First Spicy Pickle store has closed

There has been no sentimentality in the Spicy Pickle chain's fall from grace -- no extra effort to save the shop that started it all. While much of the rest of the city was pretending to be Irish and getting plowed, the original Spicy Pickle location at 988 Lincoln Street closed its doors on St. Patrick's Day.

The homegrown chain got its start at this spot in 1999; by 2007, it had gone public and expanded to nine states -- but it soon started retrenching.

And on February 6, the chain closed six of seven company-owned locations in the metro area, leaving only a lone store in Lone Tree. A couple of weeks later, the company's assets were auctioned off, and the ripples have been spreading ever since, taking down franchised stores, too.

John Volmerg, owner of the Lincoln Street location and another that's still open at 13700 East Colfax Avenue in Aurora, had little to say when we found him cleaning out the space today.

"The corporation went into a funk a couple of weeks ago and went up for auction," he told us. "It affected a lot of other things -- people's perception of whether or not we were in business, our supply chain, the prices we were going to get from our buyers and wholesalers. It just wasn't viable anymore."

According to Volmerg, there are still six Spicy Pickle locations open in Colorado, and the company has been acquired by Cibus Holdings LLC, which has taken it private.

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