Harvey Park Grille Shutters Just Four Months After Opening | Westword

Harvey Park Grille Shutters Just Four Months After Opening

It had taken over the former Rosemary Cafe space on Sheridan Boulevard.
Harvey Park Grille opened in February.
Harvey Park Grille opened in February. Harvey Park Grille/Facebook
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In February, Jelly Cafe founder Josh Epps opened Harvey Park Grille in the former Rosemary Cafe space at 2133 South Sheridan Boulevard. But not even four months into business, it quietly shuttered last week. A local to Harvey Park, Epps hoped that the eatery would keep young professionals in the neighborhood, which is lacking in quality dining options — and now, even more so.

Epps expressed viability concerns from the start, but he bit the bullet and wound up waiting eight months for the city to approve the restaurant's permit. He also ran into unforeseen construction problems in what he initially thought was a turnkey property. These unfortunate situations resulted in a five-month setback, and according to Epps, rent was due before doors were even open.

“The bottom line is, the exorbitant amount of time and costs to build out the space cut into our operating budget,” he explains. Epps planned for a year’s worth of loss, but with delays and clientele being around half of what he expected, even that reserve, a bar program and extended hours for weekend brunch weren’t enough to get by.
click to enlarge Patrons seated inside a restaurant
Patrons inside Harvey Park Grille shortly after it debuted.
Harvey Park Grille
“I feel like I've been through a meat grinder for the last two years,” he admits, adding that although he hates to say it, Denver isn’t an easy city to open a restaurant in. Other local restaurateurs agree that due to rising food costs, the increase in minimum wage and other factors, doing so successfully requires playing on expert mode.

While the newly renovated Harvey Park Grille space is up for sub-leasing, Epps is refocusing his efforts back on Jelly, where he’s been for the past week. “It's really fun to run a restaurant that has a following and a lot of happy clients," he concludes. 
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