Top 10: BusinessDen’s most-read stories of 2020

La Cour is one of many Denver area restaurants that closed during the coronavirus pandemic and will not reopen. We made a list. (BizDen file photos)

BusinessDen published hundreds of stories on the local business scene in 2020.

Earlier this week, we reviewed some stories from the year that stood out to our staff.

Now it’s time to highlight some of the stories that resonated most with our readers.

Here are the 10 most-read stories as ranked by page views.

1: Running list: Denver restaurants permanently closed in wake of coronavirus pandemic (June 12)

The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic was obviously the year’s top business story, and few industries were challenged more than the restaurant sector.

In 2020, we started talking about two kinds of closures. There were the temporary closures, restaurants that opted to shutter for one reason or another but expected to return. And then there were the eateries closing their doors for good. It could be hard to tell the difference sometimes.

In June, we started a running list highlighting the permanent closures. We updated the list through September.

2: Drone photos: Here’s how empty Denver looked this week (March 27)

In late March, when Denver’s stay-at-home order was in place, drone photographer and videographer Blake Rubenstein, owner of Guerilla Capturing, shared images with us of a bizarrely quiet downtown at midday.

Brian Watson is the CEO of Northstar Commercial Partners, which is being sued by Amazon.

3: Amazon accuses Denver real estate firm of ‘significant fraud and kickback scheme’ (July 27)

In late April, Amazon sued Denver-based real estate firm Northstar Commercial Partners over what the retail giant is calling “a significant fraud and kickback scheme.” The lawsuit was initially sealed, so it was July when BusinessDen broke the news.

You’ll find more Northstar-related coverage further down this list.

In-N-Out is famous for its burgers and fries, and also offers a secret menu.

4: In-N-Out cooks up first location within Denver city limits (Sept. 10)

In 2020, we supported local restaurants. But we also got very excited about a California-based burger chain coming to town.

In September, we broke news of the first location planned within Denver city limits. It’s still in the planning stages, although In-N-Out has since opened restaurants elsewhere in the state.

5: In-N-Out adds Thornton to list of planned locations (Sept. 14)

We were also first to report a planned location near Denver Premium Outlets in Thornton.

Casa Bonita has operated in Lakewood since 1974.

6: Diving champion, now 76, sues Casa Bonita for age discrimination (Oct. 5)

Here’s an only-in-Colorado story: In October, we reported that a 76-year-old man with an impressive diving pedigree had sued Lakewood eatery Casa Bonita. The restaurant employs divers to entertain guests, and Samuel Hernandez said he wasn’t given a chance to audition because of his age.

Follow-up: A month later, the CEO of Casa Bonita’s parent company spoke to BusinessDen, calling the lawsuit “an egregious abuse of the legal system.”

7: Following kickback claim, Amazon scrutinizes Northstar CEO’s assets, including Cherry Hills mansion and private jet (July 28)

After Amazon sued Northstar Commercial Partners (see above), the company scrutinized the assets of CEO Brian Watson.

Follow-up: In December, 10 months after buying it, Watson put his Cherry Hills mansion on the market for $8.3 million.

A screenshot of Bluprint’s website.

8: NBCUniversal shutting down Bluprint, formerly known as Craftsy (May 27)

Bluprint, a Denver-based startup that was known as Craftsy when it was acquired by NBCUniversal in 2017, announced in May it would shut down, disappointing a sizable fan base that found its way to our coverage.

Follow-up: TN Marketing, a Minneapolis-based online video subscription and streaming business, announced in Julythat it had acquired some assets of Bluprint from NBCUniversal.

9: Real estate CEO, former GOP nominee, says he’s being investigated by FBI (April 7)

Prior to Northstar Commercial Partners being sued by Amazon, the FBI questioned Watson and served a search warrant at his home. BusinessDen obtained the email he sent to family members and business associates, speculating on what had prompted the visit.

Kindness Yoga announced it will permanently close all of its nine locations.

10: Kindness Yoga chain, already planning to contract, closing entirely after instructor insurrection (June 23)

“It took from Wednesday to Friday of last week to destroy our majority good reputation,” Kindness Yoga founder Patrick Harrington said of the situation in June. “There were obviously people who felt mistreated and we were not perfect in that we were blind in certain areas, and we apologize for any harm done.”

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Stephen gale
Stephen gale
4 months ago

Some of these restaurants as The Avenue Grill and the Market were almost institutions fostering relationships and social interaction from casual or chance meetings difficult to replicate elsewhere -/perhaps the end of an era