The historic El Rancho restaurant has closed, and it remains uncertain whether it will reopen under new operators.
Mark Johnston, who has leased the restaurant from property owner Doug Antonoff, closed the establishment in November because of financial losses.
“There just wasn’t enough business to sustain it,” said Johnston, who lives in Detroit. “We were doing about $1,000 in business a day with $3,000 in costs. You can do the math. I just couldn’t go any longer.” About 20 employees were laid off as a result of the closure.
Antonoff could not be reached for comment.
Johnston said he’s trying to help Antonoff find someone else to take over the restaurant and bar, which has been an Interstate 70 landmark since 1948. Johnston took over running the facility in July 2011.
“I would love for someone to come in and start up the operation again,” Johnston said.
He said the restaurant didn’t generate enough clientele no matter how much advertising it did. Part of the problem, he said, is the upstairs guest rooms need plumbing and electrical updating, so they couldn’t be used. The downstairs event room needs remodeling.
“Of course, our biggest concern and focus was first and foremost to make the restaurant and bar profitable, and then migrate into working on events and weddings,” he said. “But when you’re losing that kind of money, it’s tough to put more gas on the fire.”
Johnston said he hoped someone will come along with enough money to make necessary renovations and to get the restaurant back on its feet. “I’m upset about it,” Johnston said. “I didn’t want to be involved with closing it.”
New yoga studio opens on Meadow Drive
Downtown Evergreen has a yoga studio called Studio B Evergreen.
The B stands for bliss, according to owner K.C. Mitchem, and the studio is inside Alpine Ridge Day Spa on Meadow Drive.
The spa has had a yoga room for years but without a cohesive program. Studio B now offers 15 classes a week taught by eight instructors.
Mitchem said she had been teaching yoga in different places around town and went to check out Alpine Ridge’s yoga studio because she heard the spa was looking for instructors. She took one look at the space and knew it was ideal.
“It’s a cozy, sweet studio with great energy,” Mitchem said. “This space really needed someone to make it into a community yoga program.”
Studio B has been open for about a month and has been well received, she said.
The instructors offer diversity classes, including both hot and hatha yoga.
“There’s something for everyone,” she said. “The atmosphere is so kind. It’s all about being authentic and kind.”
And speaking of kind, Thursdays are community days, and students go across the parking lot to Da Kind Soup for lunch after class.
For more information, visit www.studiobevergreen.com or call 720-357-6023.
Evergreen Automotive Repair continues quality tradition
For more than 10 years, Bill Kemp has owned Evergreen Automotive Repair on Hilltop Drive.
With six lifts, the mechanics can repair snowplows in the winter and work on antiques, classics and hot rods in the summer — and everything in between.
Kemp, who has been a mechanic here since 1976, says the most interesting time during his ownership was the storm in March 2003 that dumped 7 feet of snow in Evergreen. The heavy weight on the shop’s roof caused it to collapse. He wound up erecting a new steel building that could withstand Evergreen’s unpredictable weather.
The repair shop is at 30882 Hilltop Drive. For more information, call 303-674-0214.
Have tips about businesses in Evergreen? Contact Evergreen resident Deb Hurley Brobst at email@example.com.