When it comes to Denver breakfast, there is one special owner, who has had great success in the community – Lee Goodfriend of Goodfriend’s, Racines, and Dixons restaurants. While Goodfriends is now closed, it had been a well-known restaurant on Colfax since Goodfriend opened it in 1979. In an interview with the successful owner, I got a quick look at why this woman has had such success. Her love of serving and the respect and care she has for everyone, no matter their position, keeps herself and those who surround her, passionate and eager to provide great service.
Goodfriend is from Chicago and credits her family and childhood as the most influential experiences that led her to a career in the restaurant industry. She came to Colorado in 1968 to go to school. However, school wasn’t for her and she eventually left and returned to Chicago to work in a restaurant. After waiting tables, bartending, hostessing, and working for a short while in the kitchen, she returned to Colorado and has been in the Denver restaurant industry since 1971.
Growing up, Goodfriend and her family spent a lot of time going out to eat and experiencing the food industry. Hackney’s (http://www.hackneys.net/) is a particular restaurant in Chicago that has remained in her memory, “The restaurant served burgers, which was pretty unusual at the time,” Goodfriend recalls. With a mother that was a good cook, and the exposure to the restaurant lifestyle, she was drawn to the industry and has maintained her position as one of Denver’s most established owners with forty years of service.
Something that sets her apart from her competitors is her true belief in people, she shared a motto her mother recited to her, that has influenced her business practices, “The mark of a lady is how someone treats the person serving them.” Goodfriend implements this practice in her restaurants, Dixons and Racines. That is one of the reasons they remain strong, as two of Denver’s breakfast hot-spots. It doesn’t hurt that they also serve fantastic food!
Goodfriend believes that breakfast is definitely the best meal of the day; whether or not it’s eaten at the traditional morning meal. Her favorite breakfast dish at Racines is the Crab Benedict, mostly because she loves crab and she loves hollandaise.
Breakfast lovers have an upcoming opportunity to visit Racines and donate to a great cause – on April 29th, Racines and other participating restaurants will be participating in the Dining Out For Life event to benefit Project Angel Heart. Simply, visit a participating restaurant on the 29th and 25% of your bill goes to the cause.
So, make sure to mark your calendars for April 29 and visit Racines to indulge in their Crab Benedict with their Cajun Bloody Mary and say hello to Lee Goodfriend, she’ll be happy to see you!