KUSA - Chip Bair opened the first Beau Jo's location in downtown Idaho Springs on April 1, 1973 - a tiny 570-square-foot store with seating for only 15 people.
It quickly turned into a bustling après ski hangout and a local favorite.
The Idaho Springs flagship restaurant is now more than 10,000-square-feet and seats 600 people, and management plans to open two to four new stores per year across Colorado over the next five years.
Beau Jo's has already expanded its reach to eight stores, including six owner-operated locations in Arvada, Boulder, Denver, Evergreen, Fort Collins and Idaho Springs.
The company employs more than 400 people.
There are also two licensed restaurants in Steamboat Springs and Rapid City, S.D.
As the company celebrates 40 years in business, it will give four lucky winners free Beau Jo's pizza for a year.
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