Keys on the Green closes

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

Keys on the Green restaurant and golf shop at the Evergreen Golf Course has closed effective Nov. 1.

RLR Inc., which has had the concessionaire contract to operate both businesses since 2001, terminated its contract with Denver Parks and Recreation effective Nov. 7. Denver Parks operates the golf course. RLR ended its contract six months early.

On Tuesday, Ron Reif of RLR Inc. was cleaning out the golf shop. The restaurant was expected to continue serving food through Wednesday. There were no signs on the building indicating that the restaurant was closing.

Representatives of RLR declined to comment, saying only that Denver Parks could answer any questions.

“We are surprised by (RLR’s) decision to end the agreement,” said Jeff Green, a spokesman for Denver Parks.

Green said that earlier in October RLR had asked to have its contract to operate Keys on the Green and the golf shop extended for five years beyond the end date, which was April 30, 2013.

Denver Parks initially refused to grant the extension, Green said, because of performance issues. He declined to comment on the specifics of the issues.

RLR filed documentation to have Denver Parks reconsider its denial, and Denver Parks officials had been going through the information, Green said.

On Oct. 29, Denver Parks received a letter from RLR that it was shutting down operations effective almost immediately.

Green said the golf course and the golf shop normally are closed for the winter beginning Nov. 1. The restaurant would remain shuttered for the winter, and Denver Parks will send out requests for proposals for a new restaurant operator.

The restaurant and pro shop are situated at the first and 10th tees of the Evergreen Golf Course on Upper Bear Creek Road. Built in 1927, the historic, octagonal-shaped log structure is part of Denver Mountain Parks and is owned by the city of Denver.

The building has had two fires within the last two years. The first, in April 2011, started in the attic above the restrooms and caused about $50,000 damage.

The second, in September 2011, damaged the kitchen and closed the restaurant for six months while new custom-built ventilation hoods were installed. The restaurant reopened in March 2012.

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041. Check www.CanyonCourier.com for updates.