CJ’s Cafe from simplicity to elegance

By John Carr
Posted 3/9/10

One of Brighton’s least-known gems can be found tucked away in a corner of the former Platte Valley Hospital on Egbert Street.     CJ’s Cafe is owned and operated by the …

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CJ’s Cafe from simplicity to elegance


One of Brighton’s least-known gems can be found tucked away in a corner of the former Platte Valley Hospital on Egbert Street.

    CJ’s Cafe is owned and operated by the mother/daughter team of Judy Alaksin and Carrie (Alaksin) Radmann. The cafe has been open since June.

    Prior to moving to the Brighton area more than 20 years ago, Judy Alaksin developed her trade in Pittsburgh, Pa.

    “The area was known for its East Coast style cooking,” Alaksin said. “Pittsburgh had many ethnic restaurants, and I learned to love to cook many kinds of food. I brought that love of preparing good food with me to Colorado.”

    Carrie Radmann learned to love to cook from her mother. She is a 1992 graduate of Brighton High School. She is married with two children. In addition to running the cafe and catering business with her mother, she and her husband, Brett, own Turf Talent, a local landscape company. Carrie has been working with mom Judy in their catering business for more than 15 years.

    Following Judy’s personal philosophy regarding preparing good food, CJ’s adds the “home” to homemade. Their ingredients are both fresh and hand-prepared. French fries are actually fresh fries. They are prepared daily and hand-cut. CJ’s burgers are a delight. They, too, are made daily from fresh meat – never frozen. Following the tradition of East Coast dining,  Judy points out that if you eat at CJ’s you won’t leave hungry or broke.

    Prior to opening CJ’s Café, the mother-daughter team spent the last 15 years building one of the area’s leading catering businesses. With the full size commercial kitchen that was built for the café, Judy and Carrie continue to offer their clientele some of the best special event catering available.

    Radmann points out that one of their most valuable services is preparing meals to meet the client’s needs.

“We sit down with our customers to determine what it is they are seeking. We can work with almost every budget,” she said. “We pride ourselves on catering from simplicity to elegance. We can prepare for an event that has a handful of guests to as many as two thousand. We have catered a number of events for Adams County that exceeded 1,500.”

    Judy and Carrie chose to locate in the former Platte Valley Hospital because of the potential lunch crowd. With organizations such as the Salud Clinic, Front Range Community College and Community Reach as tenants there, was a promise of nearly 1.000 people in the building on a daily basis. While the response from visitors has been a modest success, CJ’s is still trying to reach out to the general public.

    “We offer great food at a great price,” Carrie Radmann said. “Customers can eat lunch here for less than $8, and we just need to let everyone know where we are located.”

    If operating a cafe five days a week and catering weekends and evenings isn’t enough, CJ’s also specializes in desserts, specifically pies. While living in Pennsylvania, Judy Alaksin made a name in the desserts business baking pies for local restaurants. Mornings at CJ’s are filled with Judy and Carrie baking pies that can be purchased by the slice or whole. The aroma of baking pies often fills the building.

    CJ’s Cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 303-659-4089.


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