Reader: Sometimes You Just Want to Hang On to Good Things, Like Racines

Closed for now, and for good in January 2021.
Closed for now, and for good in January 2021.
Larry Laszlo
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Even in the endless flood of bad news pouring out in the wake of the coronavirus spread, one particular story stood out this week: Racines, Denver's breakfast/lunch/dinner joint that's been a go-to spot for 36 years, will be closing for good in January 2021. Unlike most of the bad news pouring out, this development was not really prompted by coronavirus: Owners Lee Goodfriend and David Racine had started talking about selling their place over a year ago, so that they could finally retire.

But their timetable was affected by the current crisis. Like every other restaurant in Colorado right now, Racines is closed to dine-in eating; unlike many other restaurants, it decided not to take the to-go/delivery route during the coronavirus closure. But the owners promise that Racines will reopen as soon as it can, and then stay open until January 15, 2021, for a long goodbye with longtime staffers and diners.

The news sent many readers down memory lane. Says Jayne:

 I'm just so sad about this. I have very fond memories of lunching with my brothers here. So many things change; sometimes you just want to hang on to good things. I understand the need to want to retire. But it still breaks my heart. Sad sad sad.

Responds Todd:

So sad this is happening. It seems like only yesterday when the new Racines opened for business. This restaurant is my absolute favorite of all of Denver. No one else can serve up a winning combination of consistently good food, friendly staff and a classy, warm, dining atmosphere. This place will be sorely missed.

Adds John: 

The last meal here with my mom on the patio before she passed. Sweet memories.

Recalls Jack: 

 Ah, thoughts of doing staff meetings once a week in the original location and some of the best food in Denver. Thanks for everything!

Comments Jan: 

A real community asset with a terrific patio. Good luck to the owners and all the wonderful staff. Looking forward to a few more meals with you.

Remembers Deborah: 

I loved Racines! I still go a lot. Sorry to see it go. I lived in the neighborhood that Goodfriends was located on Colfax. We walked there and back. So fun and so good. I also went to Zach's. Shows how old I am!

Adds Carolyn:

 So sad! I've had DECADES of fun at Racines (and Dixons and Goodfriends), all the way back to office lunch when it was in original location at Speer and Bannock, I think. Will miss it SOOOO much!!

Recalls Amy: 

Oh, MAN! This is where we had breakfast with our friends and family the morning after our wedding! Thank you for the years of wonderful memories and great food!

Concludes Kim: 

I’m so sorry, but glad the owners can rest a bit. We’ve been frequent customers of Racines since the beginning. It’s been a marker of so many occasions in our family’s lives! Our kids were raised coming here! Thank you for an always OUTSTANDING meal, service, and experience!!

Racines will be back, once the coronavirus closure order is lifted, and fans will be able to get their fill of the nutty cheesy salad, and the peanut butter cheesecake, the pasta dishes and the Buffalo chicken salad, and all the other favorite dishes on the menu.

What's your go-to meal at Racines? What memories do you have of the restaurant? Post a comment or share your thoughts at cafe@westword.com.

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