Cafe Society

Leo Goto's Riverfront restaurant has dried up

After just six months, Leo Goto has closed his Riverfront restaurant and event facility. Goto had taken over the 12,000-square-foot, former Riverfront Events Center at 2852 West Bowles Avenue in Littleton this spring. "It's a great location, and there's potential to do a lot of business here," he said at the time. "It just hit me between the eyes."

But now Goto is gone, his place is dark, and former employees and people who'd booked holiday parties at the center say they're the ones taking the hit.

Goto had envisioned his place as "a neighborhood gathering place with great signature food, stuff people can't get anywhere else." But while he was able to book some events, not enough of the neighborhood gathered there to make Leo Goto's Riverfront a going concern.

Goto is a legendary figure in the Denver dining scene. His Leo's Place was a major downtown hangout in the '60s and '70s (some of its signature furnishings were featured at Riverfront); after Leo's, he ran the restaurant at the Wellshire Inn, a Denver Parks and Recreation facility, for years, before a new group took over the contract in 2003. (An extension of that contract has caused some controversy; a new Wellshire contract was due at Denver City Council October 31.)

Now Goto's latest venture has gone down the river. No one answers the phone there, and the message on the Leo Goto's Riverfront website now reads:

We regret to inform you that Leo Goto's Riverfront is now permanently closed.

Thank you for your business.

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