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Last year the B.U.F.F. Brothers Group sold four of its bars, including the College Inn, Dirk's, Gibby's and Pifler's, to the Little Pub Company. B.U.F.F. Brothers co-owner Rob Lanphier says the sale basically came down to money: Little Pub made them an offer they couldn't refuse.
The B.U.F.F. Brothers still own the FuNuGyz in Parker and another in Arizona, and opened the University of Colorado-themed Ralphie's last year. And now they've added Noonan's Tavern at the Golf Club at Heather Ridge (13521 East Iliff Avenue in Aurora), which opened on Monday, March 14. If you've seen Caddyshack, you might catch the reference to caddy Danny Noonan in that classic 1980 film — but while the house drink at Noonan's is called the Danny Noonan, the joint doesn't have a Caddyshack theme.
"Basically, it's a neighborhood tavern," Lanphier says. "It's just a place for people in the neighborhood to come out and have some good food and cold beer. With each one of our bars, we kind of figure out, hopefully, what the neighborhood wants."
Lanphier should have a fairly good idea of what this neighborhood wants, since he's lived in the area for a while. "The one thing people ask is why we're back out here in Aurora," he says. "I grew up out here, actually. I used to live five minutes from the golf course; I live two minutes from it now. I've been in this area for about 25 years. I just wanted to have something where I'm not driving 35 minutes to one of my locations."
Unlike the other B.U.F.F. Brothers bars, past and present, Noonan's isn't focused on sports. At 3,000 square feet, it's also smaller than the company's previous spots, which were all around 5,000 to 6,000 square feet.
In addition to Noonan's, B.U.F.F. Brothers has another FuNuGyz in the works for Phoenix — and they aren't stopping there. "Hopefully we can do a few more by the end of the year," Lanphier says. "We'll see if that happens or not. I'm a little tired right now. I might not feel rejuvenated enough to do one by the end of the year."
Club scout: In a very quick change, the space at 2911 West 38th Avenue that had been the Boston Fish Shack is now Stingray Lounge. The transformation of the former Orange Cat studios at 2625 Larimer Street into the Matchbox took a little longer; Squire Lounge owner Sudhir Kudva and partners Justin Anthony and Lisa Vedovelli spent a few months overhauling the spot, putting in new bathrooms and a garage-door window in the front and demolishing the back of the building to make way for a patio (and eventually a beer garden and bocce ball court). But the Matchbox finally opened last week, too. The casual bar has a number of local beers on tap, as well as unique cocktails that aren't super-expensive, Kudva says. Watch for a grand-opening celebration on March 25.