Abandoned Stuff - A Subway Farmers Car Wash - Denver, CO
At one point this had to have been a Taco Bell.
Likely after it was built...
If not then, we can almost be certain that at some time, this building provided tacos.
Probably with some sort of ringing device as a logo.
Saturday December 23, 2017.
It was fairly early in the morning when I was out driving the southeast Denver area. Unfortunately, the sun was at the right angle to mess with most shots I tried to take. Today needed to be cloudy for the unexpected trifecta of new abandoned buildings to add to my future story archive.
As an added bonus, all three were within a few blocks of each other!
A good omen for that day's photo tour showed up at the front gates to my apartment complex. I had to return home after work to grab the camera I forgot to bring, then snapped a picture on my way out. Good thing I did, as the maintenance crew had already painted over it by the time I returned.
Without any specific destination in mind when I left Greenwood Point, I decided to make the drive out to Overpriced Art School in Aurora. Just as I did, almost daily, from April 1997 through March 1999.
I may have spent far too much money on a questionably relevant education, but at least I’m still working in that field, some 20 years later. So I guess it was good for something other than all the partying I did back then. And I did have fun!
20 years earlier, I was driving past this building nearly every day. Obviously I remember seeing it, due to the architecture. It's very distinct. But I know I never stopped here before.
Ex-Subway wasn't easy to get into off Hampden, and most of the parking spots were taken this morning. The Starbucks next door likely had a hand in that. Making matters more difficult was driving the Soccer Shuttle (I'll cover that later) around on this photo tour, instead of a more maneuverable compact or mid-size car. Absolutely not ideal.
Sign on the door gave some useful info. Most important to me was the date of closure. Just over a month before I took these pictures. Which was about three weeks after the coupon expired.
Photo of the Subway when it was fully active, from the LoopNet real estate site.
According to LoopNet's listing (dated 2013): "This is a prime High traffic, highly visible location on one of Southeast Denver's busiest streets. Right next door to a Starbucks, zoned B3. Previously a El Chubby's for 15 years and a Taco Bell for over 20 years before that."
Further digging revealed the listing on LoopNet sold in March 2003 for $360,000.
The property was sold again in November 2015 for $525,000.
That's a nice profit!
Interesting though, It couldn't have been a Subway for very long.
Looking back at the photo archives, I found this:
January 6, 2014. Vacant, pre-Subway.
Used cars from the lot next door are butt-upped almost to the former Taco Bell's doors. I guess this was built with no drive thru. Even in 1977, you'd think a drive thru was an inclusion that would have to be made. And if the lot was too small, find another property. According to LoopNet, the Taco Bell stayed open for 20 years. So I probably drove by it as a Bell, on my way to Overpriced Art School.
Not much of a front yard either. In order to get a decent shot of the front of the building, I'd have to walk out into a few lanes of Hampden Avenue. I actually debated that for a couple seconds...
Looking across the Subway lobby. Used cars across, trying to get inside.
Through the front windows. Beyond the very limited dining area, there is very little evidence left behind. Great job in de-Subwayitizing the place!
Squeezing between the used cars, I was able to complete the three available angles. You can see a little bit of Starbucks through the windows. If you're into that sort of thing.
Yup... Pretty small building.
Are those bricked-up former restrooms?
Used cars are invading Ex-Subway's personal bubble. What if customers need to use that sidewalk?
To go outside to the restroom?
One last look at the building, before getting back into the much warmer Soccer Shuttle. After snapping a photo of the the dumpster house, which stood in front of the Dam Van.
There’s even some reasonably fresh Subway garbage still there!
About a block west of ex-Subway Bell, is the Yak & Yeti.
But I remember it as the Crystal Rose. For several years in the early 2000's, my job held their annual holiday party here. Interesting events those were...
Let’s go a block north to East Girard Avenue. As I was looking around the area for parking to look at the former Subway, I found an abandoned office building (at 10020 E Girard) that was mere days away from being demolished.
Lucky for me, there was a good several hundred feet of open curb street parking out front. I'd need at least 300 feet of space to safely land the Soccer Shuttle, and there was at least 400 stretching to the end of the block. I turned it around for a second orbit, then coasted on in. Stopping on a space large enough that I could easily drive out forward, but small enough that another car wouldn't fit in front.
I hated driving that van...
Before walking around the fenced-off perimeter, I smoked a cigarette (since the Soccer Shuttle is non-smoking, for the children) and snapped this shot from the nose of the craft.
LoopNet didn't offer much information about this office building. Besides this Google photo from 2014, which happened to be from a similar angle to mine. The only useful nuggets of info revealed it was built in 1979. Renovations were made and/or started as of 2014. They were looking for new tenants, with the possibility of leasing the entire building...
Let’s step over the sidewalk and away from the trees, then up the slight hill to look over the security fence. The lighting is a little better up here. The building is kind of a wreck. Tons of broken and/or boarded up windows.
Now what is that in the upper right corner?
Bum Ba Dumm Bum Bum Bum Bum....
From this angle, it looks pretty gutted inside. I really wish I could have gotten closer.
That awning covering the entry is an abomination to structures everywhere.
Walking counterclockwise around the building. The sun was not my friend today.
Not as many windows broken on this side.
Looking towards the back of the building.
Something once here, has already been demolished.
The back side of the building has the same horrible awning. At least this one is shorter.
