In its 13th annual business appreciation awards ceremony, the city of Wheat Ridge bestowed restaurants Li'l Nick's and West 29th Restaurant and Bar the distinction of being named the city's Businesses of the Year for 2016.
The community members …
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The community members of Wheat Ridge nominated the businesses they believed to be the best representation of their city, and the awards were ultimately determined by a committee put together by the city. The committee assessed the nominees based on multiple factors.
Steve Art, Wheat Ridge's economic development and urban renewal manager and one of the main organizers of the event, said he views these awards as an opportunity for the city to thank and honor local businesses.
"Our businesses support city hall all year," he said. "This is a way for us to give back to them. The support they give to the community throughout the year should be recognized by the community."
Co-owners of Li'l Nick's, Bob Quintana and his son Nick Quintana, are lifelong Colorado residents who believe their restaurant's recognition from the city is a result of continuous progression in their business.
"We've been around for almost 20 years, but our business isn't stale. We've been able to expand with what our customers wanted," Nick Quintana said. "We're one of the only small businesses in Wheat Ridge that has its own app. This app allows for not only our loyal customers to get benefits from it, but also for anybody traveling up and down the I-70 corridor to search for our app and find our business here."
Li'l Nick's extensive philanthropic work was another distinguishing factor in the city's decision to award the restaurant.
This past year, the business has hosted and matched donations for events benefiting prostate cancer research, donating more than $3,000 to youth athletics, providing more than 400 pizzas for Mount Carmel Catholic Church to assist area residents in need, and hosted fire department training participants from around the country during their recent stay.
Bob and Nick Quintana say their wish is for the restaurant to be a place of gathering and socialization, rather than just a place to eat. Above all else, the two say they prioritize two things about the business — "comfort and pleasure." Nick adds that utilizing both new and old methods in the business has helped it thrive.
"Although we've changed and adapted to the needs of our customers, one thing we've really stayed consistent with and haven't sacrificed is our recipes and our product," Nick Quintana said.
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