Rocky Flats bar, a Green Bay Packers hangout, re-opening four years after fire

The Green Bay Packers have played 86 games in the four years since a fire gutted the interior of the Rocky Flats Lounge, exiling Front Range Packer Backers from their beloved unofficial headquarters in northern Jefferson County. Now, after lengthy delays in rebuilding efforts, the one-time dive is about to be reborn with a new name and a modern decor intended to be more inviting to families.

New owner Dan Girtin is planning a soft opening for the Rocky Flats Bar & Grill on Thursday, with a grand opening set for July 12. And, yes, there will be a fish fry that night. The old Rocky Flats Lounge was famous among Wisconsin transplants, both for its Friday fish fries and rowdy crowds that filled the place to overflowing when the Packers played.

It looks mostly the same from the outside, but inside it has a much different feel. The old place was dark and felt like a dive bar, which was a part of its charm. The new place is bright, airy and seems larger than the old one. The pool table and juke box are gone, windows have been added and there is a new sliding glass back door that leads out to a patio and play area with gorgeous views of the foothills, from Coal Creek to the Flatirons. The blackened old fireplace remains.

It’s been a long wait since the fire, which occurred July 15, 2015. Judy Hogan, whose family has owned the building and surrounding land for generations, knows only too well.

“Three years, 351 days,” Hogan said on Tuesday.

The delays were caused by insurance issues and complications that included bringing the old building up to code, said Chris Hogan, Judy’s son, adding that insurance paid out $170,000 and the Hogans invested almost $250,000 more. They are still waiting on a liquor license, which they say could take another three to six months.

That could be a big downer for Packers fans, who can be a thirsty bunch. The Packers open their season just nine weeks from now against their century-long rivals, the Chicago Bears.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

(HR)ABOVE: John Larson goes crazy and screams with joy as the Packers score in the 2nd quarter against the New York Giants. At lower right is Carrie Longhini . Most people in this bar are from Wisconsin but now live in Colorado.Green Bay Packers fans packed into the Rocky Flats Lounge off Highway 93 north of Golden to cheer on the Packers against the New York Giants in the NFC play off game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

“It will be sometime during the season; it just won’t be for a little bit,” Chris Hogan said of the lack of liquor. “We want people to feel comfortable bringing their families here. It’s not the smoky old bar anymore.”

The menu will include Wisconsin fare such as cheese curds, along with typical bar food such as chicken wings, quesadillas, chili cheese fries, burgers and onion rings. There will be healthier options, too.

“We’re definitely not as fried as it was,” Girtin said. “We’re going to continue with the fish fries. That seems to be a staple of this bar in the community.”