REOPENING DELAYED AGAIN
Construction theft and health department requests frustrate owner
Winchell’s Donut House on Main Street in Longmont has not sold a glazed donut, apple fritter or cup of coffee in well over a year.
A vehicle crashed into the small business while attempting to park in December of 2021, and although no one was seriously injured in the incident, it did cause approximately $500,000 worth of damage.
Winchell’s owner Joe Barmada had originally hoped to reopen in late August or early September, but supply chain issues prevented that from coming to fruition.
“To be honest, I really don’t know what’s going on,” Barmada said Wednesday. “It’s a bit complicated.”
To make matters worse, someone broke into Winchell’s about four months ago and stole its electrical wiring.
Barmada later planned to reopen Winchell’s no later than February but ran into challenges with Boulder County Public Health.
Until Winchell’s plan is approved by Boul- der County Public Health, Barmada said, he cannot move forward with renovating and ultimately reopening the donut house.
“I don’t know why we have to wait for it. I mean, we need to build,” Barmada said. “The Health Department can come after we build and after we … do everything.”
Barmada also took issue with some of Boulder County Public Health’s requests such as it wanting to know what food and beverage items Winchell’s in Longmont served off Winchell’s corporate menu.
“I printed out the … menu and crossed out like more than 60% of what they have just to get it done,” Barmada said.
Boulder County Public Health Communications Manager Shawn Hollister said in an email Wednesday that Blusky Restoration submitted a plan on Oct. 21 concerning Winchell’s Donut House and that it was deemed “incomplete” on Nov. 18.
A copy of the letter sent from Boulder County Public Health to Blusky Restoration listed three primary reasons as to why the plan was not approved.
First, the letter said the menu provided was “not complete,” noting that Winchell’s online menu “included sandwiches.” “Please provide a complete menu to include all food and beverage items offered at this facility,” the letter dated Nov. 18 said.
Boulder County Public Health also requested more information about equipment installation and proof that at least one of its employees is a certified food protection manager.
Hollister said that additional information was requested on Nov. 18 to determine whether or not Winchell’s was in compliance with retail food regulations.
A revised plan was submitted on Feb. 21 and is scheduled for review and “potential completion” by March 13, which is within the statutory deadline, Hollister said.
Given his previous predictions, Barmada didn’t want to provide a date as to when Winchell’s might reopen.
However, assuming that the donut house’s plan receives approval, Barmada estimated that construction would take 60-90 days to complete.
Barmada and his family have owned the small donut business in Longmont since 1998.
“The Winchell’s will open, I believe,” Barmada said.