Gabor's will close to make way for a new bar from the owner of Providence Tavern

Gaborssign.jpg
So far, 2012 is sucking up restaurants and bars at a rapid pace. In a matter of just days, Pearl Street Grill, India's Pearl and OTOTO have called it quits; after 34 long years, M&D's Cafe shuttered; Se7en, the corner bar in the Beauvallon, is gone, too; and the California Cafe in Park Meadows has stopped serving.

And now? Now, one of Denver's most venerable bars -- and along with it, a much-lauded jukebox -- is going dark.

Gabor's, which has held center stage at 1223 East 13th Avenue for more than thirty years, will close sometime within the next few months to make way for the Marion Street Tavern, a new bar from Sam Roots, who owns the Providence Tavern in Edgewater -- one of that city's best watering holes. "I don't want to give too much away right now, but I can tell you that we're going to completely redo the space and make it a really cool old-style neighborhood saloon with a menu that's similar to Providence Tavern, and we'll also have some really good draft beers that will be affordable," says Roots, adding that the Tavern will be one of the few joints in Capitol Hill where you can get a burger and craft beer for under $10.

The time line for the takeover has yet to be determined, but ideally, says Roots, he'd like to open by summer. "We're still working out all the details, but I'm hoping that we can start renovations within the next few months and get it up and running before summer is in full swing."

Roots says he'll have more details within the next few days -- and as soon as he does, we'll give you the full scoop.


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197 comments
AliP11
AliP11

Whatever happened to this, did it fall through? I was sad to see Gabor's go but have been watching for the new concept to go in. I haven't seen any forward movement, just a growing amount of graffiti and trash out front.

HymieHorowitz
HymieHorowitz

I wish I frequented Gabor's more.  I've been meaning to go... I haven't been there in probably three years and went at least twice--best juke box in town that's for sure.  I went with my friend from New Mexico who knew about the place, I think he used to go to Cricket on the Hill.  I'm a Denver denizen and he knew about the legendary Gabor's before I did!  I've been trying to find that place you could have a random conversation with a laid back crowd and all along it was under my nose at Gabor's.  It seems like that block has a lot of history and character back when Niccolo's was small and The Cricket was still there.  Now it might as well be your typical suburban strip mall. 

huzzah!
huzzah!

Save the jukebox!!!!  By far the best one in CO..

Philo99
Philo99

Reading all of these comments makes me a little nostalgic for the last time I visited Gabors.  The posts mimic the hate filled ramblings of the drunken posers that used to frequent Gabors. Only a bitter, misanthrope, still haunted from the torture he received from his classmates in junior high can hold so much malice towards people they have never met. From yuppies, to jocks, to chads to the local residents that want to improve the neighborhood they raise their families in. They can't possibly live up to your hipster standards because they don't despise the world and everyone that lives it, maybe because instead of drowning in their own bitterness they actually did something with their lives.  So you have 2 weeks to visit Gabor's, steal as much as you can, after that who knows what will happen? There can't possibly be another dive bar in Capital Hill where vitriolic pond scum can commensurate with talentless Bukowski worshippers.

Real Estate Guy
Real Estate Guy

Aaaarrggghh, my favorite cheap Denver bar gone.....bummer, but I knew it was going to happen.So here's the deal - the real estate was for sale.  Gabors didn't have a lease - they just paid a cheap monthly rate.  Based on the price of the property, which was really quite reasonable, the rent would have still needed to go up if they were to stay.  I looked at this property with a client, but we quickly realized that 1) there was no way Gabors would be able to stick around - ie they were not going to sign a new lease at a higher rate, and B) without Gabor's this property wasn't worth shit except as future vertical development (multi-family, with underground parking being the most likely).  It just didn't pencil unless it was to an owner/user or someone with really deep pockets who for some bizarre reason wanted to hold unprofitable land in Cap Hill. So the new bar tenant is most likely the purchaser of the real estate.  I just don't see it any other way.  Problem is of course that the site doesn't have any parking, and they are replacing an institution (love it or hate it).  

Lessart
Lessart

your relative is a joke and liar

lessart
lessart

nobody chose to close the bar and they got new carpet a year ago.

fed up with fools
fed up with fools

This has gotten way out of control. First of all, Gabor's longtime (absentee) owner chose to close the bar. The building was sold and she decided not to relocate. So Sam Roots comes along with a plan to open a bar in the same location, and somehow this makes him the villain? Get real, you idiots. A relative of mine works at Gabor's and reports that a bunch of, uh, devotees came in Saturday night and stole memorabilia from the walls -- anything that wasn't nailed down. It was the personal property of a longtime employee. Real class act, Gabor's fans. Way to show the love! My relative now has doubts about even returning for another shift.

guest
guest

i agree, the ignorant, childish whining in this thread is nauseating to say the least. I will miss Gabors, except for the smell of rotten carpet that hits you in the face when you walk in the door. The most upsetting aspect of learning that Gabors is closing is not the loss of a cool bar, but the revelation that most of the devotees to Gabors are simple-minded haters that fancy themselves the only source of authenticity on Cap Hill. Wow, shameless. I'm excited to see the space renovated!

