La Creperie, a fixture in downtown Colorado Springs for 35 years, will close during the third week of October, the owners said Thursday.

Stephanie Dowdell said she and her older sister, Christine, will close the restaurant their mother, Huguette Dowdell, opened in September 1978 after being asked by the landlord to give up their space.

The building is owned by the Megyeri family. Suzette Megyeri, who co-owns and operates Bambino's Pizza with her husband, Kevin, said they'll open a "farm-to-table" hamburger restaurant inside the 700-square-foot space at 204 N. Tejon St. sometime in mid-February, after renovations are completed.

Stephanie Dowdell said the loss of her family's restaurant has not fully hit her.

"It reminds me of when you meet people at a funeral, and you can tell the ones having the funeral have not had time to process what has happened to them," she said. "Right now we are just going through the motions."

Still, she did not view the closing of the nearly four-decade old restaurant as a failure.

"Mom said, in her words, 35 years in the same location is a good go," Dowdell said.

Stephanie Dowdell said her mother was one of the first downtown shop owners to put potted flowers in front of their business. Huguette Dowdell was also one of the first to serve beer and wine on the patio of a downtown eatery, she said.

The sisters have started preparing for the restaurant's closing by photographing items that will be for sale later. She said neither she nor her sister have any immediate plans to open another restaurant.

The burger restaurant that will take La Creperie's place - The Skirted Heifer - will serve hand-cut fries, homemade condiments and several flavors of frozen custard to compliment the burgers, Suzette Megyeri said.

"The word 'skirted' is a chef's term for when something melts around something else," she said, "and we will make a hamburger with a large shredded cheddar cheese skirt that hangs out of the bun."

The Megyeris opened Bambino's Pizza at 2849 E. Platte Ave. in 1978, Suzette Megyeri said. She said having the Dowdell sisters abandon their building and close their restaurant was not an easy decision.

"We put a lot of thought into this," she said.


Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.