Passersby walking along the 800 block of Main Avenue may notice the absent aroma of Cinnabons mixed with cured meats emanating to the sidewalks of downtown Durango with the recent closing of the Schlotzsky’s-Cinnabon bakery and café.
With minimal prior notice, Schlotzsky’s closed last Saturday after more than three years at the downtown location.
John Wells of the Wells Group, which leases the building at 846 Main Ave., said Schlotzsky’s owner Gene Denison informed the group of his intentions to close the location late last week.
Denison did not return The Durango Herald’s calls seeking comment.
Wells said Denison was an absentee owner who lived in Arizona, and it was increasingly difficult for him to manage the location from seven hours away.
“It was probably more wear and tear on him than expected,” Wells said. “When you have a small business, it’s hard to be in two places.”
Schlotzsky’s, a chain restaurant, opened in February 2015, offering fast-food style sandwiches, pizzas and salads. The location co-branded with Cinnabon to offer a variety of pastries and desserts. Both brands are owned by Focus Brands of Atlanta.
“The Schlotzsky’s in Durango, CO, an independently owned and operated restaurant, is now closed,” Schlotzsky’s spokeswoman Lindsay Haynes wrote in an emailed response. “A number of factors go into the decision to close a location. Schlotzsky’s continues to grow, opening new restaurants across the country.”
Calls to Cinnabon’s media contacts were not returned.
When Schlotzsky’s opened, there were three fast-food sandwich chains downtown, including Subway and Jimmy John’s.
Subway, which was located near the corner of Main Avenue and 10th Street, closed in September 2015. Jimmy John’s is still located on the north end of downtown Durango at 1316 Main Ave.
The Wells Group is now seeking a new business to lease the downtown spot, which could be open for retail, restaurant or office space.
Over the years, the location has been home to a CrossFit, as well as retail clothing. For nearly two decades, Piedra Gallery was there.