Downtown Billings Denny’s Abruptly Closes. Who Should Move In?
Fans of Denny's were surprised to see that the downtown location abruptly shuttered its doors this week. A sign in the window says, "We apologize to all of our great customers for closing. Please visit our Denny's at 2010 Overland Ave".
No reason was given for the sudden closure.
I attempted to contact the Overland Ave Denny's location for a comment regarding the closure and after the phone rang forever, it finally went to a full voicemail box. An email to Denny's corporate office was not immediately returned. One could speculate the reasons for the downtown closure. Perhaps staffing issues were a contributor, but my guess is that it simply wasn't profitable. Like any business, you can't keep your doors open if you aren't making money. If it was, it would probably still be open, right?
Many residents have at least one late-night Denny's story.
If you grew up in Billings and spent any of your Friday or Saturday nights shutting down the bars, then you've probably been to Denny's at 2 am. Nothing better than a big plate of greasy breakfast to soak up some of the booze. Does/did Denny's have the best food in the world? No. But (until fairly recently) it was one of the few restaurants open 24 hours, and when you're drunk and hungry in the wee hours of the morning, it hit the spot.
What would you like to see move into the location?
I'll address the elephant in the room. The location does suffer from some problems. Homeless/transients are frequently seen loitering or sleeping in the parking lots and alleys, and the area around the corner of 6th Ave N and 27th St makes some people feel unsafe, or at minimum uncomfortable.
That said, the location seems like prime downtown real estate and a good location for another restaurant. It's on one of the busiest streets in Montana. Thousands of hospital employees work just a few blocks away, along with associated patients, family, and visitors who may be looking for a place to eat. The police station is about a block in the other direction. I would love to see the downtown Denny's building become a Chili's or something, but I won't hold my breath.