea into a glass that was balanced on my foot!

Remembers Catherine:

 I have been going here since I was a teenager! Spent my 21 birthday there before heading to Confetti!!! Love the food and belly dancers!!!

Says Sarah 

Denver is losing its landmark restaurants! This was one of my favorites. The food wasn't always great, but the atmosphere was incredible. I hope they can recreate it in a new location.

As for the current spot, Sharleen says: 

A Colfax classic. It’ll be remodeled; shingles and Moroccan exterior accents will be replaced for a Colorado-cube look: metal railing, flat wood accents, lots of glass.

Concludes Angelika: 

This is exactly what gentrification looks like!

Keep reading for more of our coverage of these closings.

"Mataam Fez Will Close This Month With Hopes of Finding a New Location"

Reader: Denver Is Losing Landmark Restaurants to Gentrification (3)

"The Broker Will Close on December 31 After 45 Years"

Reader: Denver Is Losing Landmark Restaurants to Gentrification (4)

"Wazee Supper Club Sells to Juan Padro Team"

The Wazee has been serving up pizza since 1974 — since before this part of lower downtown was nicknamed LoDo. After it closes later this month, it will be transformed into a French "bistronomy" restaurant.

The Broker, which was renowned for its big bowls of shrimp and old-school ambience, occupied the bottom level of a long-closed bank; you could even dine in the old vault. The building has a new owner; that space will no longer be a restaurant.

As for Mataam Fez, owner Abdelah M. (he prefers not to use his last name) says the building where the restaurant has been for more than four decades has been sold and that the new owners did not offer a lease extension. Because of that, Mataam Fez will close on Sunday, January 21 — but a search is on for a new home.

When did you last eat at Mataam Fez? Will you miss these longtime restaurants? What other iconic spots would you be sorry to lose? Tell us in a comment or email cafe@westword.com.

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