Colorado Springs-area Denny’s restaurants close suddenly

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Seven southern Colorado Denny’s locations abruptly closed overnight, according to restaurant employees.

A sign in the window of the restaurant at Academy Boulevard and Boulder Street in Colorado Springs says “Permanently Closed.” A sign in the window of the restaurant at Interstate 25 and Circle Drive indicates the property has been seized by the Colorado Department of Revenue for nonpayment of taxes.

A sign in the window of the Denny's at Interstate 25 and Circle Drive indicates the property has been seized by the Colorado Department of Revenue. / Josh Egbert - FOX21 News
A sign in the window of the Denny’s at Interstate 25 and Circle Drive indicates the property has been seized by the Colorado Department of Revenue. / Josh Egbert – FOX21 News

Four restaurants in Colorado Springs, one in Fountain, one in Woodland Park, and one in Burlington closed, according to a restaurant employee. The restaurants are all owned by the same franchisee.

“Over night, they just shut us down,” said Abby Van Houten, former Denny’s employee.

Van Houten was supposed to work her regular shift at Denny’s Tuesday morning.

“I left work thinking I would be coming back to work today and received a phone call at 10:30 last night saying I was no longer employed,” said Van Houten.

After four years at the diner that never sleeps,Van Houten is now forced to find a new job.

“I’m still a little bit shocked, that I woke up this morning unemployed,” said Van Houten.

The doors to the restaurants were locked because the State of Colorado says the guy who owns the locations didn’t pay his taxes.

“Now I’m unemployed for no good reason,” said Xavier Von Brunner.

The letter in the windows explaining Cooper Restauranteur and Consulting Group owed nearly $200,000 in back taxes.

“I had a paycheck coming Friday and that would have been my third week,” said Von Brunner.

Von Brunner had just started working at this Denny’s. In fact, he worked Monday morning.

He says one of his managers had a meeting later that afternoon and assured everyone things were okay.

“All the girls asked is anyone getting fired, is this a bad meeting,” said Von Brunner. “No, he said he talked with someone from Regional that everything was going really well in Colorado for Denny’s.”

But Van Houten says things haven’t been a grand slam.

“Definitely haven’t been getting pay checks on time, we’ve been having some issues with our accounts not being paid,” said Van Houten.

We tried reaching out to the owner of the franchise, Abe Imani, but employees say he skipped town.

Denny’s corporate office released a statement to FOX21 News saying:

“As franchisor, we have gone to great lengths in helping the franchisee keep these restaurants open, but unfortunately he has closed them.”

“Find something new because it doesn’t look like these guys will be opening up anytime soon,” said Van Houten.

 

 

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