Tapping into success

New sports bar opens near Hilltop Road and Pine Drive

Chris Michelwicz
Hilltop Tap House owner Bill Psyllas and bartender Teresa Donahue pour a local brew July 7. The sports bar opened last month near Hilltop Road and Pine Drive.
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A new sports bar in Parker promises to bring a winning formula and a taste of the local craft brew scene.

The stars aligned perfectly for Hilltop Tap House owner Bill Psyllas earlier this year. The humble beginnings stem from a casual conversation and an interconnected six-degrees-of-separation web of opportunity: Psyllas's son's manager's brother-in-law's neighbor was selling his bar in Parker, just at the right time.

“I've always wanted to one day open my own place,” Psyllas said. “It happened Dec. 31. I quit my job and I started looking for a bar and this place kind of showed up.”

Formerly the Score Bar and Grill, Psyllas took one look and knew he could revamp the space near Hilltop Road and Pine Drive. He removed the stage, added a walk-in cooler to stock more types of beer, and gave the place a thorough cleaning.

Psyllas, 53, of Greenwood Village, also visited bars in the Parker area, taking notes on what works and what doesn't. But he is mainly drawing on his 35 years of management experience for chains like Red Robin International and Hooters. He knows that the recipe for success is not a complicated one. It takes good food, cold beer and friendly service to attract and keep customers.

The Hilltop Tap House chose a soft opening for its launch to make sure it gets things right, especially ahead of football season (the bar will have NFL Sunday Ticket). Psyllas is still making minor tweaks and ensuring the menu is correct. He also made a point of connecting with Douglas County breweries and has a variety of microbrews on tap from Hall Brewing Co., Elk Mountain Brewing and the Rockyard Brewing Company.

Whatever he's doing seems to be working. The Hilltop Tap House, 19878 Hilltop Road, has already gathered a following and received a warm welcome from nearby residents and businesses.