Alex Liberati, who owned the former brewery and is in charge of leasing the space, says Left Hand walked away from the deal, claiming that it wasn’t able to get the proper permits. Left Hand spokeswoman Jill Preston says the company still plans to open in the space at 2403 Champa but is now embroiled in a dispute with Liberati.
“I can’t share a lot, but what I can tell you is that we have a lease dispute and are working through it with our attorneys,” Preston says. “We are dedicated to opening a place in Curtis Park, whether it's in the Liberati building or somewhere else.”
Left Hand, which had planned to open the taproom in the next few weeks, has removed all of its equipment and has found jobs for the Curtis Park employees in Longmont, Preston says.
Liberati says the situation is unfortunate, but he has moved forward in an effort to re-lease the building to another tenant or tenants and is advertising it on the Loopnet real estate website.
Left Hand, founded in 1994, announced in March that it would take over the building where Liberati had closed just a week earlier. Left Hand made plans to outsource the kitchen’s operation to the former staff at Liberati. It was to be the Longmont brewery's first taproom foray outside of its home turf.
Left Hand co-founder Eric Wallace and Alex Liberati, who was a brewer and restaurateur in Rome before moving to Denver, had been friends for years, and Wallace told Westword in March that he had encouraged Liberati to move here. But he also told him that if things didn’t work out for Liberati's high-end concept, he would be interested in taking over the lease on the building.
When he operated his Curtis Park brewery/restaurant from October 2018 to March 2020, Liberati specialized in oenobeer, a word he coined for beer/wine hybrids with unusual and fascinating flavors, aroma and chemistry — but they proved a hard sell for the average beer drinker.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.