Cafe Society

Solera roped off with police tape as hostage situation unfolds across the street

"Just when the 'Fax gets cleaned up, some asshole has to drag some hostages into the basement of a RadioShack."

That's the situation unfolding at this very moment at the RadioShack at 5305 East Colfax, says Goose Sorensen, the owner-exec chef of Solera restaurant. And the parking lot of his restaurant, located across the street from the mayhem, which, according to Sorensen, started this morning around 9:30 a.m., when a nineteen-year-old male, allegedly a member of the Denver Crips street gang, attempted to rob the electronics store, is now inundated with friends and family of the suspect, who is said to be holding a RadioShack employee hostage in the store's basement.

"It was a botched robbery, and he shot one person, but they got him out of there, and now there's still an employee being held hostage," Sorensen tells me, adding that friends of the suspect claim he's "texting, tweeting and posting messages on his Facebook page."

"I got a call this morning from one of my employees, who told me that shit was going down, and now my restaurant is surrounded by police tape and there are snipers on the rooftop of GB Fish & Chips across the street," he says.

Sorensen, who has in excess of eighty covers on the books tonight, isn't sure whether or not he'll be able to open for dinner. "I talked to one of the cops, and they just don't know. This could be over in fifteen minutes, or it could be tomorrow."

In the meantime, Sorensen says he's attempting to receive deliveries from everyone from his produce guys to his Seattle Fish purveyors, none of whom have access to the restaurant (Colfax between Fairfax and Grape is closed), so Sorensen is trotting his dolly two blocks down the alleyway while this all unfolds.

"I'm going up and down the alley to get my shipments, and then there's all the stuff going on in my parking lot. I'm sitting here watching mothers spank their babies, people planting their butts in my planters, I'm filling up baby bottles with milk for the ones that are screaming, and the mother of the suspect is hysterical. Good times down here, Lori, good times."

Sorensen says, too, that today's events have given him incentive to go through safety procedures with his staff tomorrow. But in the meantime? "I might need a shot of tequila," he says.

Let's just hope that everyone gets out safe.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson