Somerset County News

Colorado Cafe Bids Farewell; Liquor License Fetches $200K in Liquidation Auction, But Offer Is Rejected by Owners

Bidding on memorabilia at the Colorado Cafe attracted a herd of the establishment's most loyal patrons. Credits: Sean Conklin
Colorado Cafe closed earlier this month. Credits: Sean Conklin
'Buck Off' was New Jersey's first mechanical bull. Credits: Sean Conklin
Loyal patrons of the Colorado Cafe in Watchung take a trip down memory lane while posing for a picture. Credits: Sean Conklin
Three groups of bidders starred in the auction for the valuable liquor license. Credits: Sean Conklin
Mark Bahna, a 30-year-old Watchung resident was the high bidder for the liquor license, the most valuable item of the auction. Credits: Sean Conklin
'Buck Off' was as intimidating as it was fun to ride. Credits: Sean Conklin
The mechanical bull at Colorado Cafe created countless memories which were immortalized in the photos adorned all over the walls at the popular country-themed bar. Credits: Sean Conklin
Loyal patrons turned out for one last visit at the famous country-themed bar. Many eternalized their memories of the popular establishment by snapping photos. Credits: Sean Conklin

WATCHUNG, NJ – More than two decades of memories were auctioned off at the Colorado Cafe on Monday, July 31 as the renowned country-themed bar welcomed its most loyal patrons for one last time with virtually everything up for sale. Anything from kitchen utensils and glasses to the iconic Buck Off mechanical bull and of course, the valuable liquor license.

Mark Bahna, a 30-year-old Watchung resident, won the auction of the liquor license with a high bid of $200K, but the reserve price was not met. After several minutes of negotiations with the co-owner Angelo Porchetta and representatives AJ Willner Auctions, Bahna agreed to purchase the liquor license for $250K.

Bahna did not reveal how he planned on using the liquor license, but he was visibly excited after winning the auction and securing the deal.

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The one location the liquor license will not go to use is the Colorado Cafe’s seven-acre property, which was purchased by Weldon Materials in 2015. Last summer, the Watchung Planning Board approved ordinances that permitted Weldon to apply for an expansion to its hard rock quarry, which all but sealed the country club’s long-term fate.

Earlier this month, Porchetta expressed his gratitude for the support he received over the years.

“We were in business for 22 years and we all decided that it was time to shut it down,” Porchetta said. “I would like to thank all the loyal patrons – the people who were there on opening night and who were still there 22 years later – thank you. Through the years, those patrons, along with the staff and managers, made us the night club we were all these years.”

Editor's Note:  After press time, TAPinto Scotch Plains/Fanwood was informed that the reserve price, as outlined in the terms of the contract, were not met and the Colorado Cafe ownership declined to sell the license. Click here to read the follow-up story.

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