Fillmore Street between Second and Third avenues in Cherry Creek will soon undergo a major change, as demolition on a row of retail shops on the east side of the street begins. The replacement will be an eight-story office and retail complex being developed by Schnitzer West. Of course, that change will be preceded by more changes, since current tenants are losing their homes. One of those is Lynda Campbell's So Perfect Eats, which closed its doors on Sunday after nearly six years serving sandwiches, baked goods and home-style cooking to the neighborhood.
There is hope for Campbell, though: She expects to reopen So Perfect on the same block once the new building is in place — but that won't be until the summer of 2017. And over the weekend, sad customers realized that it could be more than a year before they'll again be able to treat themselves to Campbell's sweets. "I've never seen anyone panic-buy cookies before," Campbell says. "We sold 400 cookies in two days."
As a board member on the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District, Campbell saw this move coming. Although she says she's surprised at the shift away from the unique quaintness of the shopping district, she notes that she originally chose the neighborhood because of its obvious growth potential and looks forward to serving customers from the new condos, apartments, offices and hotels that are popping up.
"There's been pressure on the developers to keep some diversity and uniqueness," she adds. "It's a risk for them to lease to an independent; having run a sucessful business helps." She's seen the plans for the new building and thinks it will be a beautiful addition to Cherry Creek, she says, adding that most of the developers working in the neighborhood have been respectful of the area's history while looking to the future.
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She also says having a rest from day-to-day operations isn't all bad. "We got so busy so fast that I'm actually looking forward to taking a break," she says. The time off will give her a chance to plan changes and improvements, including more creative menu items and possibly adding beer and wine for a casual happy hour for employees of the new offices that will surround So Perfect.
Still, the closure of the cafe came at a difficult time for Campbell, whose husband passed away unexpectedly on February 1. One of So Perfect's employees set up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of his memorial service and to put some funds aside to help reopen the restaurant. Here's a link to the campaign.