By Riley Prillwitz
After nearly 30 years at its original location on Tejon, Wooglin’s Deli will be temporarily closing its doors. When Colorado College announced it was building a new ice hockey arena on campus, construction plans called for the demolition of the building that now houses the restaurant.
“Once they decided to put the parking structure in, we knew that we were going in [to the rink],” said Wooglin’s owner Kelvin Thorne. Thorne bought Wooglin’s from its previous owner in December of 2000 and since has created a unique dining experience for all to enjoy.
“I’ve always wanted everybody to be able to come here with any diet,” Thorne said. “Dietary needs or ‘not needs,’ we can get [them] anything that they want.”
Thorne has also recently named two new partners to the company, Jeremy Hare and Todd Renz. They both consider Wooglin’s to be an important part of their lives.
“It’s scary, because … I’ve made a commitment to make this more of a career and not just a job like a restaurant typically is,” Renz said.
“I started here when I was in high school,” Hare said. “It’s everything I’ve done in my adult life, you know. At some point during the week I had to come to Wooglin’s. Not coming to this spot every morning is going to become strange.”
Now that the Edward J. Robson Arena will be built in Wooglin’s place, a deal has been made to put the deli inside of it. A new location is also being opened later this year on Barnes Road in Northeast Colorado Springs. The current location will close on Nov. 16 and reopen when the rink is completed.
Regular customers are excited for the change. Greg Hock ’72 has been a regular customer since he started working at the Spencer Center in 1993.
“I trust the college in its decision,” Hock says. “Because I do go to CC hockey games, I think [it] will be an awesome experience for the students to have [the rink] on campus.”
Although Hock has always eaten at Wooglin’s, he won’t be able to continue his routine at the new location.
“It’s going to be far to the north from where we are here, and so I won’t be able to make it out there nearly as much. But I will make an effort to go.”
Current CC students will also miss the on-campus deli. Claire Flint-Anderson ’21 is a Colorado Springs native and spends a great deal of time in Wooglin’s. She also gets food with her dad at the deli at least once a block.
“I am going to miss it so much. It’s definitely a place that I really love to go … it was my go-to study spot,” Flint-Anderson said.
Even though Wooglin’s will be off campus for a few years, Thorne does not expect any trouble coming back to campus with the new arena: “I think the community, as far as the people that support us that are in the school, will definitely embrace us.”
“We’re going to be legendary to the students who haven’t met us yet, in my opinion,” says Renz, who is also confident that CC will embrace the new Wooglin’s upon its reopening.
“I feel like the legacy will live on in some ways,” Flint-Anderson said. “Maybe first years or sophomores now can pass on like, ‘Hey, there was this really great place that we miss a lot’ and then maybe first years would be excited about it.”
Thorne also has plans for the reopening of the deli. He wants to embrace the culture of CC so students feel like this is a part of their college experience.
“When we come back, I would like to make it more about CC art and CC’s music and have bands and do more student-related stuff.”
Thorne would like to keep Gold Card Plus as part of their business, so that students have more options to pay for their food. He also expects the location at the rink to stay open and serve food and beverages during matches.
Though Wooglin’s is coming down in just a few weeks, it is not leaving the CC community anytime soon.