Looks like El Diablo is really gone for good. The restaurant and its sibling, Sketch, held a final bash on May 2, then closed after last call -- right before the city's most recent notice to vacate the First Avenue Hotel was set to take effect on May 3. Earlier today, a crew was out covering the windows of the building with plywood -- just as workers had done at Jesse Morreale's All-Inn, former home of Rockbar, last fall.
What will become of the First Avenue Hotel? The company that owns it is in bankruptcy, and reportedly there are already other restaurateurs interested in the property -- but if they purchase the building, the city points out, they will have to make the same repairs that they'd demanded of Morreale.
Asked about the building's status, Morreale responds:
The restaurants and Morreale Hotels have taken steps necessary to secure the 101 Broadway property and mitigate against any further damage from vandalism and theft. Within the first 72 hours following the City of Denver's enforcement of the Orders to Vacate dated 5/3/13, the historic structure had already suffered numerous instances of vandalism and theft. Those losses were a direct and logical result of the City's apparent predetermined course to otherwise close a perfectly safe building and the popular restaurants in it. These steps are being taken to protect against future losses as much as possible, and for no other reason.... We doubt any prudent investor or developer would be interested paying Morreale Hotels directly only to inherit an ongoing dispute over the City's predetermined course since July 2012 to see 101 Broadway closed.
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So far now, the boarded-up building -- which once was touted by the city as a sterling example of urban renewal -- will be a blight, rather than a bright light, on Broadway.`