Denver has lost yet another local favorite to the pandemic. Racines, the sprawling, 36-year-old restaurant and patio on 650 Sherman Street, is closing for good months earlier than expected.
The restaurant, which is under contract to a developer, was originally set to close on January 15, 2021. Now, due to the impending sale and the complications of reopening during the global pandemic, owners David Racine and Lee Goodfriend have decided to close it down earlier than planned.
“Although we had always planned to be back in business, this darn pandemic makes it impossible,” Racine said. “The risks involved in reopening with limited capacity for just a few months really don’t make sense for us or our treasured staff.”
This isn’t the first time Racines has been forced to close. The original Racines on Bannock was shut down back in 2003, when the property’s landlord decided to demolish the building. Determined to never again allow a landlord to determine their fate, Racine and Goodfriend purchased the lot on Sherman and reopened for business after a year hiatus.
“Our long-term success in this difficult business is a testament to the managers, staff and regular guests that made Racines their home away from home,” said Goodfriend. “I’ll miss all of them and wish I could thank them each in person. The last few months have given me a tiny taste of retirement and I have to admit, I’ve liked it after more than 50 years of continuous restaurant work.”
John Imbergamo, a representative for Racines, declined to say which developer has taken control of the 9,200-square-foot property.