Lionshead diner avoids auction |

Lionshead diner avoids auction

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyDuncan Pinnell, owner of DJ's Diner in Lionshead, packs up a load of restaurant supplies to take to store at his home in Gypsum until he can relocate the business downvalley.

VAIL ” Duncan Pinnell said he paid off his taxes 10 minutes before

his diner, D.J.’s, was supposed to be auctioned off.

The state’s tax agency said Pinnell cut it even closer.

“They paid it off,” said Department of Revenue spokesman Steve Tool. “Two minutes prior to the sale.”

Either way, the taxes are paid and the auction was avoided. But D.J.’s ” a longtime Lionshead hot spot for breakfast and afterhours noshing ” isn’t coming back to Vail anytime soon.

Now, Pinnell is moving all of his stuff out of the Lionshead restaurant and putting it in storage. He’s trying to reopen the store in Eagle.

With no parking of its own, little seating and the “smallest kitchen in Vail,” the Lionshead location wasn’t working out, Pinnell said.

Other problems: it was hard to find workers, there was a lot of construction and locals are moving downvalley, he said.

“Everybody who used to frequent D.J.’s is now living down there for the most part,” Pinnell said.

The diner, whose official name is D.J. McCadam’s Crepes and Omelets, was seized by the state in August because of failure to pay taxes ” $5,218.08 to the state, and $4,540 to the town of Vail.

Kathleen Halloran of the town of Vail confirmed that Pinnell has paid the town taxes, too.

The downvalley D.J.’s is going to still serve crepes and omelets, and maybe expand to eggs, bacon and pancakes.

“I don’t want to change what has made D.J.’s D.J’s,” he said.

The restaurant, which opened in 1978, has been a mecca for locals, even when Pinnell arrived in town, he said.

“When I first moved here I hung out there most mornings, just trying to know the local crowd and find out where the best jobs are, find a place to live,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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