There had to be more to this property not too long ago. Too bad I wasn't going through here about six months earlier. That would fill in some gaps. Though if it looked normal, I likely wouldn't have taken any pictures.
Due to the property next door, I was able to get pretty close to the east side.
I'm assuming this was once a parking lot.
The shorter awning that sucks less than the longer one, still sucks.
Looking over the fence at the gap between the walkway and what had been dug out by the foundation.
And looking to the west...
Fascinating stuff here!
Looks like some boxes of stuff has been left behind in this room. Maybe it was part of the renovations? Maybe they were never finished? Maybe that's why the interior is down to the studs, from what I could see through the broken windows up front. There's probably more to this story than I'll ever know. Good thing it's only a mildly interesting story anyways...
But this was my favorite thing about this whole building...
That innocuous purple "Gang" tagged below another window!
We're not going to declare any affiliation. Just that a gang was here.
Doesn't matter which one. Just so you know.
For some reason, this just tickled me!
And back around to the front.
Then back down the slight hill, down to the sidewalk, where the lighting isn't as good for pictures. I was freezing after taking this walk around, so it was nice to get back in the Dam Van. The heater inside was quick and powerful, so I was feeling toasty again in no time!
The former Farmers building is gone, with only a vacant lot left there today, according to the Googles. I'm not living in Colorado anymore, so I can't verify for myself...
As I've mentioned several rimes already, I had to do my photo tours in this horrifying rental van, which I dubbed the “Soccer Shuttle.” In early November, 2017 (before Subway had even closed), Laura and I were driving back from Minnesota to Denver. The normally 15 hour drive took 77 hours, due to an unrelenting series of mishaps. Which included hitting a deer on the Interstate, a few miles outside of Gothenburg, Nebraska, totalling the car. Thanks to further multiple messes stemming from insurance and shady automobile dealerships in Gothenburg, this Dam Van was our transportation from mid-November 2017 through mid-January 2018.
An abridged version of the Gothenburg deer splatter story was posted to this site, shortly after we made it back to Englewood. There was a whole lot more to it, and I have copious notes of it, but it's just not something I've felt like revisiting...
You can read that here if you like: Not a Story About My Story, Or Trevor Story.
But it's not The Rockies shortstop's fault...
Just before X-Mess 2017, Laura flew back to Minnesota, and was going to buy her replacement car there. Once that was all lined up, I would fill the Dam Van with as much of my baseball collection as I could cram into it, then drive the now "Baseball Shuttle" to Crapids, and unload the first haul for our move back to Minnesota. Then ditch the van back at Budget in Minnesota. Or whoever it was that we were renting it from. Then drive her new car back to Colorado.
Do have to say, I was able to stuff A TON of heavy baseball cards and memorabilia into that stupid vehicle. There was also a story posted to the blog about the ending of the Soccer Shuttle. Fleeing From a Winter Wonderland.
That's old news... I'm talking about December 23, 2017!
And if I needed to wash that van, I sure couldn't do it here any longer...
Looking south at the entrance and structure, from Girard. Also looking for a place to park...
Abandoned car washes aren't very interesting. There's just not a whole lot to them, and everything that is here, is right out in the open. Like these intact vacuums.
From our friends at LoopNet (February 2014): "8 bay car wash in a prime location. Property was built in 1980 and has been maintained extremely well. Building is 4,763 SF with a total lot size of 34,076 SF. There are 2 additional bays for an opportunity for expansion or to install an automatic wash system. Priced to sell!!"
Ah! Hi-Performance Self Serve Car Wash, was it's proper name! When I took these pictures, I didn't see a name on the building. For whatever reason, I didn't walk down to take one of the sign. Luckily, the picture on LoopNet was taken at a high enough resolution, where I could zoom in on that sign.
Few amenities at the Car Wash. But I doubt you'd need much more than this to wash your car.
Looks like a drinking fountain that runs into one of the bays. So maybe the water you don't drink, goes directly to your car? Hate to think it would be the other way around...
And what's so bad about buckets?
The center of the car wash had bill changers and vending machines for car washing products. And it saves water! By recycling from the drinking fountain!
I'm sure that tagging makes sense to Bup, but I have no idea what it means.
Looking down the row of vacuums and the sign I neglected to take a picture of earlier.
Someone -likely 7'10 or taller in height- has knocked the clearance signs akimbo.
About the time I wrapped up my photo mission, I’d aroused the suspicions of a camping vagrant inside one of the car wash bays. He yelled something I didn’t understand as I walked away from the building. I didn't respond to him, just boarded the Soccer Shuttle and launched myself to practice. Or home...
Today the car wash is part of the Girard Place Apartments.
If only that camper had stayed, they could've built a bedroom around him!
On March 17, 2018, I drove by Ex-Subway Bell, and saw that a new restaurant was setting up inside.
Hmmm... A BBQ restaurant...
Five days later, the empty Subway sign frame was filled in by Hungry Wolf BBQ's new sign. I don't remember anything about this building for the next few months before I left Colorado.
According to the Googles, Hungry Wolf BBQ moved a few blocks up Havana street, in late 2019 or early 2020. So I guess they were pretty successful at this location.
La Reyna Azteca Tacos Y Tortas had their grand opening at this location, October 23rd, 2020.
I wish them great success with their restaurant. So they can expand and move to a bigger and better location, just like the Hungry Wolf did.
Making this building abandoned again!
There's something I'm forgetting... Oh yeah! I was writing about a completely different BBQ restaurant!
Gotta get back to that!