Drunk Driver Smashes Into El Senor Sol in South Denver Suburbs | Westword
Navigation

Drunk Driver Smashes Into Last El Señor Sol

The homegrown Mexican chain once had a handful of locations in metro Denver. This spot was the sole survivor.
This restaurant was not designed as a drive-thru.
This restaurant was not designed as a drive-thru. Patricia Calhoun
Share this:
El Señor Sol, a homegrown chain founded in the early 1990s by Felipe Duran, at one point had between a half-dozen and eight locations in the metro area (no one was ever quite sure), including an El Señor Sol in the old Zang Brewing Co. building by the Children's Museum. That one closed in 2017, though, and over the years the group dwindled to just one spot, at 6651 South University Boulevard in Centennial.

That location took a major hit early on January 27 when an SUV crashed into the eatery perched just to the side of South University, knocking down posts and plunging through windows and the front wall. The crash severed a gas line, and also earned the "highly intoxicated" driver a DUI charge, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department, which notes that the building is currently "uninhabitable."

Fortunately, the current owner does have a sibling restaurant nearby. While it doesn't have the Señor Sol name, it has the same menu. "Everything's the same," says Jose Padilla, who posted a sign on the outside of the South University spot suggesting that disappointed diners head to Camino Real, at 5935 South Zang Street in Littleton.

As for the last actual El Señor Sol, Padilla is looking at what it will take to get it back in business. "I don't know how long right now," he says. 

Myrna Soltero Diaz would warn him not to be optimistic. In January 2023, just a week after she opened Chula, a car crashed into the side of her Mexican eatery at 3866 South Broadway in Englewood, an updated version of another homegrown Mexican chain, 4G's. The repairs took more than three months.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. Your membership allows us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls. You can support us by joining as a member for as little as $1.