“Shot, goal!” The foghorn blares, the siren sounds, and 20,000 raucous fans rise to their feet in celebration. A scene familiar to hockey fans who’ve cheered an Avalanche goal at Ball Arena will be coming to Olde Town Arvada on Sept. 9 when STiX Crafthouse opens its doors for the first time.
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Founded by Jake Gross and Erin Beaudoin, STiX seeks to combine two things close to its founders’ hearts; the in-game atmosphere of an Avalanche game and craft beer. The pair met after Gross posted in an Avalanche fan Facebook group proposing to open an Avs-themed bar and Beaudoin responded.
With Chef Keenan Cameron heading up the dining options — a slate of what Gross calls “upscale bar food — and 20 taps including Four Noses’ Raspberry Blond and Odell’s ‘Good Behavior,’ STiX seeks to be every hockey fan’s favorite place to watch an Avalanche game.
STiX held a soft opening on Sept. 3 and scheduled its grand opening for Sept. 9. The craft house is located at 5777 Olde Wadsworth Blvd R100 in Arvada, the former site of The Flying Pig.
Gross — who fell in love with hockey when his mom took him to an Avalanche game about a decade ago — said the idea for STiX came from a brainstorming session Gross had when he felt unsure about what to do with his life.
“I was kind of thinking to myself, ‘What do I want to do with life?’” Gross said. “And I was trying to find a niche in the market that wasn’t tapped into yet and then also, ‘How can I combine most of my favorite things in one?’
“So, I made a list of about 80 things that I liked — fishing, camping, the outdoors, swimming, climbing, hockey, craft beer — all of that kind of stuff, and I tried to link as many as I possibly could,” Gross continued. “Having that hockey concept was a big thing for me. And tying in the craft beer to that was the big game changer.”
Gross said he feels like there isn’t really a good hockey bar in the area. He said that he and Beaudoin went to local breweries to sample in order to decide what craft beer to offer.
He added that the in-game experience is, to him, what makes people fall in love with hockey, which is why STiX will try to bring that feel to Arvada.
“A big part of what the concept here is, it’s bringing the stadium to you,” Gross said. “And I really feel like the stadium is where people get attached. If you ever go to a hockey game, it’s not just the game that you’re watching — it’s the environment you’re in, it’s the excitement, it’s the crowd, it’s the food, it’s the smell; it’s the vibe, essentially.”
To that end, Cameron will serve “fine, upscale” stadium food including French dip sandwiches, cheesesteaks, nachos, jumbo hot dogs and beer-infused offerings such as a pale ale whiskey caramel and a beer cheese.
The craft house seeks to have 25 to 30 employees and holds 270 people inside and out, according to Gross, who said a lot of people walked into the bar during renovations to inquire about work.
“A lot of our employees have actually walked in curious about this place, like, ‘I love hockey, do you have any openings?’” Gross said. “We’ve hired a lot of people just from them walking in.”
Gross said he hopes to open a STiX location in every hockey market in the U.S. and Canada. He added that while he hadn’t been to Olde Town Arvada before checking out the site, he fell in love immediately thanks to the feel and atmosphere of the area.
“Our goal is to open up a location in every hockey city around the U.S. and Canada,” Gross said. “We’re starting here; we’re Avalanche fans, and we’re going to kind of cater STiX across the world as, when you go to Dallas we’ll have a Dallas bar, when you go to North Carolina we’ll have a Hurricane’s bar, and we’ll still be resembling STiX, but it’s like STiX hockey town bar.”
Gross added that he’s excited to be part of the Olde Town business scene.
“I’m excited to be a good part of this community and get to know all the locals in the area,” Gross said. “I’ve gotten to know our fellow neighbors here quite well. I think what we’re offering here is a much-needed, different vibe that Colorado has been screaming for and it’s time.”
STiX will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
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