On February 24, the owners of the Saucy Noodle got bad news: The city had received an application for Certificate of Demolition Eligibility on the late-’60s era buildings from 715 to 731 South University Boulevard, which meant that the red-sauce joint at 727 South University was almost certainly a goner. Because even without this indication that a new owner wanted to clear-cut the property, the lease on the restaurant space was up at the end of 2020.
And so after more than 55 years, the Italian restaurant founded by Sam Badis and currently run by his granddaughter, Erin Markham, and her husband, Nathan, will almost certainly close this year. The message from the restaurant owners? "Don't do anything reactionary. Just eat spaghetti," they say on the Saucy Noodle Facebook page. And be kind, "the center of my grandfather's core values," says Erin.
But readers aren't feeling kindly about the situation. Says Jake:
What? Why? This place has some of the best Italian in town. Is nothing sacred in this town?
Hundred dollar bills are.
It no longer matters. The Denver some of us know and love no longer exists except in our hearts and minds.
So true. And what’s worse is that the current flock of transplants love this version of Denver.
It will get torn down and a nice, three-story apartment building with “retail first floor” will be built. Then the first floor will remain unrented with unsustainable asking rents. Look all the way down University from I-25 to Hampden to see how it works.
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Every business on the block is struggling. It's gotten very expensive to run a restaurant in Denver. Our options will be limited.
Despite Erin Markham's frustration at the situation, she says she doesn't think the building that the restaurant occupies is worth a landmark designation — the path pursued in other instances of a potential demolition — so she's not considering pursuing that angle.
After the lease expiration, she notes, "Our plan was to try and relocate — something hopefully we could purchase."
In the meantime, eat spaghetti.