Punky’s, popular fast-food joint in Buena Vista, fills up its old-fashioned diner with out-of-town visitors and local residents.
The chicken tenders are the popular options but the menu offers BBQ options, too.
“We blew away this summer,” said owner Mike Carr, 52, referring to the summer revenues of his diner.
Food & Drink
Local residents recommend chicken strips. This popular recommendation is visible as visitors walk into the fast-food joint — almost every table ordered the popular chicken strips.
Other popular recommendations, at bargain-basement prices, include:
- Pulled pork smoked for 14 hours
- Ribs smoked for 12 hours
- Spicy sausages
- Turkey Breast
Carr added that 60 percent of the diner’s sales are the BBQ entrees. The BBQ sauce contains sweet yet tangy taste, which makes it hard to stop eating.
For those with an adventurous palate, order the Big Mike platter. This signature dish includes the diner’s signature sandwich, pulled pork, chopped brisket and sausage piled on a hoagie bun and topped with the diner’s creamy slaw, all for $8.50.
Another daring entree is the smokehouse burrito, priced from $6.95 to $7.95. This huge burrito is stuffed with the diner’s choice of pork or chopped brisket with cilantro rice, black beans, cheese, salsa and sour cream. For a $1 more, diners can request the burrito to be smothered in pork green chili or sour cream green chili or just lettuce and cheese.
The diner also sells a gigantic dessert called Mt Punky, 14 scoops of ice cream.
Besides these signature platters, the portion are generous. Hiker, bikers and walkers can just fill up at this diner after a long day of activities.
The young wait staff comes from the local high school and even visiting relatives of Carr. During the summer peak season, he employs up to 14.
If you see a line out the door, exercise some patience. The counter employees work furiously to move the line quickly.
In addition to the diner, Carr offers local catering at community functions and town events during the summer.
Owners Mike and Joyce Carr, began the old-fashioned diner in May 2003. The husband and wife team purchased Beske’s Dairy Bar, a former ice cream and burger joint. Mike Carr traced his diner’s business sense back to his parents, who managed and owned restaurants in Nebraska growing up.
Believing in Buena Vista as the ideal town for raising children, Carr started his insurance business in this mountain town. His wife, Joyce took over the restaurant manager after retiring as a grade-school math teacher. The couple raised their three sons in this mountain community, all three are pursuing careers in engineering.
“It’s a fantastic place to raise a family,” said Carr, who maintains his insurance office at the back of the diner.
The old-fashioned diner, replicating those from 1950s, is a popular spot for teenagers and large families. In fact, summer time is packed with diners, who drive all the way from Denver just to have the “perfect” chicken tender.
The walls are adorned with framed photographs of the town’s high school teams. High school teenagers cram into these diner, competing for space with out-of-town visitors.
Similar to the set of the popular television series of Happy Days, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Fonzie or Richie walked into this diner, with colors of red throughout the interior. The locals hang out here sipping over-sized malts and chomping on chicken tenders and french fries..
The diner sits about two blocks into historic downtown Buena Vista. The location allows visitors and weekend guests to visit the downtown area.
Prices are affordable. For a couple, lunch could cost about $20, depending on the order. Prices range from $1.75 to $19.95. The affordable prices allow high school and college students to eat at this fast-food establishment regularly.
421 E. Main Street
Buena Vista, CO 81211
Tip 1: Punky’s also sells its food through a trailer at weekend concerts in downtown Buena Vista.
Tip 2: If you have a small stomach, consider sharing chicken strips with your significant other/spouse/friend.
Tip 3: Click like on the diner’s facebook.
If you enjoy reading Mary Jeneverre’s articles, click on “subscribe” at the top of this article. It’s free and you will receive an email whenever a new article is published on usedview.com. Do you use facebook, pinterest, or tweet? Click on the symbols below the slideshow on top of this article. Sharing this article is easy! Simply click on the share button. Thank you for your consideration.