In 2011, when Laura Shunk, Westword's former restaurant critic, reviewed Spanky's Roadhouse, a long-standing fixture in the DU neighborhood, she described it as dark, even during daylight, and, she continued, the "shadows masked the bar-room grit that seems to be etched into every surface at Spanky's."
It took a few years, but the roadhouse, owned by Dan Shipp and his brothers John and Mike, a trio that also oversees Reiver's Bar & Grill and the Dusty Boot, which has four locations in Colorado, is finally getting a remodel -- and it's no small endeavor. Earlier today, when I stopped by, a dozen construction workers were tearing the joint apart, including the kitchen. "It's still going to be Spanky's, but we're fixing it up and making it newer and better," says Rusty Tims, Spanky's superintendent of construction. The strip down, the photos of which are on the next page, will shutter the restaurant, known for its burgers and Wisconsin fish-fries, until mid-December, when it will reopen all shiny and new.