Tavern Downtown and Cowboy Lounge close on Denver’s Market Street

After more than a decade operating by Coors Field, Tavern Downtown and neighboring Cowboy Lounge have closed their doors to LoDo revelers.

A sign posted outside the Market Street Tavern tells customers that both establishments are closed, while four more Taverns and four other concepts by the same owner remain open around Denver, Eater first reported on Monday.

Tavern Hospitality Group owner Frank Schultz said it was just “time to get rid of some real estate” in the Ballpark neighborhood. He opened his first bar there on Market Street in 1997.

“I’ve been there 20 years, since ’97, and its been a good run,” he said. “It was time to either put millions into it… or sell it.”

Schultz says that stretch of Market Street, where he’s operated bars for two decades, is about to change drastically. In February, he sold the building at 1949 Market St., as well as the parking lot next door, to San Francisco-based Fillmore Capital Partners for $11.25 million.

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

LODO’s Bar & Grill downtown Denver on Dec. 18, 2018.

Along the longtime bar district, more changes are afoot. Across the street from Tavern Downtown, LoDo’s Bar & Grill sold late last year to Kenneth Monfort — son of Rockies co-owner Charlie Monfort — and partners Jason Marcotte and Matt Runyon of Summit Capital Venture Group.

While those new partners have added pop-ups to their bar’s existing offerings, they say they plan to keep operating LoDo’s indefinitely, according to Eater. But over the summer, plans were submitted to the city for an outpost there of country music star’s Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, BusinessDen reported.

As for Tavern Downtown and Cowboy Lounge, Schultz says they were aging concepts that struggled with the same challenges facing everyone in his industry: increasing property taxes, a steady labor shortage and the prospect of a minimum wage raise for tipped employees.

“We ran our course, we had a good run, and we’re just going to kind of pull up, pull it back a little bit and then jump back in,” Schultz said. “We believe the area is going to be in for a big spike.”