It all begins with four California kids that end up falling in love with Colorado.
Dan and Alyssa grew up and got married in Riverside, CA and moved to Redding CA in 2007 where they met Sean and Rebecca Gafner. The Gafner’s met and got married in Sacramento CA and moved to Redding CA in 2006. They all hit it off and quickly became friends.
The Lances moved to Longmont in the summer of 2013 and fell in love with the city. The opportunity came up to start a restaurant in the heart of downtown. After the Gafner’s first visit they were hooked and moved out on the last day of 2014.
It all started with an early morning run on February 11, 2011. Sean was supposed to join Dan on the run but bailed on him at the last minute. Left alone and terrified of the dark, Dan set out on his run and was quickly confronted by the crow of a rooster from a nearby farm.
It sounds crazy, but this experience changed his life forever. He realized the rooster carries a message of hope. It gets up in the dark to announce that the morning is coming. Fast-forward nine months…Dan and Alyssa with the help of some friends start The Rooster Party. A non- profit that brings hope by supporting people in the process of adoption.
Dan and Alyssa have two adopted children and a passion to help others in the process. Combining the Lances passion for adoption with the Gafner’s 15 years of excellence in the food industry they decided to open a restaurant, bar and venue.
The Roost is a Craft Casual American restaurant in the heart of the city they’ve grown to love. Their desire is to make delicious food and drinks, inspired by our California roots and crafted with the greatest of Colorado products. They also want to provide the best local venue to highlight the creatives in the area. 10 percent of all of our profit and merchandise goes to help fund adoptions. Go to theroosterparty.org for details.
Sean and Rebecca Gafner
Raised on a farm and cattle ranch in the San Joaquin Valley of California, Executive Chef Sean Gafner was born into a great appreciation for high quality food. Serving tables in Sacramento as a young adult, Sean quickly realized that he loved the creative, high-energy restaurant industry. Upon graduating from Golden State Culinary Institute in 2000 with honors his mission was to work in a wide variety of cuisines to broaden his palette and expertise and he did so at The Country Club of Mobile AL, PF Chang’s China Bistro, City Treasure French-Italian Cuisine, Celestine’s Caribbean Restaurant and Bella Bru European Café. As Executive Chef of Sacramento landmark restaurants Celestine’s and Bella Bru, Sean made several appearances on TV show’s such as Good Day Sacramento, Chef’s Challenge, and Breakfast at Your Place. In 2006 the love of the North State led Sean to accept both the position of Executive Chef at Tierra Oaks Country Club and Instructor of Culinary Arts at Shasta College in Redding, CA. As a passionate restaurant designer and consultant he opened the Stirring Café in 2011, Wrapped Inc. in 2012 before taking over as the Executive Chef & Partner of Redding’s finest restaurant View 202. Sean and his wife Rebecca have also owned a high-end catering business since 2000, while managing to have four beautiful children Skylar, Caleb, Ryder and Hailey.
After their first visit, the Gafners quickly fell in love with the city of Longmont and couldn’t be more excited to put some roots down in the beautiful state of Colorado!
Dan and Alyssa Lance
Dan Lance was born and raised in Riverside, California. Alyssa Lance was born in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Alyssa moved to Riverside when she was seven. In high school Dan and Alyssa began to date and they got married in May of 1999. They moved to Redding, California in January of 2007 where they met Sean and Rebecca Gafner. Dan spent a good amount of his adult life perusing rock stardom and Alyssa spent a significant summer in college working in an orphanage in Ukraine. These two experiences really shaped their two greatest passions that have carried through to this day. They love working with creatives and have a passion for adoption. Two of their three incredible kids are adopted. They run a non-profit called The Rooster Party that helps people fund adoptions. They moved to Longmont in August of 2013 with their kids Zeke, Sofia and Moses and absolutely love the city.
Alishia is a Boulder County native and wouldn’t want to call anywhere else home. While earning her Humanities degree at CU Boulder, she got tired of working in medical billing and decided to quit her job and make a change. Unsure of what to do next, she started waiting tables nights and weekends because it fit well with class schedules. It didn’t take her long to realize that this was exactly where she belonged.
Over 15 years later, Alishia has extensive experience in the bar and restaurant industry, having spent the majority of that time in small, independent, and Colorado-grown concepts.
Alishia is passionate about people and art, and she believes that a great meal might just be the best expression of bringing those two together. She’s proud to be a part of this community that so strongly supports independent businesses and all things local.
When she’s not working at The Roost alongside her second family, Alishia can be found hiking, camping, or snowboarding with her two kids, Liam and Fiona, in the nearby mountains.
Growing up in Maryland, Matt, at a young age realized his love for the outdoors and adventure.
While attending college in western Maryland he had an opportunity to learn the craft of bartending at a local tavern that incorporated great beer and live music.
Upon graduating with a degree in adventure sports and management he quickly decided that Colorado was where he should be.
Chasing big rapids and steep mountains he ended up in Crested Butte, Colorado. It was here he that continued pursuing his passions, the outdoors and craft spirits. While living in small town Crested Butte he started realizing the importance of local goods. Whether it be local beer, crops, or cattle he knew this was the sustainable way.
Today he focuses on providing guests with the highest quality craft spirits, beer and wine at The Roost. When he isn’t at The Roost you can probably find him kayaking, snowboarding, or camping with his fiance, Heather.
Thomas Grimmond, Sous Chef
Tom was born & raised in a small town in Florida until graduating high school at which time he enlisted in the US Marine Corp. After completing his tour he chose to get into the restaurant industry and found a passion for cooking. After graduating from Culinary school in 1993 he spent two decades growing his knowledge and skills working for some of the nations best restaurant groups. In Tom’s words he “found home” when he came on board with The Roost before we opened in early 2015. Along with his wife of 20 years and his two incredible sons he plans to stay rooted with The Roost, continuing to grow our connection to local farms and ranches in the most delicious way possible.