DENVER — Judson Dymond said he received notice just before 4 a.m. Friday morning there had been a security breach at his restaurant, Sportsbook Bar and Grill. He said just ten minutes later, the fire sensor went off.
“So got up, started driving down here, saw all the firetrucks, police, the smoke,” Dymond recalled.
Friday morning, South Metro Fire responded to reports of a fire in The Shops at Greenwood Village retail center. The business was identified as the Fuji Hibachi and Sushi restaurant.
A fire was later started at Dymond’s restaurant, just a few hundred feet away from the Japanese restaurant.
Fire crews were able to put out flames at both locations, but significant damage had already been done. Dymond had waited five hours before he got a chance to see what he’d have to rebuild from.
“We put our heart and soul into this place,” Dymond said. “We have great community, great customers and amazing staff, and my first thought is knowing this is where they rely on income and work too.”
Credit: Judson Dymond
RELATED: Evidence of ‘forced entry’ found after fires at 2 Greenwood Village businesses
Dymond learned the fire was allegedly started in the office, luckily pipes overhead burst, causing more water to douse flames. He said the sprinkler system likely wouldn’t have been able to control the fire and more damage could have been done.
Still, enough damage was done to cause him to put up signs on his doors, indicating Sportsbook would be temporarily closed.
“It won’t be too long, but it won’t be in the next week,” Dymond said.
Dymond said not being in business as the NFL season comes to a close with high-interest games is a tough pill to swallow. He said in addition to the loss of customer revenue, he knows his staff are missing out on big tip opportunities.
“It’s hard to compensate as much as they make in tips so we’ll definitely take care of them while we’re shut down, but it is still that loss of the people,” Dymond said.
Dymond said he’ll be able to give some workers some shifts at Sportsbook’s Highlands Ranch location. He even shared that other local restaurants have offered to give work to some of his available bartenders.
“Never dealt with this before and every small business owner feels the pain and they all reach out,” Dymond said.
Credit: Judson Dymond
Dymond said between loss of revenue, clean up and replacing all the audio-visual equipment, repairs will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Despite the costly damages, Dymond said no money was stolen from the establishment during the early morning events. He said someone came into the building for about 10 minutes, attempted to break open the ATM and take from the two registers behind the bar.
“So he ripped out the drawers because he thought there was money in there and there’s no money in there but that was his goal, anywhere he could find cash,” Dymond said.
Dymond said the restaurant should be back open by March, ahead of the NCAA basketball tournament that surely will bring crowds back to his bar.
He said in the next month, he will need to focus on redoing the main floor, bathrooms, office and some parts of the kitchen. He said clean-up efforts are already underway, following Friday’s fire.
Greenwood Village police have not shared if any suspects have been identified or arrests have been made. Police said investigators found signs of ‘forced entry’ at both businesses. South Metro Fire has not released the cause of the two fires.
No injuries were reported in either incident.
Credit: Judson Dymond
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