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Bonnie Brae Tavern isn't closing, but non-historic status could make it easier to tear down

Posted at 3:11 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-29 21:23:32-04

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DENVER — A notice on the Bonnie Brae Tavern has created a buzz about the future of an iconic business. Earlier this month, the owners applied for non-historic status which could ultimately make it easier to tear the building down — but it also doesn't mean demolition is in the works.

The restaurant has been fielding phone calls from worried customers ever since the sign went up near the entrance. One of the owners wants to clear up any confusion. He told Denver7 on the phone that the tavern is not closing, but they are exploring their options.

"In recent years Denver has lost a lot of its old mainstay restaurants and the sort of familiar watering holes and little businesses that people love in their neighborhoods," said Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver. "So, we knew that the community would be concerned about it."

If no one files an objection, the city could grant the certificate which would give the property owners five years to file a demolition permit without any further historical review. Although the business is approaching 85 years old, it is not officially considered a historic site. The deadline to submit an application to designate the building as a landmark is April 30.

"I think maybe people take for granted the way these businesses operate in our neighborhoods, and it’s only once they’re threatened that people really start to rally around them," said Levinsky.