Steamboat Springs Skidge Moon and Toni Cratsley know exactly what keeps them coming back to Sunpie's Bistro.
"It's like a Cheers," Cratsley said as she started eating a chicken salad sandwich at the bar Tuesday. "Everyone knows each other down the bar."
Although the bar opened Tuesday afternoon with new owners, Moon and Cratsley said they were happy to find everything, including the bartenders, remained the same.
John Duty said he didn't want to see Sunpie's Bistro leave 735 Yampa St. along with its longtime owners Mike and Colleen Miller.
“We heard (Mike and Colleen) wanted to get a change of pace, so we thought about it and decided we didn't want somebody to come in and buy the restaurant and change it,” Duty said Tuesday after confirming that he and his brother, Jarett, purchased the restaurant with business partner Sarah Gagliano.
John Duty said he enjoys the relaxed and simple atmosphere the Millers created at the bar.
Duty added that the previous owners "had a pretty good formula, so we'll try to stick with it.”
In 2009, the Duty brothers, of Bucking Rainbow Outfitters, purchased the building that houses Sunpie's for $1.2 million. They then offered the Millers a five-year lease to continue operating the restaurant.
The Millers could not be reached Monday or Tuesday to talk about Sunpie's ownership change.
Duty said that the bar will retain its existing staff and that there are no short-term changes planned other than the new ownership and management.
“It'll be hard to compete with Mike's wit and Colleen's laugh,” John Duty said.
The restaurant opened Tuesday at noon with Gagliano as manager.
Gagliano and her husband, Chad, previously owned and managed the former Ski Time Square bar and music venue Levelz.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com