Guest
Guest

http://s4.hubimg.com/u/881303_...Don't be mad. We are just grieving the loss of something we love. If you dont like it, don't sweat it. It will be gone soon enuf. I have included a link to help you understand.

Dj_brav
Dj_brav

Holy shit - all the hate and discontent on this thread is making me puke.  Have you hipster doofuses ever been to Edgewater much less out of your cap hill bubble? (considering your 49cc scooter couldn't make it up the Highland hill probably not).  Edgewater and Providence is hardly the suburbs much less yuppie-ville as many of you fear is taking over.  Do you know Sam? I mean know him to the point that you can personally insult him as many of you have? Can you perhaps consider the idea that it isn't the shitty bathrooms, posters, lights or the way your feet stick to the floor when you walk in the door that make the place - its the people behind and in front of the bar.  Yeah it sucks - another Denver landmark is going away - a place I loved going to years ago for many of the same reasons.  Shit changes, as do the faces of people I used to love having a Miller with at Gabor's.  Now its filled with a bunch of skinny jean wearing, idealistic, cry-babies.  At least its not being torn down and made into another high priced hi-rise.

Some Former Cricket Bartender
Some Former Cricket Bartender

First The Cricket, now Gabor's? WTF? Not enough Preppie-Fuck bars in town for ya? When those two were around, life was happily contained. Christ, the air alone on 13th would kill any chance of a fern-bar-like atmosphere, and we liked it that way.

Keriann5179
Keriann5179

Seriously people it is a bar! Get over it change happens. I welcome Marion Street Tavern with open arms!

diasdelily
diasdelily

Gabor's has a solid and loyal clientele, excellent food and a great atmosphere. Let us not forget the Juke Box, best one in town! 

I have no ill thoughts toward Mr. Roots, since business is business and any personal attacks on this thread come from the devastation people feel over Gabor's demise. Gabor's is a very loved bar by the community and it's surrounding parts. People love it's charm and history. 

We have enough taverns and sports bars in the area. If Mr. Roots plans on introducing somethings new it better be EPIC or it won't be worth the heartbreak or my money. I do suggest Mr. Roots studies his demographic very well before construction of the new project he has planned as well as surrounding bars.

As for comments regarding "hipsters, scenesters, etc." I've been at Gabor's many times and seen people from all walks of life. I've had drinks with the poor college student to the lawyer and financial adviser at Gabor's. Plus, for some of these "hipsters" you'd be surprised at some of the careers they have, yes, we all decide what we wear but that doesn't dictate what we do for a living. 

Guest
Guest

Worst. Idea. Ever.

Sara Pattison Cougill
Sara Pattison Cougill

When I read this yesterday, my first thought was NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Gabor's is perfect just the way it is!So, last night we decided to go to Gabor's. If it's closing and this is actually happening, then the girls who work there probably know the details. We get in, Mandy is working, have a few drinks. Then I asked Mandy if the rumors were true. And she said yes, they are going to try to close by the end of January. Sad. BUT then Mandy started telling me why she is happy that the changes are happening. She said that the old owners had stopped caring about the place and fixing things. She gets shocked by faulty machinery on a daily basis, the place needs a complete overhaul. She then told me that the new owners are keeping ALL of the current staff on!! (That won major points with me Mr. Roots!) AND THEY WILL BE PAYING THEM (Hey, Mr. Roots, this better be true!) during the remodel time when they can't work. Mandy told me that they are all super excited about the changes. It's sad to see a place as iconic as Gabor's going away. But if they take care of the people who work there currently (which is a BIG part of what made the place so awesome) then I'll try the new place out.

audrea
audrea

Stay in the suburbs Mr Roots Cap Hill doesn't need another Park Tavern, Pub on Penn,Govnr's Park Tavern, Wymans any of these shitty chad bars you can get a burger and beer for $10. Leave Gabors alone. Fuck Providence Tavern. Fuck any bar that wants your cell phone# to text you about bar promotions this is a terrible idea. They yuppified 13th so much its unbearable. We need to protest against this cause it's not okay. I know many, many people who will never set foot in this bar.shame shame

Anjulier
Anjulier

If you need me, I'll be outside the providence with a Save Gabors sign.

