Downtown Glenwood losing a little slice of Americana
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Most Mondays and Fridays, be it for breakfast or lunch, Joan McDonald could be found down at the Glenwood Cafe on 8th Street.
So, it was a little unusual to see the life-long Glenwood Springs resident at her favorite eating place on a Wednesday morning.
It’s just that, after learning owner Judy Hoskins was planning to close the cafe for good at the end of this week, McDonald felt compelled to pay an extra visit yesterday.
More than an eating place, the Glenwood Cafe has been a place to gather and catch up with friends for the past 22 years.
“It’s just like home,” said McDonald, who routinely rides the senior van downtown for a taste of Hoskins’ home cooking, a cup of coffee and a side of good conversation.
“The food is good, and the people here are so nice to you,” she said. “There just aren’t a lot of places like that anymore.”
McDonald said Hoskins’ decision to call it quits is just another sign of the rough economic times.
“I guess that’s just the way it is,” McDonald said.
Hoskins said she has been unable to keep up with the rent due to a continuing decline in business. So, the Glenwood Cafe will serve up its last orders on Saturday, she said.
“Business is always lousy this time of year, but the locals have always kept me going,” Hoskins said. “Now, a lot of the locals are out of work and can’t afford to eat out.”
Hoskins has been running the Glenwood Cafe since 1989, when she took over the space at 311 8th St. that housed the former Dancing Pickle Deli.
“When business was good, we had a staff of five, sometimes six in here,” she said. “Now we’re down to three.”
Hoskins and the others will be joining the rest of those who are out of work, putting out applications and seeing what comes up.
“Maybe there’s something better around the corner,” she said. “There are lots of memories here, though. I’ve met so many people and made so many neat friendships.
“That’s the one thing you can’t take away from me, is my memories,” Hoskins said.
Count Patti Nielsen, along with her mother Beth Nielsen and son William Adams, among the regulars who would always make time for at least a cup of coffee at the Glenwood Cafe.
“I’ve always enjoyed the down-home atmosphere here,” said Patti Nielsen, who would often take it upon herself to redo the artwork on the walls at the cafe.
“It’s a little slice of small-town Western life, where you can just sit and talk and have a good time without feeling like you have to get in and out to free up a booth for the next person,” she said. “You don’t see that much anymore. That kind of thing is going away.”
Adams has enjoyed his mornings with his mother and grandmother at the Glenwood Cafe since returning from eight years in the Navy in 2008.
“It’s become our routine,” said Adams, who lost his job when F.Y.E. closed its store in the Roaring Fork Marketplace recently. Even when he was between paychecks, Hoskins was always willing to let him slide on the check until the money came in, he said.
“It’s that sense of community, where they make you feel like you’re part of something, that you could always find here,” Adams said.
Glenn Chadwick, who along with his wife Kris owns the building where the Glenwood Cafe is located, said the restaurant will be missed.
“We are sorry to see her go and that the business is closing; she’s been there a long time and has been a good tenant,” he said.
Chadwick said he wasn’t sure if another restaurant would take over the space. “We’re looking at some opportunities, but we don’t have anything figured out yet,” he said.
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