On Wednesday evening, staff at Old Chicago’s Tejon Street location were notified that the downtown landmark would close on July 16.
Old Chicago Spokesperson Rebecca Fischer confirmed the report.
“We couldn’t find an economic way forward in that location,” she said. “It’s sad — we opened on Tejon Street 33 years ago. But we haven’t abandoned Colorado Springs by any means; we just opened a new location.”
The news didn’t take some downtown insiders by surprise.
“I’ve known about it for several months,” said Joe Compana, who owns nearby establishments Bonny & Read and the Rabbit Hole. “They didn’t want to sign a new lease, and the present one expires on July 15. It’s a very big, expensive space — maybe 8,000 square feet. I’d be interested in maybe taking some of it, maybe for an all-Colorado place with 100 taps and all Colorado — distilled liquor.”
The Old Chicago restaurant chain is owned by CraftWorks Restaurant and Breweries, headquartered in Chattanooga and Broomfield. The company also owns several other chains, including Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants and Rock Bottom Restaurants Breweries. CraftWorks is the owner/operator of approximately 200 restaurant locations in the U.S. and Canada and has more than 12,000 employees.
The company recently opened a fifth Old Chicago location in southeast Colorado Springs. According to the company’s website, Old Chicago was started “back in 1976, when a few buddies opened a pizza restaurant in Boulder. From the start they agreed on a few basic principles: serve up delicious, handmade pizza, have the best lineup of cold beers in town and treat everyone who walks through the door like family.”