Boulder Restaurant, “The Sink” Celebrates 100 Years of Great Food and Celebrity Guests

Over the years, The Sink has hosted guests including Barack Obama, Guy Fieri, Anthony Bourdain, Madeleine Albright and Dan Ackroyd.
The Sink Boulder

Boulder’s oldest restaurant, The Sink, turns 100 this year, and the current owners plan to fill 2023 with celebrations and rekindled memories of the storied institution.

Originally a Sigma Nu fraternity house, the dining establishment got its start as Somer’s Sunken Gardens in 1923. Over the years, the enduring hangout on the Hill became known for serving 3.2 beers and burgers; it hosted celebrities and U.S. presidents throughout the 2000s, and it employed one of Hollywood’s biggest stars when he was a CU student.

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The space has changed ownership and changed names over the century. At some point, it was dubbed “The Sink” because of a fountain in the restaurant, and the nickname stuck, even as it changed hands.

From 1974 to 1989, it operated as Herbie’s Deli, until 1989 when deli owner Herbie Kauvar’s sons Rick and Jim Kauvar rebooted it as The Sink. Current owners Mark and Chris Heinritz, along with their brother, James, bought the iconic restaurant in 1993. They were joined in ownership by Tell Jones in 2016.

Over the years, guests have included Barack Obama, Guy Fieri, Anthony Bourdain, Madeleine Albright and Dan Ackroyd. Then there was former CU student Robert Redford, a former CU student and perhaps The Sink’s most famous employee.

A detailed timeline and history of the restaurant along with planned festivities to mark the 100th anniversary can be viewed at

“We’re eager to honor the amazing history of this restaurant,” co-owner Mark Heinritz said. “The Sink truly belongs to everyone who’s passed through here. There are always new buildings, new streetscapes, but The Sink has stayed consistent, always here welcoming people with good food and a great atmosphere.”

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