Welton Street Cafe to move after 22 years at same address in Five Points
Over the last year and a half, Fathima Dickerson and her family have thought a lot of about the future of their 22-year-old cafe named after the street it calls home at the heart of Five Points.
Now they are taking a big step toward ensuring the future of Welton Street Cafe for decades to come.
In October, they signed a lease on a brand new restaurant space just a block from their current location, at 2883 Welton St. Denverite first reported the news on Thursday.
“It’s about making sure this community and this community space are not removed from a historically Black neighborhood,” Dickerson said Friday. “Just the fight to stay here has been a hell of a fight.”
RELATED: Renaissance on Welton Street: New dinner spot draws crowds as cafe welcomes back diners
Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, Welton Street Cafe’s dining room closed for longer than most, at nearly 16 months. The building faced nearly insurmountable repair costs from a broken elevator and failing HVAC. Dickerson was never sure the business would survive.
“The process to keep legacy businesses or sustain them is not as easy as people think it is,” she said.
And the process isn’t over by a long shot. Now begins six months or so of designing and building out the new space from scratch. The Dickersons have enlisted Desibl, a Black-owned architecture firm based in Five Points, to complete the new restaurant, which takes up about 3,000 square feet at the corner of 29th and Welton, alongside three other storefronts.
The new layout will feature a bar area, Dickerson said, and room for people to gather and hang out.
“We plan on really trying to see how we can use our space to be a community space,” she explained. “We’re trying to really map out what that’s going to look and feel like, because there’s not enough Black spaces, there’s just not enough.”
To complete the build, they’ll also need funding. The family is currently looking for ways to crowdsource or find other forms of financial support, Dickerson said. For now, they’ll continue to operate at their current location while spreading the word.
“We’re moving one block north, we are still here,” Dickerson said. “It’s definitely bittersweet, though.”
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