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News Link • Colorado

Neighborhood Activists Would Rather Preserve Tom's Diner Than Let Its Owner Retire in Peace

•, Christian Britschgi

om Messina owns a restaurant. Or at least he thought he did.

For the past 20 years, Messina has operated Tom's Diner on Colfax Avenue in downtown Denver, Colorado. Running the popular 24-hour restaurant—located just a few blocks from the Colorado state capital—is demanding work that Messina is looking to move on from as he nears retirement age.

"I'm a restaurateur who's worked his life flipping pancakes and selling eggs," says Messina. "I have a beautiful family I want to spend time with. I just turned 60 and I want to do something else."

Messina's plan had always been to finance his retirement by selling his restaurant. That dream looked like it would become a reality earlier this year when Alberta Company offered him $4.8 million for his property, which the Colorado-based developer plans to turn into an 8-story apartment building complete with shops on the ground floor.

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