Sean and Rebecca Gafner have built a group of restaurants serving Longmont, with the goal of creating comfortable community spaces that serve high quality food and drinks.
Sean Gafner was born and raised on a farm and cattle ranch in the San Joaquin Valley, CA. He fell in love with the restaurant industry and graduated with honors from Golden State Culinary Institute, and has been opening restaurants ever since. Sean spent years working in a range of cuisines to broaden his palette and expertise, crafting fine dining experiences as the Executive Chef in several high-profile California restaurants, and joining Shasta College as an Instructor of Culinary Arts. Since 2000, the Gafners also operated a high-end catering business, while they had four beautiful children, Skylar, Caleb, Ryder and Hailey.
The family visited Longmont in 2014 and fell in love with the community. They moved here in 2015, with a goal of opening casual restaurants that upheld the same principles and quality that they had established in California. Sean is passionate about crafting the menus and operations, and Rebecca is instrumental in designing the restaurants. Rebecca studied at the New York Institute of Design and has applied her expertise enhancing each unique restaurant environment, creating beautiful and immersive experiences. The Roost opened shortly after they arrived, a Modern American restaurant and whiskey bar in downtown Longmont. Since then, they have opened Jefe’s Tacos & Tequila, also downtown, and Swaylo’s Tiki Restaurant and Bar in Southwest Longmont, serving tropical cocktails and an island-inspired menu. Most recently, they opened the 99 Bar Saloon, serving burgers made with grass-fed beef raised in Longmont.
From the beginning, they have prioritized generosity, sustainability, equality and inclusivity. Doing what’s right for the environment is more than a belief, it’s a core value. Their restaurants make every effort to avoid single-use plastics, and use compostable materials wherever possible. Sean also believes in investing in employees, and promoting work-life balance. To give back, they started a partnership with Colorado Kids Belong to support youth and children impacted by foster care, and they contribute to several other local non-profits.