After two “bonks” on the head rendered John blind, Ham the space monkey showed up, and Sheila quit her job as a landscape architect and dyed her hair purple. Two years later, Sheila has 12 kids in the American Legion kitchen, and John spends months on secret recipes for pizza dough.
Now that’s the short story of how Gastronauts took off and became one of Boulder County’s brightest food stars. But the long story is also loaded with details that seem out of this world.
1. Sheila has a photographic memory of customers. When I meet Sheila and John at the building owned by and connected to the American Legion, which Gastronauts shares with Gravity Brewing, Sheila says hello to everyone at the bar and places her hand on each of their backs.
“I know everybody by name,” Sheila says. “I was a teacher, and I’m Irish, so I always had to remember names, and I’m really good at it. And I remember details.”
“There’re people who haven’t been in in a year and she’ll say, ‘Are you gonna have the hamburger because that’s what you had last time,’” John says.
As we sit at a picnic table on the outdoor patio, talking about how many people Sheila knows, a young couple and their dog walk by and Sheila asks how their hike went. Later, she asks me, “You had the crispy broccoli, right?” Yes, I did, but more than a year ago.