2H at Bunz & Company determined to recapture the magic
Grand opening of Bunz & Company
What: Featuring Dan Bunz and NFL players, specials and more
When: 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19
Where: Bunz & Company on 311 Judah St.
Info: (916) 786-7307
Aaron Toto isn’t one to let a good thing die.
Having grown up in Roseville, Toto remembers a time when the railroad city had a one-of-a-kind hub for NFL players and high school coaches alike. Bunz & Company was founded in 1984 by San Francisco 49er Dan Bunz, when the linebacker was at the height of his career. Known for its stellar sports memorabilia and signature monster hamburgers, the restaurant became a fixture in the city’s life. In 1999 Bunz & Company passed from the two-time Super Bowl winner to a new family ownership group that kept it popular up until the recession. Its doors closed last year.
For Toto and two of his friends, Shane Nelson and Ron Gibson, it was hard to imagine a Roseville without Bunz & Company.
“Back when the 49ers’ training camp was in Rocklin, all of the team would be here,” Toto remembered. “It wasn’t unusual to turn and find you were sitting next to Joe Montana or Dwight Clark at the bar. Even more importantly than that, Bunz & Co. was a big spot for local high school coaches from all around Placer County. They would all be here at night after games. It really allowed the community to get to know their coaches on a personal level. That’s what this place used to be about.”
Toto, Nelson and Gibson decided in July of 2012 that the shuttered restaurant could be that again. They formed a partnership group, buying the restaurant and launching into a series of renovations. Floors and carpets were replaced. One dining area was converted into a game room with two pool tables, darts and video game hunting. One of the more unique sections of the restaurant, an isolated dining area with a large oak tree growing through it, was repainted in all San Francisco Giants colors and re-named “the tigers’ den.” Sections of the walls and ceiling around the vintage-style bar were also given brighter colors.
“We didn’t change a whole lot,” Toto said. “People already liked it.”
The new Bunz & Company also maintains the core elements of its traditional menu, while adding a variety of street tacos with smoked meat and specialty items like bacon-wrapped hotdogs. All beef now going into the famed Bunz Burgers comes directly from Roseville Meat Company, while the buns for its menu items are made by the highly rated Truckee Sourdough Company.
The restaurant re-opened its doors in early December, christened 2H at Bunz & Company, 2H standing for the second half of the game.
Bartender Frankie Keith is one the latest additions to the sports haven.
“One thing we’re really excited about is having a second, late-night happy hour,” Keith said. “We’re running a regular happy hour right now from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. But we’re going to be doing a late night happy hour soon on Fridays and Saturdays that caters to people who are still out and about, or just getting off work, after most of Roseville is closed down. It will be a place where other people in the restaurant business and similar jobs can relax after work.”
Bunz & Company will hold its official grand opening Saturday. The event features the return of Dan Bunz himself, who will have Fred Biletnikoff and several other former NFL players in tow. The football personalities will sign autographs for fans who can also check out a car show and get opening day deals on fish & chips with Sapporo or fish & chips with Guinness.
“The big thing I want to tell people is that this is going to be a great, family-friendly atmosphere,” Toto said. “I missed this place. We all did.”