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The Sink: Iconic Boulder Restaurant Turns 100

The Sink: Iconic Boulder Restaurant Turns 100


Editor’s Note: Press Releases are provided to Yellow Scene. In an effort to keep our community informed, we publish some press releases in whole.

This year The Sink is celebrating their 100-year anniversary. Their centennial will be a testament to the rich history they have been a part of as Boulder’s oldest restaurant. 2023 will be dedicated to The Sink creating opportunities for the community to come together in their graffiti-decorated space to enjoy a meal amongst friends, to raise a beer to those who have been part of the journey, and to celebrate Boulder, the town that has supported them for 100 years.

Current owners, Mark Heinritz, Chris Heinritz, and Tell Jones have been brainstorming why this celebratory year is so important: “We are eager to honor the amazing history of this restaurant. The Sink truly belongs to everyone who’s passed through here. There are always new buildings, new streetscapes, but The Sink has stayed consistent, always here welcoming people with good food and a great atmosphere” Mark shares.

From its origin as a Sigma Nu fraternity house, to its establishment as Somer’s Sunken Gardens in 1923, to its evolution as The Sink serving 3.2 beers and burgers, to welcoming celebrities and Presidents throughout the 2000’s, the walls of The Sink have a million stories to share.

In a way they do; each wall is plastered in counterculture art painted by legendary beatnik poet and artist Llloyd Kavich. From political moments, pop culture, portraits of regulars and inside jokes, the walls reflect the variety of personalities and moments that have shaped The Sink into what it is today. (The timeline of the changing owners, evolutions in naming convention, and the bigger historical moments of The Sink are well-detailed on their website.)

To honor 100 years of making memories, The Sink is planning to fill 2023 with celebrations of the community that has kept them around and thriving as a Boulder institution.

To kick off the year, The Sink will be bringing back one of its most popular events in the 1960s and 1970s, their legendary Friday Afternoon Clubs (dubbed F.A.C). Launched in the late 1960s by then manager Chuck Morris (now AEG Presents Rocky Mountains’ chairman emeritus and Denver promoting legend), The Sink would host patrons eager to start their weekend off with happy hour and music in their finest duds which they rented from a formal wear store up the street. For the modern version, on the last Friday of every month in 2023, The Sink will be welcoming guests to join F.A.C. with food and drink specials, exciting guest hosts, live music, collectibles, and throwbacks of all kinds. For the inaugural F.A.C. on Friday, February 24, 3-5 PM, The Sink will be tapping their much anticipated 1923 beer created by Avery Brewing.

The collaboration American Pale Ale, 1923, is geared to satiate the thirstiest patron. 1923 will only be available at The Sink and Avery Brewing throughout the year, but keep an eye out for it popping up at centennial celebrations all year long. The Sink will also have a full set of limited-edition anniversary merchandise they will be dropping throughout the year.

The Spring will also bring an intimate movie debut, as local Boulder film agency Pixel Mills Studio, produces an anniversary mini-documentary detailing 10 years of Sink Stories. Told through the lens of colorful interviews with past owners, employees, patrons, and even a few famous faces, the short film offers a back-of-house perspective of the iconic restaurant’s history and highlights what Boulder loves about it most: great food and a warm, welcoming environment.

The Sink plans to host a block party on The Hill on September 2nd over Labor Day weekend to shift the celebration into a higher gear. All of Boulder and The Sink’s alumni are invited to join the celebration with family-friendly activities, live music, delicious Sink Burgers, beer garden, and more.

Chris Heinritz shares “I’m really looking forward to taking the opportunity to look back and spend time with the people who have been part of this family for generations. We’ve been here 30 years, have probably 1000s of employees ourselves, not to mention the 30+ years the Kavaur family owned it. I really hope everyone can make a Boulder weekend out of Labor Day’s celebration.”

The Museum of Boulder will carry on September’s festivities by opening its doors in mid-September on the 100 Years of The Sink exhibit. The exhibit will showcase unseen video footage and historical art panels from the 1960’s artist Llloyd Kavich, The Sink Stories film, and engaging content from the past 100 years. Stay tuned for grand opening party plans, as well as additional exciting events and opportunities to celebrate The Sink’s iconic anniversary.

As they say, the rest(aurant) is history.

The Sink originated in Boulder, CO in 1923 as Somers Sunken Gardens. It was eventually coined The Sink due to a fountain in the restaurant and the nickname simply stuck, even as it changed hands throughout the century. Beginning as Somers Sunken Gardens with the Somers family, it was sold to the LeBarons when Somers passed away. The LeBarons sold to John Pudlick who then passed it along to Joe Beimford and Floyd Marks. Marks bought out Beimford and eventually gave the space to his sister Gilda and her husband Herb Kauvar. Changing with the times, from 1974 – 1989 The Sink became Herbie’s Deli under their watch and had a great run, but in 1989 Herbie’s sons Rick & Jim rebooted the space as The Sink once again. In 1993 current owners Mark & Chris Heinritz, along with their brother James take on buying the iconic restaurant. 2016 brought on the most current owner, Tell Jones. Over the years, The Sink has been the perfect stomping ground for anyone who wants to catch up with friends over a beer and a burger. It has also brought national recognition with visits with famous faces like President Obama, Guy Fieri, Anthony Bourdain, Madeleine Albright, Dan Ackroyd, and of course, the most famous Sink employee Robert Redford. Their 100-year anniversary will highlight community events, one-of-a-kind anniversary merchandise, and collaborations with local businesses.

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