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The Griffin Flies Out of Its Industry Coop Over Space Dispute

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Plans for the anticipated restaurant slowed down over the last few months and are now a total thing of the past.

Industry Development
Industry Development

Nearly a year ago, restaurateur Robert Thompson, who owns Argyll Whisky Beer and is busy expanding Punch Bowl Social nationally, shared with Eater that he was planning to open the Griffin, a modern German beer hall, in RiNo. He got a liquor license, went through the permit phase with the City of Denver and obtained the needed construction permits, and then things stalled. After months of no progress, the Griffin is decidedly not opening in its initially planned location at 3001 Brighton Boulevard in the Industry development.

"We were able to negotiate a split and a resolution with the landlord without having to involve other parties," Thompson shared. "Our lease had two major landlord requirements to it: First, they are supposed to turn it over in a certain condition. Second, there were some tenant allowances for buildout but we didn't even get to that. After 11 months, they had not turned the space over in the condition required in the lease. We, as the tenant, became frustrated and decided that it was best to part ways," he continued.

The restaurateur said he is committed to facilitate transferring the liquor license to the landlord or a possible new tenant that will occupy the 5,500 square foot space. Two other restaurants have already opened in the Industry building, Tengu and Will Call.

Plans for the Griffin are still alive and well. Thompson is in the process of securing a new spot for the restaurant and beer hall that will serve food rooted in the cuisines of Germany, Denmark, and Turkey. "We don't have a deal yet but we are working on another location. It's just not a done deal yet."