Restaurant-tavern group sells properties, closes locations due to ownership separation

As its mother and son founders untangle their finances and go their separate ways, Tavern Hospitality Group has closed its eponymous restaurants and is selling real estate.

“We finally settled our disagreement,” Frank Schultz said Tuesday of a contentious legal dispute that lasted nearly a year between him and his mother, Terry Papay. “We have a large real estate portfolio and part of this settlement is to get rid of some properties.”

Two weeks ago, Tavern Hospitality Group closed its Tavern restaurants in Lowry and Littleton, the last of seven Tavern locations in the area. He also canceled shows at Soiled Dove, the company’s flagship venue, next door to the Lowry Tavern.

Schultz said the Soiled Dove building at 7401 E. 1st Ave. will be sold, along with the former Tavern Tech Center building at 5336 DTC Blvd. in Greenwood Village. The building that housed the Littleton Tavern has been on the market since January, listed at $3.9 million.

“Covid has been difficult to overcome on the music side,” Schultz said when reflecting on Soiled Dove’s finances. “Really hard…it killed us there.” So it didn’t make financial sense and that’s why it was dictated as a property for sale.

But the buildings could ultimately be purchased by a very familiar face: Schultz, who plans to start his own hotel group and could buy up properties such as the Soiled Dove.

“I would like to bring that back, even in a better way,” he said. “It will definitely take a few years and it’s not 100 percent. It just depends on the layout of all the cards.

“I don’t know if I would open and call something Tavern, but there might be an enhanced form of what Tavern offered,” he said of his future venture. “We are working on a few projects that I don’t want to discuss yet because they are very advanced.”

Papay and Schultz started Soiled Dove in 1997 and later opened their Tavern restaurants in Lowry, LoDo, Uptown, Wash Park, Platte Park, the Tech Center and Littleton, as well as a few non-tavern locations, such as the Cowboy Lounge and Whiskey Tango. Foxtrot.

“I’ve lived here a long time and I remember Tavern Uptown,” Judge Andrew Luxen said from his bench Jan. 11. “People are familiar with LoDo Tavern and Lowry and Soiled Dove and the other entities that are part of the Denver fabric. Tavern is part of that community.

Papay and Schultz sued and countersued each other between March 2023 and their settlement this month. Both accused the other of paying personal expenses with Tavern funds and raiding the company’s bank accounts in a way that harmed Tavern’s ability to pay its bills.

“Corporate funds were used to pay for a whole bunch of things that, one could argue, were unrelated to restaurants, bars, concert halls and other tavern businesses,” Luxen said on January 11, referring to vehicles, medical bills, mortgages. and tuition fees at private schools.

The same day, Schultz’s attorney, Chad Williams, explained that “Mr. Schultz and Ms. Papay are fighting here in court, which puts the company in a very difficult situation.”

“We are not just talking about Mr. Schultz and Ms. Papay, but all the employees of this company that is on the verge of going up in flames due to its liquidity problems.”

Frank Schultz, left, and his mother Terry Papay outside The Soiled Dove in Denver on April 30, 1999. (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)

Today, all that remains of the Tavern constellation of bars and restaurants is Otra Vez Cantina in the 16th Street Mall, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot in the Union Station North neighborhood and Chopper’s sports bar in Cherry Creek. Schultz said Tavern will continue to manage them.

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