Denver’s Saucy Noodle is next Bonnie Brae restaurant facing demolition

The Saucy Noodle Facebook page

This notice that an application has been filed with the City of Denver seeking a certificate of demolition eligibility for the building was posted in the Saucy Noodle restaurant’s window on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.  The Italian eatery has been operating on South University Boulevard in the city’s Bonnie Brae neighborhood for 55 years.

The Saucy Noodle Italian restaurant is the next Bonnie Brae mainstay that is being eyed for demolition ahead of possible new development.

Owners Erin and Nathan Markham took to the restaurant’s Facebook page on Monday evening where they posted a picture of a city notice that was taped to the business’s window earlier in the day. The notice informs passersby that the building’s owner has applied for a certificate of demolition eligibility for the property. If no one informs the city of their intent to seek landmark status for the building before 4:30 p.m. March 17, the property owner will have a five-year window to seek a demolition permit without further landmark preservation review.

The Markhams, in their note, said they were “totally blindsided” by the notice. The restaurant, tagline “If you don’t like garlic, go home,” has been a tenant in the building for 55 years. Its lease runs through the end of 2020.

“We have had no communication from our landlord regarding this notice and we are extremely saddened by this on all levels,” The Markhams wrote in their Facebook post. “We deserved to be notified, to let our staff know at least, they deserved better.”

The property is owned by Sherwood and Harry Sterling, of Denver, according to city property records. The building was built in 1969. Combined with the land it sits on, it has an assessed value of $3.3 million, records show.

Harry Sterling signed the application for the certificate of demolition eligibility, but the applicant listed on the document is the Robert L. Naiman Co., a real estate investment firm based downtown.

The movement on the Saucy Noodle building comes within a few months of a development company submitting concept plans that call for the demolition of the Bonnie Brae Tavern, an 85-year-old restaurant just across South University Boulevard from the Saucy Noodle. Those plans call for a three-story, mixed-use building housing 43 apartments. Michael Dire, co-owner of the tavern named for the Denver neighborhood its in, said last month nothing is guaranteed to happen there at this point. The new development would be contingent on his family selling the property.

The Bonnie Brae Tavern was subject to its own demolition eligibility review period last summer but no one came forward with plans to have it certified a landmark, clearing the way for a new concept plan to be submitted.

“We know the community is concerned about the future of the neighborhood, and sadly this only confirms your fears,” the Markhams wrote in their Facebook post. “Please come talk to us and we will share as much as we know when and if we do. Also please don’t abandoned (sic) us, we need you now more than ever.”