Boone's opened today in the former home of Smugs (and Fagan's long before that), at 1135 East Evans Avenue.
The neighborhood joint is named after Denver Boone, the University of Denver's official mascot from 1968 to 1998, and is touting a "state-triotic" concept, according to owner Rob Lamphier. "All our beers are going to be from Colorado," he explains. "About half of our liquors are going to be from Colorado, and we'll be trying to do as much Colorado-sourced food as humanly possible."
Lanphier used to be a partner in the B.U.F.F. Brothers group of restaurants, but split from that company this fall to set up his own, Pour Kids. So far, his portfolio consists of Noonan's Tavern, which opened in Aurora last March, and now Boone's.
(He recently took over Downing Street Bar & Grill, which he plans to rebrand as a Pour Kids bar at the start of the new year, when he'll also introduce a new menu. He also hopes to return the place to its original name, The Handlebar -- but for now, it's business as usual at Downing Street.)
Boone's is also Lanphier's first foray into barbecue; a longtime buddy is running the smoker. "The thing we try to strive for is having great food, basically," Lanphier says. "Better food than people would expect in a neighborhood tavern."
Welcome to the neighborhood.