Cafe Society

Reader: City's attitude toward restaurant employees is reprehensible

Three weeks after the city red-tagged the First Avenue Hotel building -- causing the immediate closure of both El Diablo and Sketch -- both restaurants are back in business. For now.

After a three-and-a-half hour hearing Monday, the Board of Appeals -- a mayor-appointed committee that considers actions of the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development -- ordered that the building be allowed to reopen immediately, and gave owner Jesse Morreale sixty days to make necessary repairs.

Which gives Cafe Society commenters another 58 days to chew over this story.

Says Jeff:

No one is saying that the building doesn't need repairs and renovations. I imagine it needs lots of them.

I am only saying that the "vacate immediately" order was incredibly stupid and irresponsible and did great personal harm to the livelihoods of dozens of people. The fact that the responsible parties don't seem to think those lives and jobs are worth much because they're just restaurant employees is reprehensible.

If the building has been standing for 100+ years, the idea that one inspector says it might fall down at any second (when dozens disagree with him) is ridiculous.


KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun