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Toms Homes Cookin In Five Points For Sale
Dated: November 18 2015
The building housing Tom's Home Cookin', a popular Southern-style diner in Denver's historic Five Points neighborhood, is on the market.
But the owners say that fans of the restaurant's fried catfish, collards and candied yams shouldn't panic.
"We're really just kicking the tires," co-owner Steve Jankousky said Monday morning. "We've seen a lot of development in Five Points and are really just curious what the property might bring."
News that the 1,350 square-foot property at 800 E. 26th Ave. was on the market — it's listed at $585,000 — was first reported on the BusinessDen website.
Jankousky and his fellow owner and partner, Tom Unterwagner, opened Tom's Home Cookin' in Five Points in July 2001. They first opened the restaurant in 1999 in Park Hill.
In a May interview with The Denver Post, they said they paid $186,000 for the property, then sank another $100,000 into improvements, including a $20,000 sun room and another $20,000 for an air-conditioning system.
Five Points was beaten down and blighted at the time. Buildings were burned out and boarded up.
"When we moved here it was a tough neighborhood," Unterwagner said then. "There was lots of drug dealing and crackheads and it was being ignored by the city. But it's really turned around."
The restaurant's clientele includes pro athletes, longtime neighborhood residents, CEOs and hip kids sampling their first bite of catfish. The line forms before the 11 a.m. opening and food in the cafeteria-style line is served until they run out around 2 p.m.
Places such as Rosenberg's Bagels & Delicatessen, a shop with sophisticated takes on traditional bagels, have recently opened down the block. And there are other signs of revival. Jankousky said that the razing of two houses nearby to prepare for more development got him and Unterwagner thinking.
"We have no specific plans," Jankousky said Monday. "We're pretty much open to anything."
That includes reopening in a new spot, if the numbers pencil out.
"Any news of our impending closure is premature," Jankousky said. "We do a Thanksgiving dinner every Thursday except actual Thanksgiving Day, and we're already putting together the ingredients list for that."
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