By Gene Davis, DENVER DAILY NEWS
They’re tearing down a historical icon and putting up a parking lot … and possibly a hotdog store.
Construction crews today are scheduled to start tearing down the old location of Argonaut Liquor. The former storefront, which was open for more than 30 years, closed its doors in 2008 after a new 40,000-square-foot home for Argonaut was built next door.
Argonaut is replacing its old 20,000-square-foot home with a parking lot and an approximately 800-square-foot new storefront that they will lease out. Biker Jim’s, the award-winning gourmet hotdog joint run by Jim Pittenger, has expressed interest in leasing out the space from Argonaut.
“I think that location would suit us well,” Pittenger said. “It would be nice to have a presence in Capitol Hill.
Pittenger said the new storefront would allow him to do things that he can’t do at his other locations. For instance, delivery to surrounding areas and a commercial kitchen are all possibilities if he opened up shop next to Argonaut. However, he added that leasing out the space was far from a done deal.
“It’s up in the air right now,” he said.
Argonaut originally wanted to replace the entire old storefront with a parking lot. But after getting pushback from the city, which wanted some kind of storefront on the old property, both sides reached a compromise; build a smaller storefront that would maintain the look of Colfax Avenue while also giving Argonaut more parking spaces.
“I think it’s a win for both of us,” said Argonaut General Manager Mark Fetter.
The new storefront is scheduled to be built on the northwest corner of the old lot at the start of next year. Fetter said he is looking forward to having a nearby business and more parking spaces to accommodate the hordes of customers who have been frequenting the new store.
“The store has been going very well,” he said. “Everybody should be as lucky.”