Before Denver Central Market lands at DIA, Schlotzsky’s and Lefty’s will lay off 52 workers

Two Denver restaurants will depart from Denver International Airpot early next year to make space for the new Denver Central Market.
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Denver Central Market. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) five points; rino; denver central market; food; kevinjbeaty; denverite; denver; colorado;

Denver Central Market. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Two Denver restaurants will depart from Denver International Airpot early next year to make space for Denver Central Market.

The operator of Schlotzsky's sandwich shop and Lefty's Colorado Trail Bar and Grille notified the state this month that 52 workers would lose their jobs as part of the closures. The chapter president of the labor union that represents workers at DIA told Denverite on Wednesday the workers being laid off are actually in better positions than others at the airport.

Delaware North operates Schlotzky's and Lefty's in the A Terminal at DIA. The company out of Buffalo, New York will also operate the new Central Market location, said Kevin Abels, chapter president of Unite Here Local 23.

Because the operator will be the same, laid-off workers can exercise recall rights. That means if a job comes up at the worker's same classification within 12 months after they were let go, then he or she has the first opportunity to fill the position. Priority is given to workers with the most seniority, Abels said.

"In general, our members are very excited about all the growth and changes at the airport. We just want to be sure we're not left behind in these changes," Abels said. "Specific to this turnover, I do think it's one of the better case scenarios because these workers had the union and fought and won these protections. Now they get to exercise those rights."

DIA on a freezing morning, seen driving up to the terminal. Jan. 5, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Delaware North notified the state Dec. 4 that the company started to lay off workers ahead of the four-week period leading to Feb. 9. It's unclear when the new Central Market location is expected to open or how many jobs the venue will create. A call to the general manager of Delaware North wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

Workers losing their jobs may be able to find other positions at the airport, said Heath Montgomery, spokesman for DIA.

"We have a couple hundred jobs open at any given time so the people who are no longer employed by those locations are often very valuable to other concessionaires," Montgomery said.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at [email protected] or

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