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Restaurant chain cites homelessness for downtown closure

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Posted at 11:23 AM, Oct 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-09 13:24:09-04

Despite its name, Teriyaki Madness was tired of the chaos surrounding its location near Union Station.

The Denver-based fast-casual Asian chain, which serves rice bowls with proteins and vegetables, closed its only corporate-owned store at 1920 17th St. in downtown Denver in June. It opened in 2019.

“Things like protests and lack of office traffic really caused a lot of business disruption,” said CEO Michael Haith. “The homeless issue down in that area was unsafe. We had a terrible time operating the restaurant, and we didn’t see any end in sight. I will not mince words.”

Teriyaki Madness’ 2,400-square-foot restaurant was also a training space for employees, an education center for national franchisees and a research-and-development facility to test out new menu items.

Haith said the company negotiated a deal with the landlord to get out of the lease, which still had years left.

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