Seven months after Tavern 13 reopened in a new spot three blocks south of its original home at 1312 South Broadway, the venue has closed its doors again. And as a going away-present, the city slapped a notice on the front window of the bar, advising that Tavern 13's liquor license had been suspended. But by then, owner Natalie Robles had already left the building.
Tavern 13 had operated for eight years in its previous space, right next door to Pasquini's, without much incident. But when the original landlord died and a family member took over the building, the relationship was not nearly as smooth. So she decided to move her business three blocks away, to 1643 South Broadway. "It had been Heidi's Deli before; I had to make it into a bar," Robles recalls. "We moved last July and it took four months."
And soon after Tavern 13 was finally up and running, Robles's new landlord decided to sell the building. She was given the right of first refusal to buy the place but had no cash; "I was the one who was showing it for them," she says.
When new owners bought the building, she was given a "courtesy notice" that she had three weeks to decide whether to stay -- and hope they'd honor her lease -- or look for another location. "It would take longer than three weeks just to find a place," she says. "So I chose to close."
But before she did, on April 27, Tavern 13 got caught in an underage sting. "Ironically enough," Nobles says, "it was the last shift of one of my bartenders" -- who served the minor.
By the time the Denver Department Excise and Licenses made a decision on her liquor license, though, Robles says she'd already made the "sad decision" to close Tavern 13. "After going through all the craziness of moving less than a year ago, I didn't have the funds or the patience to try to do it again," she says.
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Tavern 13's original home is still empty.