Comment of the Day

Reader: I'll Miss La Casa de Manuel, and My Favorite Green Chile

La Casa de Manuel is for sale.
La Casa de Manuel is for sale. Loopnet
After 68 years, La Casa de Manuel may finally close for good. Its home at 3158 Larimer Street, a prime corner lot, is for sale, and at 84, Manuel Silva isn't ready for another move. Silva came to Denver in the ’50s with his father, mother and eight siblings; the family had $500 in life savings and dreams of opening a restaurant. They leased space at 2010 Larimer Street; by the ’70s, Silva had taken over the spot and changed the name of the restaurant to La Casa de Manuel.

For two decades, he watched as the neighborhood changed with the establishment of the Lower Downtown Historic District in 1988 and the opening of Coors Field in 1995. And in late 1998, he got a letter announcing that his lease was being terminated. He found a new space eleven blocks away, in another neighborhood that has changed a lot over the last two decades with the establishment of the RiNo Art District and developers discovering the old warehouse neighborhood.

And while La Casa de Manuel is still serving (not on Sundays, though), the property is now listed for sale...for a whopping $25,000,000.

On the Westword Facebook post of the news, readers dish up plenty of opinions. Says Jennie:
I hope they don’t close; my family and I have been going there for years! I remember being really little and the old location. The greed is way out of hand, and it has changed our neighborhoods and city — and not for the good, either!
Adds James:
A lot of these businesses sustained generations of families. They probably don't have anyone who wants to put in the work, so it's time to cash out. Good for them, but the market will provide the right price for the property.
Responds Darlene:
All about the property. In my experience, the food was disgusting.
Counters Cindy:
Wrong! I love their "wet" burritos (although I'll never understand why they don't just call them "smothered." I'll miss La Casa de Manuel, and my favorite green chile.
Offers Jolene:
Everyone can argue whether or not the food was good or not. This is about how much the owners are asking and what they will get. In my opinion, I hope they get everything they are asking. All of these big corporations who have invaded our town need to pay big money for taking away who our city is/was.
Comments Paul:
Nice article. For those who haven't visited previously, however, you should be aware there's a reason this place never appears on Readers' Choice and Best Of lists. Redevelopment of the underutilized property is long overdue.... Time for this large corner property to contribute meaningfully to the urban fabric of this invitingly walkable neighborhood. This place has been an eyesore since I moved to the neighborhood more than forty years ago.
Replies Doug:
Hard to justify the title "eyesore," especially since it sits across from a massive concrete structure that adds no visual appeal or character. It has been a community staple and served its purpose for all parties involved for decades. It will most likely give way to another massive concrete structure that will add no true beauty or purpose and instead density.
Says Rene:
I hate what has happened to my neighborhood. Born and raised at 32nd and Curtis; gentrification can suck a big one!
Adds Michael: 
Homogeneity continues to drive Denver into white-bread sameness, determinedly destroying everything but upper-middle-class self interest.

Concludes Dena:
Just sad. Will have to go eat there before it's gone. I hope the family will retire well from the money they make on the property. Not a bad return for the $500 they originally invested.
Over the years, La Casa de Manuel has won many Best of Denver awards from Westword, both at its original home and its current location — and not just for its food. Those decades-old murals are worth some attention, too. Have you been to Manuel's? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected] 
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