Local 46 Bar and Biergarten is getting an encore, in more ways than one.
Owners Niya and Grant Gingerich closed the bar at 4586 Tennyson St. in Berkeley at the end of October. They feared the business would not be able to make it through the winter with limited capacity, and their landlord had received a certificate of demolition eligibility ahead of a planned sale to a developer.
Three months later, however, the couple has worked out a temporary lease with their landlord and plans to reopen Local 46 from April to October for its 10th and final summer.
“The neighborhood hasn’t been the same since we left,” Niya said.
And the party won’t stop there.
The Gingerichs have also found a new location to keep the bar’s legacy alive, just a mile away from its previous spot. They hope to open what will now be called Local 38 at 3930 W. 38th Ave. by the end of the year, after wrapping up on Tennyson.
“We didn’t want to lose momentum, and we were feeling really sad about the loss of Local 46, so this opportunity was just too good to pass up,” Niya said. “We get to keep our staff, our regulars, and continue to embrace the community we love.”
The couple said they have learned their lesson from leasing their previous space on Tennyson Street, where they originally opened in 2012. Their landlord, Berkeley Park Partners LLC, owns their single-story property and three other lots next door. But it plans to sell the 1.08 acres to Washington-based Holland Partner Groups, which has proposed a three-story apartment complex on the site.
This time, the Gingerichs are part-owners of the real estate. A few months ago, they were approached by the owners of 3930 W. 38th Ave. — Kris Miller, Christian Thompson and Chris Reiss — who were also interested in investing in the new concept. The 3,703-square-foot building has been vacant for five years and had previously hosted a spinoff of downtown jazz bar El Chapultepec from 2007 to 2014.
“There won’t be any more landlord-tenant complications, and it just feels like we have a really good team,” Niya said. “If anything crazy happens with another shutdown, they’re invested in the business as much as we’re invested in the real estate, which is much more aligned.”
Local 38 will have an outdoor Biergarten with a capacity of 130 visitors. Its current spot can fit 300, not counting pandemic restrictions.
The city initially denied Local 38’s request for a zoning permit for its new location, citing concerns about noise and light mitigation outdoors.
But, on Tuesday, Denver’s Board of Adjustments approved Local 38’s appeal. The Gingerichs and their partners received approval for hours of operation ending at 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends, as well as outdoor speakers and a closed-off fence for the patio. But they were denied approval for live music outdoors.
“The city suggested we postpone the hearing to work with them and get a letter of approval, but the carrying costs were laying heavy on us,” Niya said. “So we’re happy the board saw our case and took our good record of nine years as business owners with a similar concept in this community in good faith.”