Denver mayor out of restaurant business |

Denver mayor out of restaurant business

DENVER ” Mayor John Hickenlooper has sold his stake in seven Colorado restaurants, ending a 19-year business career that helped him get elected.

Hickenlooper sold his 40 percent stake in Wynkoop Holdings Inc. to his business managers and employees on Friday.

The sale price was not announced. The Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post reported Tuesday the price was between $5 million and $10 million, citing unnamed observers and officials close to the deal.

“In a funny way, it really does end an incredibly wonderful and rich chapter of my life,” Hickenlooper said. “So many of the lessons I learned that brought me here were learned in the hurly-burly of the Wynkoop Brewing Co.”

Wynkoop Brewing, across the street from Denver’s Union Station, opened in 1988 and was part of the revitalization of the area. Wynkoop Holdings grew to seven restaurants, including the Wazee Supper Club, the Cherry Cricket and Gaetano’s Italian.

Hickenlooper, an unknown candidate with no political background when he ran for mayor in 2003, touted his experience as a successful restaurateur to persuade voters to elect him.

He was re-elected in 2005 after briefly considering a run for governor as a Democrat.

Support Local Journalism