Published November 4th, 2020 at 1:15 PM1 minute read
(Editor’s note: After this article was posted, breakfast lovers responded via social media about other downtown options including the Town Topic, Spokes Café|Cyclery, Banksia, the Opera House and hotel restaurants.)
By Kevin Collison
The Denny’s restaurant at 16th and Broadway has closed, leaving a breakfast-starved downtown with fewer options, but clearing the table for a potential office development across from the Kauffman Center.
Notes taped to the windows say “This Denny’s is currently closed…We appreciate your support during the years,” and the restaurant pole sign had been removed.
“Denny’s can confirm the location is permanently closed with no plans to reopen at this time,” a Denny’s corporate spokesperson said in an email.
The Denny’s property is part of a two block area on the west wide of Broadway controlled by Copaken Brooks. For several years, the firm has marketed the site for a potential 500,000 square-foot office development.
“Copaken Brooks maintains the redevelopment rights to the two blocks immediately west of Broadway and contiguous to the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, from Truman Road to 17th Street,” according to company marketing materials.
In an email, Jon Copaken confirmed the Denny’s building and site is owned by his firm.
Mike Klamm, managing partner at CBRE, said the so-called Denny’s site remains attractive for an office development when the business climate improves. Klamm has been actively involved promoting and participating in the Downtown Council’s annual office summit.
“I think it is a very highly visible and attractive site for a high-prestige office building,” he said. “The timing depends a lot on finding an occupant. Maybe something will get built in the next two- to three years.”
As for breakfast, the closing of Denny’s takes away one of downtown’s minuscule morning meal place options, particularly diner-style with old-school menus.
Eggctra, a South Plaza favorite, had considered a location at 10th and Broadway in 2017, but that plan didn’t move forward.
“Other than Mildred’s and the City Diner, there aren’t other breakfast places that come to mind,” said Tommy Wilson, who handles business recruitment for the Downtown Council.
“Part of our strategy as we come out of Covid is to get a few more breakfast places downtown.
“I do do think when there’s a full number of employees plus the residents there’s room for a breakfast place.”