Vintage Menus from 1943 and Beyond


From the Beginning

The Sink has been known for generations to have the best burger in Boulder. With a 95-year history of creating such popular American fare, you might be interested in what else we’ve been serving over the years. Take a look at these vintage menus from different chapters in Sink history.

Residing on “The Hill,” a university neighborhood, you can tell a lot about CU’s evolving culture by taking a look at these vintage menus.

The Sink’s food and bar menus are a reflection of our taste in food and drinks, how we enjoyed ourselves, along with our local economy at different points in time.

Even though some of the dates are unknown, it’s not hard to place the menus in the correct decade by looking at the prices.


A Little History…


Boulder’s Most Elite Drinking Establishment


The 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution took effect in 1920, establishing the prohibition of intoxicating liquors. In 1933, The “Beer Act” raised the alcoholic percentage to 3.2.


The rousing student scene of drinking began in 1950 when The Sink was the first bar on “The Hill” to serve 3.2 beer, the second being the historic music venue, Tulagi (formerly The Anchorage).


Except for 3.2 beer, Boulder remained “dry” until 1967 – a whopping 60 years!


     “In the early ’70s, The Sink was a beer bar, so anyone over 18 could get in. That included the whole student body at CU, so it was one of the mainstays. There weren’t so many liquor licenses at the time either.” ~Chris Heinritz, Owner

In 1989, The Sink installed it’s first “full bar.”


Part of the early marketing concept was to incorporate the fun and sometimes risqué, cartoons reflecting the artwork covering the restaurant’s walls.


The addition of 18 draft lines and a much-needed upgrade to the kitchen happened in the summer of 1995. Fun Fact: The Sink was one of the first locations in Colorado to have New Belgium’s Fat Tire on tap!


Food and More!


From breakfast fare to Mac & Cheese, we’ve been serving delicious food to our patrons since day one! 


Did you know The Sink has been a supporter of local Colorado business and empowering our employees since the beginning?

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In the late 50s, Floyd Marks and Herbie Kauvar introduced the now famous Sinkburger and its signature Sink Hickory Sauce. Enjoyed by generations, this popular burger has lasted through Herbie’s Deli and the many phases of The Sink. What makes this burger so special?


One detail that you might have noticed already, America’s favorite sandwich – the hamburger has been on the menu since the beginning!

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The Ugly Crust Pizza


When Chris and Mark Heinritz purchased The Sink in the early ’90s, they got creative and introduced the Ugly Crust Pizza to the menu. “Ugly” is used as a term of endearment describing the thick, floppy crust that borders every pie. Because The Sink was known to having the best burger in Boulder for decades, they wanted to create a new and memorable dish. The most popular being the famed vegetarian pizza – Buddha Basil Pie. (see below) 


Locals Tip: “Don’t forget to top your crust with honey for dessert!” Yum!


Newer Menus


The Heinritz brothers purchased The Sink in 1992. Without changing its legacy, the menu has continued to evolve with the times. Mark and Chris have made a point to put quality and consistency first. They’ve added award-winning and unique items to the menus while keeping the signature favorites. This method has been successful to the point where television networks such as Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives and The Travel Channel have taken notice. The Sink incorporates local and sustainable practices whenever possible such as grass-fed beef, composting, and wind-power.  




From the very beginning, The Sink has belonged to the millions of patrons who have passed through its front doors during our long history as a CU and Boulder institution. No one leaves The Sink completely – it stays with you in memories and emotions.


What do you remember from dining at The Sink? 


We’re always collecting Sink stories and history. Share your story with us.