DENVER – Randall’s in Denver’s Cole neighborhood has been serving up Cajun-inspired cuisine for nearly two decades. But the neighborhood restaurant is in danger of closing soon.
“I've been in this neighborhood with my restaurant for 18 years now, different places. But it's the fourth location I've had... I went Manual High School when I moved here from New Orleans,” said Randall Borne, owner of the restaurant.
Borne opened the restaurant at its current location on York Street two years ago, but the road to opening day and the months that followed were challenging for the restaurant owner.
“We were building out the space, but had a 30-month opening delay during COVID due to supply issues and I ran out of money while I was building out the space,” Borne said.
With help from his landlord, family members, and friends, Borne was able to open his new location. But a month later, Borne was dealt another blow.
“I had a stroke… the doctors said I was working with 65% of my brain,” Borne said. “I was in (the hospital) for 38 days and I learned how to walk, talk, and everything again.”
Borne’s friends and family members stepped in again to help run the restaurant but Borne started falling behind on his bills.
“COVID has really affected his business along with rising prices for food costs. So yeah, it's been challenging financially for him because of that, as well as him being just a giving person and having a big heart. He tends to give more than he has,” said Larissa Borne, Randall’s daughter.
But Larissa said now her dad is the one who needs help.
“He's very, very prideful," she said. "He also holds himself in such a high regard that you can't really help but think that he would never need help."
“My bills are just piling up, piling up and I just do my payroll, I buy alcohol and food and I wasn't paying the main bills,” Borne said. “Like my daughter said, I need to get up, get off that pride stuff, that ego stuff and the stubbornness, get out of it and accept some help because I have never asked anybody for anything.”
Borne's friend Rickey Harris said he was shocked to learn he needed help, but wants to do what he can to keep the business open.
“I've watched businesses that have been in this community go away,” Harris said. “I want to do whatever I can to help him to ensure that he is able to sustain and grow in this community.”
Harris said Borne’s is more than a restaurant — it’s a gathering space located in a community that has very few.
Borne said he is so grateful for his loyal customers and friends, and hopes to welcome more customers.
“Come down here for some really good food at a good price. And a very good atmosphere," Borne said.
He said he hopes to welcome even more customers so that he can remain open in the neighborhood he loves.
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