Capitol_Hill_Marilyn_Monroe
Capitol_Hill_Marilyn_Monroe

This fucking sucks! Gabors is a classic nostalgic seedy dive bar of denver. Us, capitol hill residents love it there. You can hang with a friend listen to Hank WIlliams and eat some food. It's a low profile place. And now it's gonna be turned into a yuppie douch bar. We don't need those! This is CAPITOL HILL... home of punks, hipsters and artists. We want unique, different and cheap.

The pizza shop next door took over Cricket on the Hill and we all hoped for something cool. Oh, wait... a sports bar. Seriously. That is not what capitol hill needs. We want something classic.

Does anyone know when Gabors is closing? I don't know one person that wants this. Way to fuck up our neighborhood.

Morning
Morning

Did anyone else happen to notice this building has been for sale for over a year, if you wanted to save it so badly.. Why didn't YOU buy your prized hangout. Or did you not notice because you haven't been there or had any memories there for five years.

JonathanLeeroySteele
JonathanLeeroySteele

Summer usually means Winter in the restaurant world, good luck, try not to screw it up!

JonathanLeeroySteele
JonathanLeeroySteele

Summer means Winter in the restaurant world, good luck, try not to screw it up!

Emily
Emily

I will add to the comments listed that show how so many people are disappointed in the closing of Gabor's. I hope that Sam Roots reads these comments to see how the people of Denver love Gabor's and do not want it to close. Gabor's is one of the places that makes Capital Hill a special place. I have many fond memories that involve gathering with my friends at the friendliest bar in town, Gabor's. 

prophet
prophet

And the yuppies have won this one, folks. What a loss, indeed. Must they ruin all things sacred? Surely, this is a sign of the end. I'll never understand why the bland can't simply be content with the suburbs. Denver, I've lost hope for you ever being a city of character and diversity. If I cannot walk into an establishment like Gabor's, with its alluring decor, phenomenal staff, excellent bar food, affordable drinks, interesting patrons, stellar tunes, and just generally appealing vibe, then I am truly a stranger in my own town. Yes, this is melodramatic, but as I said.....it's a sign of unbelievably boring things to come. Lock your doors, pull down the shades, the yuppies are here, and they will not stop until there is a pizza shop and sports-bar-in-disguise on every blasted corner of this Bacchus forsaken town. You have been warned.

melon
melon

so someone buys a building with one of the coolest neighborhood bars in denver and decides they want to "completely redo the space and make it a really cool old-style neighborhood saloon" .... so.  From what I have heard, the current owner isn't able to renew their month to month lease, and is being forced to close their doors.  Didn't they do that next door to the Cricket on the Hill....and that has worked out SOOO very well for them.  Shame on you for destroying a Denver institution.  My heart goes out to the Guys and Gals that have worked there for years and are just out of a job, and to the owner who just loses their business because some rich kid decides he wants his own bar.  Thoughtless, careless, shameful, egotistical, and down right rude.  Mr. Roots I hope your bar does as well as it deserves.  Poorly.

aclark
aclark

Oh NO!

First the Cricket On the Hill (which was bad enough, I remember flowers at the doorway for quite a while), then Gabor's?

There are more popular bars in Denver, but that place has soul, a living heartbeat that none of those popular places has.  To say it will be missed is an understatement.  I believe that I shall go there this weekend to worship at the altar.

Hillary Pawelka
Hillary Pawelka

I'd rather break every stick of furniture, shatter every glass, and burn her to the ground than let those soulless bastards have her. Gabors was like one of Bukowski's girlfriends; she wasn't pretty, not by any stretch. But she had great legs (the jukebox), she could handle her booze (stiff drinks), she'd hold your head when you were sick (great burgers), and god dammit, she stuck with you, even when you called her a whore and threw lit cigarettes at her. The only thing I've ever loved unconditionally is dying. And it saddens me more than I can say.

Greenrichy
Greenrichy

I'm a Floridian that visits Denver every once in a while and Gabor's is always a highlight to my my visit. I'm sorry to see a fine tavern get gobbled up.

Tim V
Tim V

Listen, you've likely got 2 or 3 weeks to get down there for a few more drinks, take a camera, make some new memories, cherish your old ones and say goodbye. I know I will be.

voice
voice

sad, sad, sad day! so many fond memories from that place. can we picket?

Anatoly
Anatoly

to hell with your "craft beers" stay in Edgewater you moron, leave Capital Hill alone. What is wrong with our society? Why can't we leave things be? Why is there a constant impatient need to re-gentrify and homogenize everyone goddamn thing?

