Denver's ESPN Zone Closed

Popular Sports Bar On 16th Street Mall Shuts Down

A connection to the Total Sports Network wasn’t enough to keep the ESPN Zone in business.

The popular establishment along Denver’s 16th Street Mall is closed, as of Monday morning.

Following a meeting with employees, at 8:30 a.m. the sports bar was shut down.

A 7News photojournalist saw several employees leaving with large envelopes.

“They took care of us, we’ll be fine, “ a woman said while leaving the mall.

A letter included states ESPN Zone opened in 2001 and has 100 staffers who are now eligible for 60-day “administrative leave packages”.

A former employee told TheDenverChannel that package includes 9 weeks of pay and 9 weeks of insurance coverage for employees who already had coverage.

“The overall economics of continuing this operation were very challenging. We have enjoyed being a partner of the community for the past 8 years. We thank our loyal patrons and believe we provided our customers with a great experience,” said Regynald Washington, vice president and general manager of Disney Regional Entertainment.

“A decision like this is never easy. We recognize and appreciate the commitment and years of service of all employees. Unfortunately, the current economic environment left us no other choice,” said Rick Alessandri, Senior V.P., ESPN.

Callahan Capital Partners, the owners of the Tabor Center, issued the following statement regarding ESPN Zone:

"ESPN Zone has been a valued tenant at Tabor Center since 2001, and we were sorry to hear of their decision to discontinue their Denver operations. At the same time however, this has created a new opportunity for us to bring new concepts to 16th Street, with the upcoming addition of The Tilted Kilt Pub and Restaurant and the recent opening of Ling & Louie's Asian Bar & Grill, both of whom bring vibrant concepts with prime-16th Street outdoor patio seating.

"In addition to Tabor Center's unrivaled dining options, which also include The Palm, Cheesecake Factory, Green Fine Salad and Corner Bakery, Tabor Center will soon be home to the Colorado Athletic Clubs' new 39,000-square-foot flagship Club, whose balcony overlooking Writer Square will add new vitality to a previously undeveloped portion of the mall. Tabor Center is very excited to be playing such a pivotal role in the renaissance of The 16th Street Mall and the new amenities exemplify the exciting retail transformation currently underway at Tabor Center."