"This nonsense about us forcing them out is just that: nonsense."
That line was in an e-mail from Joe Vostrejs, COO of Larimer Associates, the group that's partnering with Brian Sifferman, general manager of Larimer Square's Corridor 44, to open Madison Street, at 1222 Madison in the Congress Park neighborhood, on Wednesday.
Vostrejs was responding to comments on our previous posts about the restaurant, in which neighbors accused the group of dropping a neighborhood Domino's lease in order to erect a mini-mall and condos in the structure that hosts the pizza chain.
Turns out, our report that Domino's had decided to move, which was confirmed by an employee at the pizza joint on Friday, was the first time anyone at Larimer Associates had heard that the business may not renew its lease.
"I have no idea why, or if they want to move, since they've never spoken to us about it," says Vostrejs. "Where on earth they have the idea we want them out is a mystery to me. We've never even talked about it, either among ourselves or with the tenant."
Vostrejs also makes it clear that there are no plans to put up condos or mini-malls or any other businesses in the building Larimer Associates had purchased.
"Our business model is simple," says Vostrejs. "We buy old buildings, fix them up and sometimes partner with restaurants that go into the space. We have no plans to get rid of Domino's. We had hoped they would stay for a long time." The same goes for the pharmacy and liquor store that also inhabit the building, he adds.
While a few cranks have been posting, many neighbors have written to defend the new restaurant or stopped by to welcome it to the area, Vostrejs says. Larimer Associates has a solid track record for creating neighborhood spots that fit in seamlessly with the neighborhood, including Ernie's Bar & Pizza, LoHi SteakBar and Billy's Inn, and Madison Street aims to carry on that legacy, he insists, giving the neighborhood a great place to eat and drink.