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Racines restaurant in Denver not reopening; developer plans luxury apartment tower on site

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Posted at 12:37 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 14:37:34-04

DENVER — A Denver dining institution is gone for good.

After 40 years in the restaurant business, the owners of Racines restaurant, Lee Goodfriend and David Racine, announced Tuesday that they would not be reopening.

Racines was forced to close during the COVID-19 shutdown. During that time, the owners sold the property to a developer but promised to reopen after the shutdown was over and continue operating for a “long goodbye” until January 2021.

However, Goodfriend and Racine said in a Facebook post that reopening the restaurant was proving to be too difficult. They said they are trying to help their staff as they look for employment.

“It is with profound sadness that David and I have decided not to reopen Racines. There is just too much working against us. We hope that our beloved guests continue to support independent restaurants. they truly need our help to survive. Thank you for the support over the last 40 years. Its been so much fun. The hard work was worth it and its time to retire and enjoy the slower paced life. We will miss our treasured guests. We are trying to help place our fantastic staff. Love to all of you and many thanks,” the Facebook post read.

The property was sold to developer AvalonBay, who plan to build a 418-unit luxury apartment complex on the site, according to a concept application submitted to the city.

The highrise complex, called Avalon Governor’s Park, will take up half the block of 696 N Sherman Street. Construction is slated to begin in 2021.