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Longtime downtown Durango restaurant to close for good

COVID-19 pandemic, no full-service railroad rides cited as reasons for closure
After years in downtown Durango, The Palace Restaurant announced it will close in August.

Another mainstay restaurant in downtown Durango has announced it will close for good.

“After 23 years, we are closing,” The Palace Restaurant announced on social media. “Pandemic, no trains pulling out of the station and a host of other hurdles has made it impossible to operate The Palace without incurring significant financial loss.”

The Palace Restaurant has operated under its current name for at least 40 years, according to the restaurant’s website. Located at the site of the historic Palace Hotel at 505 Main Ave., the restaurant opened in its current iteration in 1997.

Calls to The Palace Restaurant were not returned Monday. Attempts to reach owner Paul Gelose were unsuccessful.

The restaurant, located next to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad depot, is open Wednesdays to Saturdays. The D&SNG is not running its full trip from Durango to Silverton. Instead, it is running limited trips from Rockwood to Cascade station.

The restaurant posted it will close Aug. 23.

“If business is brisk, we may be able to add one more week,” the post said. “Your patronage these last few weeks will help us tremendously, and hopefully, it will be meaningful to you.”

The Palace Restaurant is one of a handful of La Plata County eateries that have shuttered for good, in part because of economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, The Red Snapper announced it was closing. The seafood-centric restaurant at 114 E. Ninth Street had been in business for 35 years.

That same month, the Vallecito eatery Pura Vida Café, about 25 miles northeast of Durango, said the economic hardships of the COVD-19 outbreak and subsequent shutdown were too much to overcome.

And in April, Eno Cocktail Lounge and Wine Bar closed and filed for bankruptcy, in part because of coronavirus restrictions, which at the time, had caused restaurants to either temporarily shut down or offer only take-out and delivery service.

Aside from serving up dishes in Durango for years, the Palace Restaurant was also host to many nonprofit events, such as Tip-A-Cop, and Snowdown gatherings.

“The Palace Restaurant is a Durango institution, and many wonderful memories have been made here,” the restaurant’s post said. “We truly hope to see you one more time.”

jromeo@durangoherald.com

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