Local bars and restaurants see more crowds for Broncos’ games
Imagine being the only person wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey in the middle of an Orange Crush: a sea of swarming Broncos fans and servers wearing Denver Broncos gear.
That’s every Sunday during the NFL season for Old Chicago bartender Boone Olearain.
He dons a Dez Bryant jersey and pours drinks for football fans. Although the Cowboys missed the playoffs yet again, Olearain said the Broncos are his second favorite team.
“They either love my jersey or hate it,” Olearain said. “Sometimes they boo the bartender.”
It’s safe to say most bartenders in Grand Junction at least endure the Broncos. It’s good for business.
As Denver has pushed further into the playoffs, business keeps getting better for bars and restaurants around Grand Junction.
“I’d say our sales at least double during Broncos games,” Olearain said. “It’s packed the entire time. Everybody is in their Broncos gear. We get to wear our jerseys. The kitchen has the radio on, and everyone is going nuts.”
Take-home tips are anywhere between $200 and $350, double that of normal evenings, Olearain added.
When the Broncos play the New England Patriots at 1 p.m. Sunday, Old Chicago, along with most bars in the Grand Valley, will have food and drink specials in an effort to increase business and cater to fans.
Open Just for the broncos
Since opening in 2012, Charlie Dwellington’s has reshaped its image. Recently that reshaping has included opening on Sundays, as well as opening the kitchen.
The new look has led to a different crowd, as well as some perks that have coincided with the Broncos’ playoff run.
On Sunday, Charlie Dwellington’s will be open, serving breakfast with Bloody Marys and mimosas in preparation for the Broncos game.
Owner Liz Sinclair said she sees the Broncos’ playoff run as a good way to expand business as well as creating an awesome atmosphere for patrons.
“We haven’t really advertised it, but we’ve had the kitchen open, and we’ve been doing breakfast,” Sinclair said. “It’s been wildly successful, and we’ve been getting people in here, and we hope to keep doing it.”
Will Charlie Dwellington’s be open on Super Bowl Sunday? Sinclair said that depends on whether the Broncos are playing.
“I feel in my heart that the Broncos will probably be playing Feb. 2,” Sinclair said. “And we like what we’ve been doing here. I was talking to my husband about it, and there just doesn’t seem to be a point in opening if the Broncos aren’t playing.”
At Buffalo Wild Wings, bar manager Kiera Rossman estimated she went through at least 20 bottles of liquor and more than 14 kegs while bartending the Broncos’ divisional round victory.
Rossman, who tends bar during Broncos games, compared the atmosphere at Buffalo Wild Wings to a “stadium experience” with 67 televisions tucked all over the restaurant.
“There’s a ton of energy,” Rossman said. “The Broncos games are always crazy.”