A staple of pub food in Swift Current has recently changed hands and is about to undergo a massive transformation.
Nearly three decades of hospitality, history, and service at the Buffalo Brew Pub will come to a close this Saturday (February 3) as the building has been sold.
Previous owners Craig Hennig, Cam Hyswick, Stu Tache, and Dave Melendez-Duke have handed over the keys to the 278 1st Avenue Northeast restaurant and off-sale November to its new owners, closing the book on a 26-year business venue.
With the quartet of them getting longer in the tooth as Hennig said, now appeared to be a great time for them to step aside. Recently, health has also played a factor for the former Swift Current Bronco (1979-1981).
"Everybody knows the Buffalo Brew Pub and it's been very successful," he said. "Part of that success is the hard part about giving up what you've built. It's like having a child and moulding that child and then trusting it to someone else to say here's my baby."
The decision was made easier when they were presented with several different offers for to business, but the local offer they received stood out above the rest.
"When these guys first approached us, we thought let's see how this goes. However, after our first few meetings, we knew it would be the perfect fit," he said.
Deals of this magnitude can take years at times but both sides came to the table and made it work seamlessly; within six months the transaction was completed. Part of the deal was to keep the current staff employed if they choose to opt in.
"The liquor store will be getting a fresh look and will continue to offer great service," he said. "There's some big news there on the restaurant side... I think it's a very exciting story to tell."
The off-sale side of the business was what later attracted Hennig, Hyswick, and Tache to purchase the Buffalo Brew Pub back in 1997 from a retired firefighter from Moose Jaw. They had opened the Caddy Shack Bar & Grill in 1995, although licensing wouldn't allow them to add an off-sale at that time. That's what made their decision to purchase the restaurant.
"That gave us more to getting out into the community with weddings and parties," he said. "That was important to us."
The Buffalo Brew Pub was housed where Lucky Charlie's Pub & Pool now sits and was relocated to the old liquor store in 2007.
"We thought that would be a perfect spot for us to move, the main level and the older clientele could navigate the entrance," he said.
Hennig won't be an owner of the business moving forward but will stick around to help the team make the transition and potentially even longer if needed.
"I've always been somewhat of a social butterfly," he said. "The only reason I lasted 30 years was because I love people. I love dealing with my staff. In this industry, I've seen all types of people. People that come every day and people that come once a year. I always like to treat everybody the same."