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

Hey, all--

Thanks for your comments. That said, please play nice. And while this is your arena to sound off, nowhere in my piece did I report that The Marion Street Tavern would be a sports bar, so I'm not sure where that's coming from. We'll have more details about what's happened at Gabor's soon, but in the meantime, let's try to keep things amicable. Thanks!

Josh
Josh

"Only a bitter, misanthrope, still haunted from the torture he received from his classmates in junior high can hold so much malice towards people they have never met."

You mean, like you have been doing from the beginning of this thread and continue to do with your own vitriolic words above? You assume that all of the people posting comments lamenting the closing of Gabor's are "hipsters" and not yuppies, jocks, chads OR local residents when, in actuality, all of these types have been represented in Gabors' clientele. We are upset that a piece of our personal histories is going by the wayside and are expressing our frustration, some of us more politely than others, but all coming from the same place.

sad gabors patron
sad gabors patron

sad to hear about the memorabilia stolen. they're not open now -- have they shut the doors permanently?

Kyle Williams
Kyle Williams

I was actually told by Gabor's employees that is was changing and they didn't seem all that excited about it... I call bullshit. Its one thing to fix faulty appliances. Another to completely remodel.

Guest
Guest

We are not all super excited to lose our jobs and our beloved Gabors. And we have the option to APPLY for a job at the new place and will only be hired after being interviewed. Nothing is guaranteed. As far as paying the staff for doing nothing for 2 months during the remodel? Dosent make sense to me. ill believe it when i see it. Ill admit im a little steamed about being given 2 weeks notice after YEARS of being  faithful employees. Everyone who knows sam roots says hes great, and I believe it. But Gabors is the last gathering place for everyone who makes Denver what it is.  The talented, creative, interesting, and weird folks we have gotten to know and fallen in love with. This is a family that means so much to me.  Nomatter how nice this new place is, its not Gabors. It will not have the heart that this little bar has had for so many years. This neighborhood will never be the same and its heartbreaking.

Josh
Josh

Yes, many of the residents of Capitol Hill and frequenters of this place have the financial capability to pay $600,000 (actual sales price from December 12, 2011) for an entire block of commercial real estate...they just CHOOSE to live in a $450 per month studio with a hot plate.

Reardon
Reardon

These people haven't been sober enough to read a sign or figure out what's going on in their neighborhood for a long time.

I spoke with all my neighbors last night. They couldn't be more excited about that place being cleaned up.

Alkalinesky
Alkalinesky

Then I would suggest that the details come out sooner rather than later. It would have been far more respectful for Mr. Roots to have acknowledged what Gabor's has meant to the community and seek input on how to incoporate community opinions into his current plans for that space. As it stands, being told with 2 weeks or so notice that a place we have been going for 10, 20, 30 years would now be some "really cool tavern" is a huge loss, and that is being reflected in these comments. This issue far bigger than just Gabor's. That Mr. Roots maybe didn't realize that is indicative of the problems he faces.

aclark1998
aclark1998

That's sad.  They might have closed for good.  I went yesterday to check out the scene and take pictures and was shocked to find the place closed.  

If this is true and they stole stuff (of a longtime employee - I can only guess that some of that stuff belonged to "I") then those people should be ashamed.  This is why we can't have nice things.

Gabor's was an neighborhood institution that will be sorely, sorely missed, which is obvious by the number of comments in this thread.  That the new owner has taken some lumps on this blog was pretty much the only thing that could be expected.

dr. angelface
dr. angelface

you didn't speak to *all* your neighbors, honeybunch. and you're full of it.

gosh, we'll miss you when you move to Highlands Ranch where you belong.

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

"As it stands, being told with 2 weeks or so notice..." 

Really? Who told you that?

calhounp
calhounp

thanks. Lori's story was posted Wednesday. The closing-in-January info is what's now being tossed around at the bar...and in the Denver Post today.

Will Z.
Will Z.

Josh, Lori's story came out before Patricia (or anyone) had confirmed an actual timeline...they are posting details as they emerge...as stated in the last line of this article.

Josh
Josh

Well, now the person that told us this is none other than Patricia Calhoun. Perhaps you guys should get your stories straight before you try to play this close to the vest "who told you that?" game.

In the intro to the comment of the day regarding Gabor's, the first sentence states: "Of all the restaurant/bar closings that have been announced recently, none have caused the outpouring of comments that followed the relevation that Gabor's, a Capitol Hill institution, will be closing sometime this month. "

Alkalinesky
Alkalinesky

Mid to late January is rumored to be when it closes for renovations. Not true? Perhaps the new owner could give us a closing date.

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