Eating Adventures

The venerable All-V's sandwich shop gets new owners, a new lease on life

"People came here as kids with their parents, and now those people are grown up and bringing their own kids. There aren't many places like that any more, but a community needs them." Those are the words of John Jacobs, who plans to reopen the 45-year-old All-V's sandwich shop with his mother, Karen Jacobs, sometime in late April or early May. The family bought the restaurant at auction in March after it was seized from the previous owners for nonpayment of taxes.

See also: Remembering All-V's All Variety and the small-town feel of a strip mall in the big city

"It needs new equipment and some cleaning. It's been there so long," says Jacobs, who worked at All-V's for the most recent owners, Eric and Catherine Fontaine, as well as the owners before that. "But it's definitely coming back as the same place it was before."

Jacobs says his mother might add soups and some other items to the menu, but promises that the sandwiches and their ingredients, from steak to avocado to turkey and cheese, will stay the same. "We'll probably go back to old rolls, though," he adds. "The new one was just too much bread."

A note from the Fontaines to customers after All-V's closed suddenly in February read: "As some of you know, All-V's has been struggling and in steady decline since the closing of the Med Center (the majority of our business). We had hopes that we could hang on until the redevelopment took place. We put everything we had into All-V's, but unfortunately it just wasn't enough."

Jacobs agrees that the closure of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and the nearby hospitals over the past seven years hurt a lot. "It was more of a word-of-mouth place after 3,000 people got up and left," he explains. "But now there is a lot more foot traffic."

Jacobs believes the neighborhood has been rejuvenated by Trader Joe's and other new businesses. In addition, there are hundreds of construction workers in the area tearing down the old medical school -- and there will be even more once construction starts on the new buildings that are planned for the site.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes