COLORADO SPRINGS — In this week’s Restaurant Report Card, what was thought could be a COVID-19 casualty reopened Thursday, Sept. 24 to a line of supporters and hungry Coloradans.
King’s Chef Diner, a Colorado Historical Landmark that opened its doors in 1956, is making a comeback, but only the castle location at 110 E. Costilla Street in Colorado Springs is open and with some changes.
“It’s exciting! I am super excited. I want my green chile,” said customer, Lance Dunlap.
The king is back and his castle is open.
“We have such long history and longevity in this town; it’s like losing your family,” said owner Gary Geiser.
King’s Chef closed in March due to restrictions on restaurants.
Dunlap said, “It was pretty scary, honestly. It was one of my favorite places. I remember coming here when I first visited Colorado Springs.”
“With all the uncertainty, we weren’t sure what was going to happen, so we just took the option to go ahead and shut down at that moment and try to take care of our families as best as we could and all the staff at that time,” said Geiser.
Geiser says after months of pleas from customers, it was not until a couple of weeks ago that the decision was made to fire up the griddle again.
“I’m getting the green chile burrito,” said Dunlap.
Customers order inside, then wait outside until their number is called, and pick up from the window. Also, they are only taking credit cards at this time.
Geiser said, “We expanded the patio a little bit. The city stepped in and allowed us to expand a hair, and they were really courteous, and it allows you to get about 45 to 50 saddles here.”
The diner was greeted by a line of customers on opening day and Geiser says it’s good to be back.
“Thank you very much to the community and to the customers for all the years of loyal support and friendship. It just means so much to our family, and everything it’s just very heartfelt, so thank you guys,” said Geiser.
Hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m., with extended hours to follow as they get settled in.