In 2006, Snarf's Sandwiches founder Jimmy Seidel celebrated ten years in business even as he was forced to move his original shop across the street, to where the restaurant now stands, at 2128 Pearl Street in Boulder. The reason? The property had been sold and the building was to be demolished to make room for new apartments.
Thirteen years later, after having built his sandwich empire to 25 current and under-construction outposts in Colorado, Texas and St. Louis, Seidel's flagship store faces another move. Once again, development is the culprit; the building has changed hands, and condos will soon be built in its place.
Despite the enormous hassle and expense of having to search for a new location and move the restaurant, Seidel is taking it in stride. On Saturday, March 27, Snarf's will close its Pearl Street spot, but not before treating fans to a sandwich deal. For a $5 donation, customers can choose between an Italian, turkey, ham, roast beef or veggie sandwich with chips and a drink, and all proceeds will be donated to Attention Homes, an organization that helps the homeless and at-risk youth.
Seidel says the closing is heartbreaking, but he's had a little time to come to terms with it. He found out that the property was for sale nearly a year ago and had been weighing his options since then. "We had the opportunity to buy the property, but it didn't make sense [financially]," he explains. Instead, he's found a new location that will maintain some of the character of "the shack" (as the original location was called) and its successor. He's still working with the city of Boulder on the move, so he's not ready to disclose the address yet, but will say that he thinks his regulars will approve.
"I'm nervous, but we've got some pretty loyal customers," he notes.
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Snarf's may be experiencing a temporary setback, but the future holds plenty of positive notes. Seidel says his two upcoming Denver Snarfburger locations — at 2535 Federal Boulevard and 1001 East 11th Avenue — are expected to open by the end of April (though he admits he's an optimist). These will be the first two Snarfburgers outside of Boulder's original at 2000 Arapahoe Avenue.
Snarf's also just announced the winner of its Top Snarf award, after a contest allowed customers to submit recipes for a new sandwich. Seidel, along with Snarf's customers, picked the Mother Clucker, made with rotisserie chicken, bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, honey mustard, seasoning and oil, submitted by Helen C. The honey-mustard combo (which isn't on the restaurant's regular menu) is what stood out for him, Seidel says. Helen C. won a year's supply of sandwiches, while her creation will appear on the Snarf's Not on the Menu menu for the next twelve months, starting March 18.
But if Boulder Snarf's fans want to try it, they'll have to visit one of the three other Snarf's locations in that town, at least until the move of the flagship is complete.