Hot Dogs to BBQ: Former Bronco Fletcher and His Three Colorado Restaurants
Simon Fletcher held the record for "Most Sacks' as a Denver Bronco for over 20 years until Von Miller broke that record in 2018. Will Von break Fletcher's record for restaurants?
Simon Fletcher played his whole NFL career with the Denver Broncos from 1985 until 1995. He had 97.5 sacks, which was the team record until Von Miller finally broke it with his 117 sacks. Fletcher was a phenomenal Bronco, and though not yet in the NFL Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the Denver Bronco's "Ring of Fame" in 2016.
Not only is Fletcher (who turned 60 in February of 2022) a great athlete, he's also a great cook. According to a 9News interview, he got his start at the age of 11, helping out his mother, which is probably where a lot of people take on the "itch" to cook things up.
Towards the end of his career, Simon Fletcher began to spread his wings into the restaurateur world. His first endeavor, while still a Bronco, was in Loveland.
Simon Fletcher's Dawg House in Loveland
It was at Taft Avenue and Eisenhower Boulevard, behind where Wendy's is now. You can't really find much information on the Dawg House these days, but he does mention the place in that 9News interview:
I went for a hot dog and somehow I got convinced I should buy that place..
I remember thinking that my brother, a HUGE Denver Broncos fan, would have loved the place, but he was in the ARMY at the time. By what I can recall/determine, the Dawg House only lasted a couple of years, if that long.
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Whistle Blowers Grill & BBQ in Greeley
According to a 2013 article in the Greeley Tribune, it was 20 years after opening the Dawg House, that Fletcher opened a BBQ joint on 8th Avenue. The spot had been home to The Burrito for many years, but at that time, it was Peace Pit Barbecue, and he took it over.
I was able to find this picture of Whistle Blowers from 2015:
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Simon Fletcher's Grid-Iron Grill & BBQ in Fort Morgan
In February of 2016, according to the Fort Morgan Times after the Whistle Blower's location was condemned, Fletcher decided to open up a new BBQ joint in Fort Morgan along the frontage road of I-76. I couldn't find anything more about the Grid-Iron, and looking at the map today. The former Bronco has moved on from that location at 14424 Highway 34.
Ask anyone in the business: Restaurants are very, very tough to keep afloat. I give Fletcher a ton of credit for persisting in the endeavor.
Here's to hoping he gives it another shot, and that he gets into the Hall of Fame, soon.