Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee
Editorial@LHVC.com 

Treppeda’s abruptly closes

 

December 19, 2018

Vicky Dorvee

Treppeda’s Ristorante on 2nd Avenue in Niwot, abruptly notified employees early Monday morning that the business was closing its doors and they should come pick up their payroll checks. The sign on the door reads, "Closed for tenant improvements."

Employees of Treppeda’s Ristorante in Niwot were messaged at 1:58 a.m. Monday Dec. 17 that the restaurant was shutting down operations immediately. Owned by Howard Treppeda for 22 years, the business located at 300 2nd Avenue has its blinds drawn and a sign on the front door that reads, “Closed for tenant improvement.”

The message sent to employee read, “Hello Team, It is with great sadness that Treppeda’s closes their doors today. We are not able to renew our lease due to the unwillingness of our landlord to commit to partnering with us to create a workplace environment that helps us compete in this continually changing industry. The hospitality sector is in need of the quality teamwork that you all provide. Please reach out to us if you need a reference, they will be lucky to have you! Your paychecks are available for pick up this morning. Our doors are open for conversation with you all individually. We wish you all well. Best regards, Kamala Treppeda.”

Calls and inquiries to Howard Treppeda and the building landlord, Gilbert Reed, were not returned at press time. Owners of a neighboring business, Niwot Jewelry & Gifts, said they were unaware of plans to close the business.

Treppeda’s website has not changed and still accepts reservations. Musical performances are listed through Jan. 26, 2019. The business’s Facebook page has no updates regarding the closure either.

Server and bartender-in-training Dominic Chiola said he left his previous job and turned down four other job opportunities to work at Treppeda’s.

“I just got hired two weeks ago and all they were saying during the interview was that they were looking for someone who wants to stay here and would be a good employee, so I was all onboard,” Chiola said.

Chiola spent Monday looking for a new job and said he was in shock and felt like he’d been “played” when he was hired. His last shift at Treppeda’s was Saturday night Dec. 15. The business was traditionally closed on Sundays.

Before he went to sleep Sunday night, Chiola said he checked his schedule on the business’s employee app and saw he was supposed to work Monday at 2 p.m. and also had full time hours for the rest of the week. When he woke up Monday, he read the message signed by Howard Treppeda’s wife, Kamala Treppeda, saying the business was no longer in operation.

A look through the business’s backdoor window Monday revealed an empty space with all of the décor removed from the walls and the bar stripped of its contents. A moving and storage unit sits in one of the parking spaces behind the restaurant.

“I came to get my check and no one was there, so I sent them a message, but still no response,” Chiola said. “When I was there earlier to get my check, one of the kitchen workers was there too and he didn’t even know they were closed. Then we looked through the window and were like, Holy s*!t.”

The other employee Chiola had run into Monday morning had taken the bus to work and was stunned to find the business closed without warning. He had worked at Treppeda’s for seven years.

In hindsight, the appearance of the storage unit and not being able to serve some of the usual items on the menu, because of a shortage of ingredients led Chiola to believe that closing wasn’t a sudden decision.

 

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