Charlie Sturdavant essentially started Golden City Brewery in his backyard in October 1993.
Now, while the operation is slightly bigger, the Sturdavants are still running everything out of their property at 920 12th St.
The “second-largest brewery in Golden” is turning 30 and plans to celebrate its anniversary later this year. GCB owners have discussed hosting a joint celebration with Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza, which is also celebrating its 30th anniversary.
“We kind of grew up together in this town,” Sturdavant said of the two businesses.
Sturdavant and his wife, Janine — both geologists — sold their first beer on Halloween 1993. Initially, the operation did beer-to-go with some wholesale accounts, but that morphed over the years thanks to the customers.
The beer garden, for instance, brought picnic tables and chairs when they stopped by to drink beer, Sturdavant said. So, GCB built an official beer garden, which he believed was the first in Colorado as other breweries came by to study it.
Sturdavant described how, when GCB started, there were only 23 other breweries/brewpubs in Colorado. Of those, only six remain, he said, adding, “We’re the only one left under the same majority ownership.”
Now, Sturdavant’s children have essentially taken over the operation, as his son is the head brewer and his daughter runs the bar.
During those first years, Sturdavant’s goal was to educate the public about craft beer, and he attended a lot of events to spread the word.
Meanwhile, GCB itself grew in popularity with locals and tourists, as it was the only brewpub in Golden for several years. It has a lot more competition now than when it first started, but as a beer fan, Sturdavant was excited.
“They’re making Golden a beer destination,” he said.
For more information about Golden City Brewery and its 30th anniversary, visit gcbrewery.com.
Woody's: From pool hall to pizza destination
Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza, at 1305 Washington Ave., is also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The famous pizza spot is planning to host a special event in September with music, beer and pizza.
Manager Tootie Flaugher, who’s been with Woody’s since it opened in November 1993, recalled how it was initially a “pool hall with a little pizza oven.” Along with pool, Woody’s had shuffleboard, air hockey and a few arcade games.
After about a generation, Woody’s started turning into more of a restaurant. Flaugher believed it was because the children who’d grown up with Woody’s were now bringing their own children to enjoy it. As the wait times got longer and longer, Flaugher said the staff had to start taking out pool takes to add more seating.
Before long, it was a full-time pizza joint with no pool table in sight.
Flaugher said the regulars have kept Woody’s going, especially through COVID-19, but visitors also have a hand in spreading the word. She said people from all over the country get recommendations to stop by Woody’s.
On the weekends, especially during the summer, wait times can exceed an hour. So, Woody’s opened a takeout kitchen in November 2019 and has participated in the city’s Washington Avenue outdoor seating program.
Along with the customers, Flaugher said Woody’s wouldn’t be where it was today without its staff, many of whom are longtime employees. Some have worked there for 15-plus years like herself.
“It’s where my family and friends are,” she said. “It’s home.”
For more information about Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza and its 30th anniversary, visit woodysgolden.com.
Denver Biscuit Company planning to open downtown this summer
Golden is getting a trifecta of food brands in one location this year.
Denver Biscuit Company, Atomic Cowboy and Fat Sully’s plans to open at 1100 Washington Ave., Suite 102 in late June or early July. The business recently received its liquor license from the city.
Nathan Lotz, senior vice president-operations for Atomic Provision, said the operation will mirror its original location, which started as a bar, added a pizza joint and then added Denver Biscuit Company.
“That’s why we’re this confusing triple-brand operation all under one roof,” Lotz said at the liquor license hearing.
All three brands will operate out of 1100 Washington Ave., which will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.
Denver Biscuit Company will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends. The menu has biscuit sandwiches with a few dinner-style options, typically running from $10-15, Lotz explained.
Then, Fat Sully’s sells New York-style pizza by the slice and by the pie, along with salads, wings and “a pretty mean burger,” he described. It will operate from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. every day. He said 26-inch pizzas start at $20, while slices are about $4.50 each before toppings.
Fat Sully’s will have both dine-in and take-out options, including “a slice window” for customers who want a quick meal, he continued.
Atomic Cowboy, the bar, will serve drinks for both DBC and Fat Sully’s.
Lotz said his company had a lot of customers from Golden who wanted to see a location open here, and the building at 1100 Washington Ave. was perfect.
“We tend to lean toward buildings that are older with a lot of character,” he continued. “ … We’d be honored to be in the city.”