Washington's Bar and Grill, a Fort Collins institution for 27 years, has closed its doors; but don't fear, it will be opening again in the near future.
When Washington's, 132 Laporte Ave., closed for business Feb. 3, some customers worried they might be losing one of their favorite local watering holes. In a way, these customers may be right; when Washington's opens again, it will be under a new name, Washington's Sports Bar and Grill, and under new management.
"We are in the process of trying to purchase Washington's, there are a few details that are left to be worked out," said Brian Cook, one of three CSU alumni who have formed C.G.I. Enterprises Inc., the company currently trying to purchase Washington's.
Although not yet officially under new ownership, Washington's is already beginning to take on a new form with improvements that C.G.I. Enterprises hope to have finished within the next few weeks. Some customers are looking forward to a new and improved Washington's experience.
"When I heard that Washington's had closed, I was really sad, because I have always considered it one of the best nights out in Fort Collins," said Sean Casper, a senior speech communications major. "I am happy to hear that it will be opening up again with a few improvements; the one knock I ever had against the place was that it was a bit grimy."
The prospective new owners plan to give Washington's a face lift, while still keeping the cherished atmosphere patrons have come to expect, Cook said.
Planned improvements include repainting the exterior of the building and restrooms, along with installing new flat-screen TV's and NTN Trivia to entertain customers. There are also plans to improve Washington's beyond its aesthetic characteristics, including additions to the old menu.
"We are planning to add a bit of lighter fare to the menu, which will hopefully appeal to the business district in Old Town," Cook said. "We will be adding a variety of wraps, like chicken creaser, along with a few other things that will just be a little lighter; of course, we still will be offering the old stand-bys, too."
Customers can also look forward to a difference when paying for their drinks and food; credit cards and tabs will be accepted at all registers, a change from Washington's tradition of being a cash-only bar. The new owners also plan to work very closely with RamRide, as Thursday's College Night at Washington's is normally a very busy one for both RamRide and the bar, Cook said.
The re-opening of Washington's Sports Bart and Grill is planned for Feb. 24, as long as the new facility passes health inspection and receives a liquor license transfer.
Washington's current manager and employee of two and half years, Adam Deutschmann, is also looking forward to the new Washington's.
"I'm really excited for it, the new owners are really into Washington's, and I am looking forward to working with them," Deutschmann said. "Its going to be just a higher-end experience all the way around. Better service, better food, better environment, just all around better."