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If Walls Could Talk


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You don’t see it right away. In fact, you might not ever see it. Just like you wouldn’t see their version of the Sistine Chapel unless you took a seat and were inclined to look up. Maybe that’s what’s charming about The Sink. It doesn’t try to get your attention. It just does.

Up in the right hand corner on the wall that welcomes you to Boulder’s iconic restaurant and bar is President Barack Obama’s signature. He made the mark during a surprise visit to the restaurant to pick up a “world famous” pizza and meet the locals.

“We just put a piece of plastic over it to preserve it,” said Chris Heinritz, his tone, as laid back as his clothes.  Behind the owner of The Sink—which has seen the likes of Anthony Bourdain and  Guy Fieri in an episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives—servers dole up burgers and pizzas to a packed house.

The scene was about the same in the episode of what Chris calls “Triple D.” In it, his brother and co-owner, Mark Heinritz said the two see themselves “more as  curators of a public domain than the owners of a particular restaurant.” And curators might be right. The restaurant,  known for adorning its walls with paintings of locals, recently celebrated its 90th birthday.

“People can still come here and see and feel the history,” Chris said. “The place just oozes it.”

Over the years, The Sink itself has seen some history—beatniks, hippies, hipsters and the occasional fraternity brother. The original building was actually built in the 1800s as the fraternity house for Sigma Nu. It was bought later on and turned into a restaurant called the Summers Sunken Garden, named after a fountain out front that would eventually give the restaurant its moniker. But it’s the food and the paintings that today give it its character.

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