Cafe Society

Jesse Morreale has a public hearing with the city on Monday

More than two weeks after the city red-tagged the First Avenue Hotel, home of El Diablo and Sketch, the building remains dark -- while owner Jesse Morreale tries to convince the city that the 106-year-old structure where the restaurants opened two years ago under a temporary-occupancy permit is safe.

Since the city slapped on the notices to vacate, Morreale has had several meetings with Denver officials, most recently on July 23.

Here's how Kelly Leid, director of Development Services for the city's planning department, summarizes that meeting in a June 24 letter to Morreale:

And here's how Morreale responded to Leid:

Expect the action -- and the language -- to get more heated on Monday, when Morreale has another meeting with the city to discuss the vacate order at 8:30 a.m., in the Webb building at 201 West Colfax Avenue. And this hearing is open to the public.


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. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun