Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Border to reopen; no passport required

The Border, a fixture of the DU bar-and-restaurant scene for decades, changed hands Jan. 22 and its new owners plan to reopen as soon as today.

There will be few noticeable changes, says co-owner Brian Haddad. He and partner David Weiss like the cozy wooden booths and semi-circular bar and hope to retain that appearance.

“We want to keep it the same but build on its potential,” says Haddad, who notes that he and Weiss were customers of The Border long before it became available for purchase. “We love the history of the place.”

The Border, located at 2014 S. University Blvd., is nestled in the corner of a 1960s-era structure on the east side of University Boulevard north of Evans Avenue. The structure also houses Floyd’s Barbershop, Jason’s Thai, Subway and several other retailers.

The Border thrived for years as a campus-oriented watering hole until owners ran into trouble in October 2009 when the business had its liquor license suspended for 30 days. The action came after an undercover police operation last summer that resulted in an accusation of selling liquor to an underage patron. It was The Border’s fourth citation since 2006, according to Assistant City Attorney John Poley (JD ’85).

REM Capital Corp., then-owners, elected to sell the business as part of a formal agreement with the city and county of Denver, and the business went on the market with an asking price of $195,000. Interest was high, says restaurant broker Shawn Sanborn of Sanborn & Co. Eventually a deal was reached with Haddad and Weiss, with the circumstances of the sale not an obstacle to transferring the liquor license to the new owners.

Haddad and Weiss operate two other food-service businesses in the metro area, the Breakers Café at the Breakers Resort in Denver and Parkside Café in the Palomino Park Resort in Highlands Ranch.

Haddad says the Border will undergo “minor renovations” prior to reopening and emphasize “comfort bar food” such as burgers and sandwiches. Haddad says his goal is to make the restaurant a lunch option for DU faculty and staff. For nighttime patrons, he plans to offer music, trivia and Texas Hold ’Em events designed to appeal to a college-age crowd.

Response to the plans may be strong if staffing response is an indication. A modest ad on Craigslist brought more than 700 inquiries for positions from cooks and servers to bartenders.

“We were overwhelmed by the response,” Haddad says.

The Border will be open daily from 11 a.m.–2 a.m.

Ed. Note: An early version of this story listed an inaccurate closing time. This story has been updated with the correct information.

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