An interview with Lee Goodfriend, restaurateur and TV fan: Sent in by WIFMCO Member Colleen Smith

Racines restaurant donated dozens of their storied chocolate brownies for the reception following the WIFMCO table reading of “Thin Places” by Colleen Smith, the winner of our Second Annual Screenplay Contest. Our table reading is scheduled for Sunday, August 12 from 1 to 4 p.m. at WestWorks Studios in Centennial.
In business for almost 35 years in Denver, Racines is well known as an on-going supporter of many community events. WIFMCO is of particular interest to co-owner Lee Goodfriend, a feminist and a big fan of television both for staying posted on news and for sheer escape.

Goodfriend, (pictured above) left her hometown of Chicago for Denver in 1968 to attend Colorado Woman’s College. She also co-owned two other longstanding Denver restaurants: Goodfriends on East Colfax and Dixon’s Downtown Grill — all with numerous televisions. The brownies are one of the favorite sweets on Racine’s menu and have been featured in award-winning desserts.

WIFMCO: What is your all-time favorite movie?
LG: “West Side Story,” which I haven’t seen in 50 years.

WIFMCO: What about more current flicks?
LG: I’m a television person. I don’t have to see the movies as soon as they come out.
I watch most of the Oscar-nominated films at home eventually.

WIFMCO: Which recent films did you enjoy?
LG: I liked “Lion,” “Hidden Figures,” “Lady Bird” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” I like Frances McDormand.

WIFMCO: Other favorite actresses?
LG: Meryl Streep. Natalie Portman. Scarlett Johansson. Whoopi Goldberg.

WIFMCO: What are your favorite television programs?
LG: I watch a lot of real news. I’ve watched “60 Minutes” for a long, long time. I have a premium cable package. I also like “Top Chef,” “The View,” “Real Housewives,” “Project Runway” and “Queer Eye.” I liked the Style Network. I watch Netflix and PBS series: “The Crown,” “Dietland,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Downton Abbey” and “Doc Martin.”
I watched “House of Cards,” but now it’s too close to the bone so I can’t watch it. I used to watch John Stewart, then Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers, but I’ve been so mad lately — I don’t think what’s going on in current events is funny — so I’m not watching them as much.

WIFMCO: What are your thoughts about the #MeToo movement?
LG: It’s a part of the bigger picture of feminism. Women are now a big part of the workplace, and that was a big adjustment. We did come a long way from when I started, but now it seems we’re regressing. Feminism needs to push forward a bit. Women are important and need to be heard and haven’t been heard enough as fifty percent of the population with a different perspective from men. Women in media – from Barbara Walters to Dianne Sawyer to Rachel Maddow to Nicole Wallace — helped us find our voice. We’re going to have to fight for it in this day. Everyone has to be active and not complacent.”

Goodfriend summed up her political advice in a single word: “Vote!”
She added that Racines is donating brownies to the WIFMCO table reading of Colleen Smith’s screenplay to support the talents of women in media and because she’s aware that many women — herself included — enjoy chocolate.


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