Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

The Border restaurant seeking new owner for landmark bar

The 30-day suspension for a liquor law violation that closed The Border Restaurant and Lounge expires Nov. 18, but the business’ owner is hoping the familiar watering hole near DU doesn’t have to reopen.

The goal is to sell the business, says listing agent Shawn Sanborn of Sanborn & Co., which specializes in restaurants, hotels, bars and liquor stores.

“Several qualified operators have expressed interest and we expect it to be under contract soon,” adds Mark Valente, senior broker at Sanborn.

Border owner REM Capital Corp. of Parker, Colo., is seeking $195,000 for the bar and kitchen equipment in its 3,886-square-foot location at 2014 S. University Blvd. The business is tucked into the elbow of a 1960s-era wing of businesses that include Subway, Jason’s Thai and Floyd’s Barbershop.

REM’s decision to sell is part of a formal agreement the corporation reached with the city and county of Denver. It came after The Border was accused of selling alcohol to an underage individual during an undercover police operation in July, according to Assistant City Attorney John Poley (JD ’85). It was The Border’s fourth violation since Feb. 12, 2006, Poley says.

“They’re required to sell the establishment by Dec. 1, 2010,” Poley says. “That’s when their (liquor) license comes up for renewal and they understand it won’t be renewed.”

The agreement satisfies the underage-sale allegation by requiring a 30-day suspension, a 90-day period to find a buyer for an arm’s-length transaction, and a deadline of Dec. 1, 2010, for applying to transfer the liquor license to a new owner.

Efforts to contact REM president Robert Moore through his attorney, Adam Stapen of Dill, Dill, Carr, Stonbraker & Hutchings, were unsuccessful.

“Every graduate and undergraduate who ever thought he wanted to be in the bar business is calling me,” Sanborn says. “On a slow day, I get from three to six or eight calls from students.”

The commercial broker says he appreciates the interest but is looking for a solid buyer, given that uncertainty in the commercial lending industry has made financing a bar purchase “almost nonexistent,” he says.

Sanborn says REM has a “good long-term lease” to go with its equipment, a location in “one of the best bar and restaurant markets in Denver,” and a hotel-restaurant-class-dance-cabaret liquor license that is “difficult to get” and transferrable.

Sanborn can be reached by calling 303-220-7919 or at

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