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Brightmarten in Bonnie Brae closes restaurant in Denver on January 16

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Brightmarten in Bonnie Brae closes restaurant in Denver on January 16

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For three months, Jared Riggs has been washing dishes in his own restaurant.

The Brightmarten co-owner said it was difficult to find staff, as most restaurants can realize, and rising sourcing costs are slowing the business.

“The past two months have been particularly tough with two people both regularly due to COVID and the sales just aren’t there to support it so we’re tired,” Riggs said.

So, rather than shutting down for another winter, Brightmarten has decided to shut down completely.

The upscale American restaurant at 730 S. University Blvd. in Bonnie Brae will close its doors for good on Sunday after four years of activity.

“We are closing out of necessity,” Riggs said. “We can no longer make it work financially. “

The 3,000-square-foot restaurant, which opened in 2018, is also selling its assets, including equipment and its lease with three years remaining. Riggs said he and his co-owners have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovating the space. Axio Commercial Real Estate broker David Schneider represents Brightmarten.

Last winter Brightmarten closed its dining room from October to May with take out food available three evenings a week due to the pandemic.

Courtesy of Brightmarten via BusinessDen

Brightmarten Short Rib Stroganoff.

Riggs said the restaurant’s sales “are still quite behind 2019” and have not rebounded since the start of the pandemic. He added that Brightmarten typically needs 20 staff but hasn’t been able to hit that mark in recent months.

“We have seasonality for us,” said Riggs. “We were historically busy in the winter before the pandemic hit, and the summers are a bit calmer for us. So the unfortunate side of COVID, in general, is that it provided the worst-case scenario for eating in the winter, a time when we needed to be busy. “

Brightmarten’s dishes include a mushroom risotto, beet and beef tartare, and a Juicy Lucy – a burger with cheese inside the patty. Owners Riggs, Wade Nelson, Josh Prater and Jake Grant met while working at Larimer Square Rioja and Euclid Hall restaurants.

Riggs, who also owns Wing Hut and Wood Paddle Pizza & Tap in Aurora, both of which are more take-out-centric concepts, said it was difficult to keep a largely on-site restaurant afloat during the pandemic.

“Being a dinner-centric company, we have 110 seats here and we don’t fill them. We pay rent on them, so it’s hard to justify the business, ”Riggs said.

In the past four months, Brightmarten has increased the prices of its menus three times in order to keep up with food costs, but they still fall short of the market, Riggs said.

Brightmarten in Bonnie Brae closes restaurant in Denver on January 16

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