Fast-food fate for former ‘Farmer’?
Proposal not final plan, agent says

       Despite the wording in a public notice that was on the building until a few days ago, the old Hungry Farmer at 575 W. Garden of the Gods Road is not absolutely destined for demolition to make room for two fast-food outlets.
        The notice from Colorado Springs Planning asked for public comment (through May 28) on a “proposed development (to) remove the existing restaurant building and replace it with two fast food pad sites.”
        However, according to Mark Useman of Sierra Commercial Real Estate in Colorado Springs (which is trying to sell the property), “it's too premature to say” what will happen at the site. He said his agency is even open to keeping the building if an entrepreneur comes forward who is willing to make use of its 11,000 square feet of space - although he observed that it would take a “unique concept” because the buildings in most modern national restaurant chains are only about half that size.
       City Planner Larry Larsen, whose name appeared on the public no-tice, e-mailed the Westside Pioneer that he had posted the notice after talking with “a group of folks desiring to remove the Hungry Farmer and replace it with two fast food pad sites.” No formal application has been filed, he said.
       He noted that the property is zoned C-6, in which “all types of restaurants are permitted uses.”
        The Hungry Farmer, an independent local restaurant since about 1969, went out of business late last year.
        “Obviously, it has some history,” said Useman, a 1977 graduate of Manitou Springs High School who later went to Colorado College. “I went there when I was in college.”
       Nevertheless, he added, the building “has gotten to the point were it's a little obsolete in size and with the improvements it would need, it might make more sense to tear it down, although a lot of people wouldn't like to see this happen.”
        Even if it gets torn down, there's no certainty that two fast-food outlets would replace it. “It could be fast food and a bank,” Useman said.
       On that side of the street, the 600 block now has a Quizno's fast food and the 700 block has a Wendy's.
        Useman said it would take two to three months before any definite plans take shape for the property.
        According to the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office, the property is owned by Colorado Springs Hungry Farmer Inc. A notice on the front door, evidently from the owners, states that the business is “closed - gone out of business” and that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition was filed Nov. 19, 2003.

Westside Pioneer Article