Snarf's Sandwiches, a Pearl Street mainstay, will soon move into a new home at a yet-undisclosed location in downtown Boulder.
The sandwich chain's flagship store at 2128 Pearl St., which is part of a property being redeveloped as condominiums, will cease operations after March 27. It is expected to re-open in a building under renovation.
"We actually secured a lease on a new location last summer and have been working tirelessly with the city to get approvals to move forward, but we are still in the process," said chain founder Jimmy Seidel, who did not reveal the location of the new building.
While the relocation of Snarf's is a slightly different narrative than the recent closings of other Pearl Street restaurants, such as The Cheesecake Factory and Emmerson, it does put a spotlight on the changing landscape of downtown Boulder.
The loss of five retail spots on east Pearl Street downtown last year ignited a city council debate on how to thwart the loss of retail. In May, council unanimously voted that first floors along Pearl between 18th and Folsom streets be dedicated to retail, dining, entertainment or "personal service" uses. The goal of that restriction is to ensure continuity of retail and prevent the conversion of existing street-level space to housing.
Seidel opened the downtown Snarf's store in 1996 and redevelopment of the property made him move across the street to a new location in 2007, and now he's ready to move to his third spot. ( Since 1996, the family-owned business has grown to more than 20 restaurants in Colorado, St. Louis and Austin).
"I wanted to cry when we lost original shack because it was our most iconic location. But we found a new home across the street and absolutely fell in love with it. Now we have to say good-bye again. It really is a shame, but we will relocate and make it just as special," Seidel said. "The third time is a charm. I'm hoping we won't have to leave for redevelopment again."
Snarf's will celebrate the last day on March 27 with a fundraiser for Attention Homes, which works to improve lives of homeless and at-risk youth in Boulder County. For a $5 donation, customers will receive a sandwich (from a specified selection) with chips and a drink.
Customers also will be able to share their fondest memories on a community chalk board that will adorn the new location.
Seidel said he hopes his customers like the new place.
"We did ask customers what was most important to them about a new location, and most said they would follow us anywhere, but that parking would be wonderful," he said.
Financially the move is expensive, he said without offering any details.
"This new location is a great opportunity to revitalize an older building, but the process is taking longer than it should," he said.
Pratik Joshi: 303-684-5310, firstname.lastname@example.org