LAPORTE — A Loveland couple with a long history in the restaurant business has acquired a 77-year-old restaurant in Laporte.
Alan and Jackie Jantzen, owners of the iconic Silver Grill Cafe in Old Town Fort Collins, are the new owners of Vern’s Place, 4120 W. County Road 54G.
Alan Jantzen has a more than 30-year history in the Fort Collins restaurant business, including as director of operations for Hot Corner Concepts, a restaurant group that owns The Moot House, several Austin’s American Grill locations, Big Al’s Burgers & Dogs and Comet Chicken. They bought Silver Grill in late 2021 from John Arnolfo, who had owned the restaurant at 218 Walnut St. for 42 years.
Jackie Jantzen is a former restaurant server who works in the human-resources department of Loveland-based Group Publishing.
Brothers Willard and Vern Nelson opened Vern’s Place in Laporte in 1946 as a diner, sporting-goods store and gasoline station. They owned it for 30 years before selling it in 1976 to Harvey and Dinah Kittel and their daughters, and that family lived in a downstairs apartment there. After a fire in 1990, the Kittels’ daughter Val and her husband, Nick Lanteri, partnered with Harvey and Dinah Kittel to rebuild Vern’s, took over ownership, and then remodeled the restaurant in 2014.
The Jantzens acquired Vern’s when the Lanteris retired after owning the restaurant for 33 years. As a high school student, Alan Jantzen would stop by Vern’s to get one of the restaurant’s famous cinnamon rolls and a bottle of soda before heading to a fishing spot.