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Father and son team will reopen Denver's iconic Campus Lounge this fall

Our CO: Owners want to "respect the nostalgia"
Posted at 3:28 PM, Sep 05, 2018

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DENVER -- Burgers and burritos with green chili will be on the menu when the Campus Lounge reopens this fall, but the most notable addition is all the brand new TV screens.

The iconic Bonnie Brae restaurant is almost ready for another comeback. Renovations are underway with new floors and a brand new kitchen but the owners want to bring back the feel of a neighborhood-gathering place.

"We miss the old Campus Lounge and I think a lot of people did as well so here we are," said Jeff Nickless, one of the new owners.

The Campus Lounge was previously owned and operated by Jim Wiste for 40 some years. He passed away in January 2018. Before his death, Wiste decided to retire from the bar business and Denver restaurateur Dan Landes took over.

Landes put a hip spin on the Campus Lounge and it didn't seem to go over well with the neighborhood. After reopening in October 2017, the restaurant closed after five short months.

"We want the Campus to be what it once was, not what it tried to be," said Dan Nickless, a new owner.

A father and son team with strong ties to the area decided to buy the property because it's close to their hearts. Jeff Nickless and his dad, Dan, remember helping out at the family's meat market down the street.

Dan Nickless has fond memories of working at the Esquire Market. It was owned by his father and used to supply the Campus Lounge with meat for burgers. The family would often stop in for dinner or just to catch up with the staff.

“I get a chill when I walk into this place still, and to think that we have an opportunity now to return it to its glory is pretty exciting for us," said Dan Nickless. 

PHOTOS: See pictures of the ongoing renovations at Campus Lodge here.

People in the neighborhood have noticed some of the remodeling activity taking place and they have already tried stopping in to see if the restaurant is open.

An official opening date hasn't been set but Nickless thinks it will be sometime in October. He's hoping it will be in time to watch a Broncos football game or maybe a Rockies playoff run on those new TV screens.