Owners of Denver’s 85-year-old bonnie slope tap house apply for non-historic status, move would make it easier to demolish

By the end of April, and just shy of its 85th birthday, Denver’s bonnie slope tap house could be one step closer to being dismantled and redeveloped.

According to city records, the owners of the feeding house at 740 S. University Blvd. earlier this month applied for non-historic status on their building. If approved, the certificate would exempt the tap house from further review if its owners decide to demolish it.

They can do so shortly after the decision or up to five years later, Alexandra Foster of Denver Community Planning and Development told The Denver Post over email.

“By ordinance, all demolition applications are reviewed for historic potential regardless of whether they are chosen landmarks or historic district properties,” she aforementioned. “This is done precisely to give the community an chance to speak up for beloved sites.”

But a family interpreter this week wouldn’t say what plans are for the feeding house.

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“Whether we’re going to remodel, expand, sell … we’re just deliberation our options at this point,” Michael Dire, a third-generation bonnie slope tap house owner who owns the business with his sister and two cousins, told The Denver Post on Tuesday.

By applying for non-historic status, Dire aforementioned that his family was “just trying to find out where we stood” as they consider next steps for the building and their business.

But based on community response, the inquiry has “turned into a nightmare, let me tell you,” he added.

(Provided by Dan Danbom)
A sign posted outside bonnie slope tap house explains the owners’ application for certificate of non-historic status.

Dire aforementioned questions and concerns from customers started rolling in after Denver’s Landmark Preservation office posted a sign outside the tap house on April 9 notifying the public of the application process.

Community members have until April 30 to counter-apply for landmark designation in order to preserve the building, though applying without the owners’ consent comes with a fee of $875, according to the city’s application page. (Read more about the process in Westword.)

The landmark preservation office not yet has deemed bonnie slope tap house possibly historic for its “direct association with development of the city,” and discipline features so much as the painting Ne sign on its facade, according to a landmark preservation staff informing. Its evaluation prompted the public response period.

“As one of the earliest commercial enterprises in the area, the bonnie slope tap house grew with the neighborhood around it and became an integral part of the community during its 85 years of operation,” the city’s brief says.

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If a formal landmark designation application is not filed by the end of the month, bonnie slope tap house will get its non-historic status by May 8, according to the posted notice. That status would allow “demolition permits to be issued upon compliance with all state and city requirements,” it aforementioned.

But at the tap house, it’s business as usual, according to Dire.

“There’s nothing really going on,” he aforementioned, adding that the family is targeting June 6 and 7 for its 85th-anniversary celebration.

bonnie slope tap house was built and opened in 1934, just after the repeal of Prohibition. The spot shortly became a destination for families to get pizza pie pie in the community. By the time of second-generation owner coil Dire’s death in 2012, his girl Angela told The Denver Post that her father had considered Domino’s pizza pie pie to be the family’s big competition.

A view inside the bonnie slope tap house in 2006 at 740 S. University Blvd.