Colorado sports bar misses out on business during NFL postseason after arson: "It's almost like starting a new business all over again"

Sports bar remains closed after arson, missing out on big business around Super Bowl

Two weeks after a sports bar was set on fire by a burglar in Arapahoe County, the doors remain closed during one of the busiest times of the year for them.

Judson Dymond, the owner of the Sportsbook Bar & Grill said as a business owner, one of your biggest fears is a fire. Last month, he got a call from the police early one morning and that's when his biggest fear came true.

The fire happened just days before the NFL Conference Championship games, which Dymond said is the busiest weekend of the football season.

"Now, the Super Bowl this weekend, we're going to miss out on that, which is a fun weekend where everyone just kind of celebrates the football season," said Dymond.


Dymond said his 40 employees are also without a job and missing out on working high-paying shifts during football, basketball and hockey seasons.

"The Nuggets and Avalanche are in full swing. That keeps us busy during the week, as well as the weekend, and so unfortunately we're missing out on those things," said Dymond.

But they're working hard to re-open before their busiest month of the year: March.

"We're in the process of still cleaning out and renovating, doing the restoration, making all the phone calls, getting the people in here to get things fixed," said Dymond.

From cleaning the furniture and getting rid of food and alcohol contaminated by smoke, to replacing the audiovisual equipment and system, and fixing the water damage, everything had to be cleaned or thrown out.

"It's almost like starting a new business all over again," said Dymond. "Cost wise, I mean it could get to $1 million."

Dymond said it was overwhelming and scary to arrive to his business and see all fire trucks in the parking lot. From the parking lot, he could see the front door was broken into.

Surveillance video showed the intruder tried to break into the ATM machine but didn't have any luck. He also tried to rummage through the drawers. Then, he went to the back office and tried to break into the safe, with no luck. That's when he started the fire inside the back office.

Dymond added the silver lining is that the fire was contained to just the office. Had it not been for water pipes above that burst and dumped water below, he said the whole building would've burned down.

"Water came rushing in the office, and that's what killed the fire," said Dymond.

While he is waiting for the day his doors can re-open, he's also making sure his staff are still getting paid and meeting with them regularly. Some have even picked up shifts at the other location.

"They know what's going on. They know the plan, knowing that we're going to re-open and re-open better than we were before is our absolute goal," said Dymond. "We owe it to our staff and to our customers to get back open and be better than before."

Dymond said they plan on re-opening just in time for March Madness, which is the busiest time of the year for them.


To follow all news or updates from the bar, or help the business and staff during the closure, click here.

A suspect remains behind bars in connection with the fire at the Sportsbook Bar and Grill. 

Early in the morning on Jan. 26, the suspect broke into another restaurant nearby right beforehand, called Fuji Hibachi And Sushi, and also started a fire in that business. A third break-in at Rodizio Grill by the same suspect happened after breaking into the sushi restaurant and sports bar.

Jerrell Q Bailey, 30, faces charges of burglary, arson, criminal mischief, menacing and theft.

Deputies with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office detained the suspect at a nearby intersection.

The Greenwood Village Police Department is leading the investigation, while South Metro Fire is also investigating the arson.

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