Jack details how his bar, Rocky Top Tavern, got started in the Regis community & the many things he did to pay tribute to the community when designing and starting his business. This is one of those great neighborhood bars that you can watch your sports team in, meet friends for a few cold ones, grab dinner from the grill, karaoke or just take advantage of the many deals they have while meeting your local neighbors.
Rocky Top Tavern
4907 Lowell Blvd.
Where is Rocky Top Tavern located?
My business is in the Regis neighborhood at 4907 Lowell Blvd. 80221
The reason we chose this location is because the old Hill Top Tavern had been a mainstay here for 50 plus years. Any bar that’s been around that long clearly has to be in the right spot. I figured with a nice makeover we could add real value to both the business and the community. With a neighborhood that was clearly ready for a revival and Regis University a block away, it seemed like the perfect location.
What about this neighborhood jives with your business culture?
The nice part about the neighborhood is the different array of customers we get. There are so many new people moving to our city that we get people from all over the country. It seems that most folks have either lived in the neighborhood for three generations or under three years. A lot of young people are flocking here because it is still a relatively reasonable area to buy into. Although that of course seems to be changing by the month. I certainly can’t leave out having the college down the street. The students bring a lot of life into the place. Especially on Thursday nights when we do our college karaoke.
What is the story behind your business?
I absolutely love being a bar owner. There’s rarely a dull moment. Plus I love interacting with the customers and all the new people I get to meet along the way. After owning a couple self serve car washes for the seven years prior to opening the Rocky Top, the much more social scene has been a nice change. As a people person it’s been a lot more fun. We’ve been open now for just over two years and business keeps growing. There are a lot of changes coming to the street and I’m excited to see where it takes us.
What inspired the design and decor of your business?
When we started the remodel in September of 2014 it was really about starting over and making it a much more inviting place. That being said, we had to get rid of pretty much everything. The demo brought us many nice surprises along the way. After ripping up the old carpet we found the original hardwood floors from the days when the building was the local drug store. It was great to be able to bring those back to life. We also realized that behind all the plaster was the original brick. Who doesn’t love exposed brick? It took a lot of work to get it done but I’m very happy we stuck it out and made it happen. The other cool discovery in that process was finding the old outdoor sign that was painted on the brick back in the 20’s. It’s a cool bit of history to think back of the original drug store days. The sign promotes candy, film sold and developed, and of course the old soda fountain. It’s a pretty cool piece to have back in the pool room.
As far as the decor it just all came together as we went. We used the old lath from the ceiling to make our bar top and back bar. We used an old fence from the neighbors to make the face of the bar. I got a bunch of old antiques from our neighbor Stans store two doors down. He was able to get me some old mining equipment that came straight out of a Colorado gold mine from the 1800’s. The pick axes and gold pan are a true testament to the old days in the Rocky Mountains. A lot of people obviously assume the Rocky Top name came from a Tennessee thing but it’s really about the gorgeous Rockies that lie just to the west of us and Rocky Mountain Lake that is right down the street. Keeping Top in the name a way to pay tribute to the Hill Top for all the years it served the neighborhood. I couldn’t be happier with how it all came together in the end.
I’d be remiss not to thank my amazing staff and customers for making the Rocky Top Tavern what it is today. We look forward to growing with this great community around us and are excited to see what the future holds for us here on Lowell.
A huge thank you to Nicole with Live Urban Real Estate for her interview with Jack & Rocky Top Tavern. Nicole lives and sells in Regis and knows it better than anyone. If you have any neighborhood questions reach out to Nicole!
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