Action sports enthusiasts and culinary entrepreneurs Ryan Galbraith and Chris Stinson just kicked their business model into high gear. Eighteen months after opening Cheapskates Action Sports Bar in Arvada, Galbraith and Stinson now have a second Cheapskates location in Aurora.
Curious to see what an action sports bar looks like, we recently stopped by the new Cheapskates to snap some photos.
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The partners say Cheapskates is the first authentic action-sports bar in the metro area. According to Galbraith, when he and Stinson were constructing their first location in Olde Town Arvada they "heard rumors about some action sports bars" -- but after checking them out, they realized "it was basically just a TV in the corner with Fuel on -- that was their claim to action sports."
Cheapskates does possess many of the features so intrinsic to traditional sports bars: flatscreen TVs, sports memorabilia, a jukebox full of classic rock selections. But the televisions are tuned to very different sports, and the customers are not your typical sports-bar regulars, either.
Galbraith says he and Stinson "try and give back to the community that made us who we are today," which often entails shutting down streets near their Arvada location to host action-sports events, including skateboarding demos and flatland BMX shows. Once winter arrives, Cheapskates rents a party bus that takes local skiers and snowboarders from Denver to Loveland.
And when it comes to Industry Night on Sundays, Cheapskates doesn't just reserve its discounts for those working in the culinary field; it also extends its deals to those working in the skateboard, bike and motorcycle industries.
Aside from the action-sports niche, Cheapskates concentrates much of its attention on weekly specials. More popular ones include Thirsty Thursday, which features $4 you-call-its from 9 p.m. to midnight; Karaoke Night, when crooning contestants receive a free shot with their first song; and Ladies Night, where for $10 women can gain access to all-you-can-drink domestic drafts and Stolichnaya vodka.
But of all the deals that Cheapskates dishes up, Galbraith says the bar's birthday special brings in the most traffic. "If you come in within one day of your birthday," he explains, "you get twenty domestic pitchers of beer for $25." And while larger parties could certainly polish off that much beer in one night, Galbraith says that Cheapskates doesn't want to "send you out of there getting in trouble at night, so you get a punch card and you get a week to use it."
Since the first Cheapskates popped up in Arvada, he estimates the bar has presented customers with roughly 800 birthday deal specials.
While connecting with Denver's action sports community by providing nearly unbeatable drink specials is high atop Cheapskates' list, Galbraith says they focus on food, too. "It would always bother me when I would go into neighborhood bars and you could tell that every single item on the menu went: freezer, deep-fryer, plate," Galbraith confesses. "We spent nine months developing our own menu. We make our own wing sauces, we make our Caesar dressings from scratch, we buy from a local meat market several times a week and hand-make our burgers and chicken patties with our own recipes. I even have some homemade recipes from when I was a kid on the menu."
Go big or go home -- that's the mantra of the action-sports world. And after opening two locations in less than two years, it appears Cheapskates is following the same philosophy.
Keep reading for photos from the new Cheapstakes location in Aurora.
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