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Olde Town Arvada

Ophelia’s to close after 40 years in Olde Town

The last day for the family-owned Mexican restaurant is July 8

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Ken Schneider has a reserved table at Ophelia’s Restaurant in Olde Town Arvada at 8:30 Monday through Friday. He and a group of friends meet daily for breakfast, read the paper and talk about life.

“I love the Mexican food, the breakfast, the green chili,” he said while drinking a cup of coffee. “We come here for the food, but it’s for the socializing too.”

But after 30 years of being a regular customer at the family-owned restaurant, Schneider and his breakfast club will need to find a new spot to meet.

Ophelia’s will close its doors for good at end of business on Saturday, July 8.

“We’re depressed,” Schneider said. “I don’t even want to think about where we’re going next. We’re really sad.”

Ophelia’s has been serving Olde Town Arvada as a family-owned and operated restaurant for 40 years. It began in February of 1977 with Gasper and Louise Vigil and the late Jesus and Ophelia Aguon.

“Ophelia’s is proud to be part of Olde Town’s rich history,” said Gasper Vigil, as he stood behind the bar at the eatery. “We are very thankful for all of our great customers who have made it possible.”

But Vigil said the time has come to close the family business.

“We can’t get employees,” Vigil said. “If we do get employees, they get an attitude and walk out. That’s one reason we’re moving on.”

Long time customer Lorraine Anderson said she understands the difficulty of getting quality employees with a 2.4 percent unemployment rate in Arvada.

Anderson, who eats at Ophelia’s for breakfast with her husband, Homer, three or four times a week said she has mixed feelings about the restaurant closing.

“We’re going to really miss it,” she said. “But if it provides opportunities for the owners, I think that’s good. It’s been a great experience to come here and get to know the folks that come in and just enjoy community life here.”

The community is what brings Don and Anita Jennison in to Ophelia’s for breakfast every Tuesday and Thursday. The retired couple said they enjoy the place because the people who work and eat there are so friendly.

“This is a dying institution,” Don Jennison said. “Homemade food and community — you don’t really see that anymore.”

Gina Vigil, who grew up in the restaurant said she is sad they are closing, that she is trying to embrace the change.

“It’s bitter sweet,” she said. “We’ve been here so long, it’s like my second home.” Gina Vigil, Gasper’s daughter, wears many hats at the restaurant, including being the head server. She said she has made many friends there, but is looking forward to going out to breakfast herself one day soon.

“I’m waiting for this door to close, so I can open another one,” she said.

Along with closing the restaurant, the family is also in the process of selling the building at 5711 Olde Wadsworth Blvd.

“The old timers are all leaving,” Gasper Vigil said. “And there’s a new generation coming in now.”

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