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Bardenay Pulls Out of Park Hill

Owner Nixes Plan For Kearney Street Distillery And Restaurant

By Cara DeGette, Editor, GPHN

In late February, the owner of Bardenay abruptly abandoned plans for a 236-seat distillery and restaurant in the old Tower Theater space on the business block of Kearney Street between 22nd and 23rd Avenues.

The project, first detailed in the October, 2016 issue of the newspaper, was supported by numerous Park Hill residents. But it drew criticism from many nearby business owners and vocal neighbors living in surrounding residential areas, including in the condominium complex next door. Specifically, there were concerns over the size of the proposed restaurant and distillery, the lack of a parking lot, the impact on neighboring businesses and concerns over noise.

The news came about a week after yard signs began popping up in the neighborhood to “Boycott Bardenay,” though it is unclear whether or how much the opposition spurred the decision by the distillery’s Idaho-based owner to halt plans to move forward.

“I am afraid that due to the possibility of litigation, I can only confirm that Bardenay is not moving forward,” owner Kevin Settles wrote, responding to an email inquiry from Greater Park Hill News.

A statement posted on the Bardenay website suggested several possibilities: “For a number of reasons, including concerns with the building’s compliance with Denver’s stringent noise ordinance and the close proximity to the condominiums, Bardenay has notified the landlord that we will not be moving forward with the lease. We had always intended to be compliant with all laws and regulations and would only have proceeded if we could be.”

On a Park Hill Neighborhood group Facebook post, Bardenay Chief Operating Officer Joely Ward Rhodes wrote the following: “We are super bummed about this, but our attorneys gave us [the above] statement to release and this is all we can legally say at this time. Park Hill is great- wish everyone the best.”

The building, at 2245 Kearney St., has stood empty since the Korean Full Gospel Church, which leased the space, moved out in early 2012. For decades before that, until 1982, the building was the home of the Tower and Crest movie theaters.

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