Apr 2, 2010 3:45 PM by Matt Stafford

Restaurant owner finding this economy a tough time to restart business

After 30 years of doing it in Colorado, barbecuing is in Ivan Bookard's soul.

"When they wrote this, it was so many years ago," Bookard explains while looking at a picture shown next to a news article of him. "This is when I was on B Street. Mr. B's BBQ is really cooking."

However, that was a while ago. Bookard has been trying to branch out for about a year and a half, after a van ran into his shop on Cimarron and Sierra Madre. He planned to rebuild, but that's been difficult in this economy and he's had trouble getting financing. He's even had to lay off the help, something that wasn't easy to do.

"Yeah, she lost her job," Bookard says. "It hurts, it hurts." Jobs are part of the reason Bookard hopes to reopen. "It could help not only themselves, but whoever is helping them."

He hopes to keep his business in Colorado Springs, but that's not for a lack of offers.

"Some people in California, these people here," Bookard says as he shows documents collected from years in the barbecue business, and time away from it. "I didn't feel comfortable about it, I like Colorado Springs."

Part of it is the bond Bookard feels with the military community. After serving in Vietnam he came back ready to cook.

"I said when I get back to the states, I'll open up something," Bookard says, sharing a promise he kept. That's what he wants to continue to do, but admits this is a tough time to be starting over. Bookard also says barbeque is what he knows.

"It ain't no problem getting it to work, because that is no doubt." Bookard explains about his product, that he's trying to get back on the market.

If you want to get involved or help out Ivan Bookard and Mr. B's Famous BBQ and Sould Food, call (719)-200-1339 or (719) 634-0378


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