Grabowski’s Pizzeria has checked out of The Source Hotel.
Owner Jared Leonard closed the Chicago-style pizza shop, located at 3350 Brighton Blvd., on May 10 after he realized the space wasn’t the right fit for Grabowski’s anymore.
“About 75 percent of our business was takeout, but for that space and rent, it really needs to be more of a cocktail bar or something where there’s more dine-in customers for the economics of it all to make sense,” Leonard said.
Leonard, who also owns AJ’s Pit Bar-B-Q in Denver and Campfire in Evergreen and Lakewood, opened Grabowski’s in 2019. The owner of Chicago-based SSC Hospitality Group wanted to introduce Denver to the 1950s tavern-style pizzas with rectangular slices and a papery thin crust.
And even though business was doing pretty well, Leonard said the vision for The Source has changed since Zeppelin Development sold The Source Hotel + Market Hall in RiNo to Los Angeles-based Stockdale Capital Partners for $70 million last year.
He said parking has become too difficult for takeout and delivery, as the 100-room hotel has gained popularity. And he just doesn’t need 4,500 square feet for a pizza shop anymore.
“That neighborhood is going to become like Ballpark soon with all the new offices and condos,” Leonard said. “The Source isn’t a funky industrial building off the beaten path anymore; it’s right in the middle of the path now.”
Although The Source might not be the right fit for Grabowski’s, Leonard said he’s not giving up on the concept yet. He’s kept all the equipment and is kicking around the idea of reopening Grabowski’s in a smaller spot near AJ’s in south Denver, Littleton or Lakewood.
“We have the mechanics, the systems and knowledge of the operation down, but sometimes the economics just don’t make sense in spaces as neighborhoods change,” Leonard said.
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