Mike Hayter and his business partner, Mike Refling, are getting ready to open their new sports bar, Hayter's, in the former Lizard's Bar & Grill space at 1920 Blake Street. And they moved here from Bozeman, Montana, to do it.
"First of all, getting a license down here is so much easier than getting a license in Montana, which sounds a little odd," Hayter says. "In Montana, they base them on population. It's such a big state, but there not very many people there. The licenses are tied into the gaming, like video poker and video keno. That's a huge revenue source. Licenses in Montana are going for over $700,000. It's a feat to get in. You have to have a lot of money to make it happen up there."
But that's not the only reason they chose Denver; they also like the fact that the city is in the middle of a much more populated, but still outdoorsy, state. "Geographically, it's still similar to Montana, with mountains and skiing and stuff like that," he says. "We like the sports bar concept, being so close to Coors Field."
Hayter and Refling first looked at the 6,200-square-foot space, which is less than a block from Coors Field, during the Rockies' opening weekend. They took it over on August 1, starting renovations the following day that will turn it into a sports bar with a throwback feel and traditional pub fare.
But while Hayter's will be a sports bar in the daytime and early evening, Hayter says they plan to get DJs in there once the games are over.
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Look for Hayter's to open at the end of August.