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Chris Fuselier

Blake Street Tavern

Chris Fuselier is the Owner of Denver’s Blake Street Tavern, named the 2017 National Sports Bar of the Year by Nightclub & Bar. Blake Street Tavern opened in 2003 and is located one block from Coors Field and in Denver’s vibrant Ballpark Neighborhood. The winner of numerous awards both locally and regionally, Blake Street Tavern is perennially voted or named by editors as Best Sports Bar by Westword Magazine, 5280 Magazine’s Top of the Town issue, and Denver’s A-List.

Born in New Orleans and raised by Southern parents, Chris learned first hand the value and principles of southern hospitality. Chris’ father spent his life in the bar business and preached the importance of details and making guests feel like “Rock Stars.” Chris has 40+ years of hospitality experience – starting as a 14 year old busboy and then working a variety of jobs at a seafood restaurant in Boulder all four years while attending the University of Colorado. Despite having a passion for the hospitality business, Chris took a detour and chose to go to Creighton University School of Law after graduating from CU-Boulder. Chris practiced law for three years, hated sitting at a desk and thankfully, returned to the hospitality industry. Chris went on to work for his father’s neighborhood bar for eight years before venturing out to open his own bar, a sports bar!

Although Chris would not recommend spending three years in law school to go into hospitality, his law degree did teach him to focus on the fine details of running a bar. Chris knew early on that his goal was to provide the best experience possible for his guests, “If you expect guests to park themselves at your establishment for three hours plus to watch a game, you’d better hit a Grand Slam!  Great Food, Great TVs and the friendliest staff in town.”

Speaking of great food, Chris knew he needed some culinary guidance and soon partnered with Rich Salturelli, owner of a local burger joint -  who had won Best Burger in Denver.  Together, they created signature bar items for BST’s menu including: a mountainous Nachos Skillet -  which has won several awards as Denver’s Best Nachos.

As an avid sports fan himself, Chris wished to create the ultimate viewing experience and purchased the first HDTV’s when they hit the market in 2003. The HDTV’s cost over $6,000 apiece but Chris felt they were worth the price to see the fine details when viewing sports. Next step – Chris partnered with college alumni and professional fan groups (including Colorado, Michigan State, Notre Dame, USC and transplanted New England fans) to deliver that BIG FUN and Hometown Friendly vibe. Saving the best for last, Chris’ secret in running the Best Sports Bar in Denver and the 2017 National Sports Bar of the Year is surrounding himself with the right team. His Managers and staff have been with him a long time. As Chris states, “The most valued stakeholders in my operation are my staff. Treating my employees as stakeholders delivers more significant value, satisfaction and, most importantly, engagement, than salary and benefits could any day. If they’re happy, then our guests will notice and, in turn, will take away that 'Rock Star' experience.”

My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, March 27

1:00pm PDT