M&D's Cafe left behind lots of fans...and a million-dollar debt to the city

When M&D's Cafe shut its doors after 34 years in business this weekend, it didn't just leave behind a legion of fans. It also left a big debt -- including a million dollars that it owes on a loan issued by the Denver Office of Economic Development when owners Daisy and Mack Shead wanted to expand the original restaurant at 2000 East 28th Avenue almost a decade ago.

"In 2002 there were loans for $953,000," explains Derek Woodbury, spokesman for the DOED. "Then the loan was amended to provide an additional $140,000." And although the family had made payments, he notes, "the current loan balance is just over a million."

The city is currently working to determine fair market value for the property, as well as any other liabilities. And it won't be too difficult to figure out one of those liabilities: Today the City and County of Denver's Finance Department posted a note on M&D's door that the property has been seized for more than $5,500 in unpaid sales and occupancy taxes.

"We obviously regret losing M&D's," Woodbury adds, "but in light of the business closure, they are being cooperative to help with a smooth transition.... We're going through these processes to address the issue of loan payment."

M&D's already had a loyal following and a slew of Best of Denver awards when OED made the original loan, which was designed not just to help the business, but also to bolster a part of town that definitely needed some economic-development aid. The finished results were unveiled in the fall of 2003, and reviewer Jason Sheehan thought the place looked like a million bucks. With good reason.

"M&D's is one of the troubled loans that we're working to resolve," Woodbury says. "Unfortunately, the borrower went out of business before we could resolve the loan."

--Westword intern Kylie Horner provided research assistance on this story.

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