On Monday, January 3, the parking lot was empty at Breakfast King at 1100 South Santa Fe Drive. Although a sign on the door reads “We are temporarily closed”, the Colorado Sun indicates that the formwork is final.
While the vintage orange cabins were ready for service on Monday this morning, the blinds had been lowered. Next to the sign announcing the temporary closure is another that reads: “We are understaffed. Please be patient with the staff who have shown up. No one wants to work anymore.” Staff shortages are the norm in the hospitality industry these days, but calling them on a business’s door is not.
Despite its recent challenges, Breakfast King has long been a beloved institution in Denver. Open since 1975, it was one of the few restaurants in town 24/7 – although when it reopened after closing in March 2020, opening times changed with doors open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (at the latest).
In 2003, Westword named Breakfast King the best place to feel like an unpaid extra in a Tarantino movie. In 2009, the diner was chosen as one of America’s best breakfasts by Squire. It was WestwordThe choice of “Best 24/7 Diner” in 2019 – a category that has since become dominated only by chains, as only chains have reopened as 24/7 spots.
Whether you opted for the stellar chicken fried steak, the King’s breakfast on the unique Toro Pot, or a late night conversation over a hot cup of coffee, the restaurant had a classic appeal that is becoming more and more popular. more difficult to find in the city.
As of March 2020, Denver has lost 20th Street Cafe (not a 24/7 restaurant, but a diner), Tom’s Diner (which was okay anyway, but had hoped for a last hurray of a few months) and the Denver Diner, whose owners have promised they are looking for another location.
Hey, we know of a location in Santa Fe and Mississippi Avenue that might be available!