Whistle Pig hosts ‘grand opening’ celebration
February 8, 2016
The Whistle Pig Coffee Stop and Cafe is offering discounted menu items, free drinks and introducing a few new items Saturday during a grand opening celebration.
The celebration comes nearly a month-and-a-half after the restaurant, which serves healthy breakfast and lunch dining options, opened at 121 E. Third St. The decision was twofold, explained owner Samantha Young. One, the Whistle Pig wanted to wait until it was up and firing on all cylinders, which it has been, before hosting such an event and two, the restaurant hopes to increase awareness.
While business has been good, Young said she still hears from locals outside of work who are unaware of what the restaurant offers or that it exists at all.
"We're trying to get more people to know we're here," Young said.
"Under the tent specials" will be served in front of the location throughout the day at discounted prices. The offerings will vary depending on the time of day, with breakfast tacos and fruit and yogurt parfaits being served from 8 to 10 a.m. Along with free samples, the Whistle Pig will offer free drip coffee and iced tea during the duration of operation, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Young said the Whistle Pig team has been learning as they've gone. One of the biggest challenges has been seating limitations. The restaurant is currently capped at 25 people — a smaller capacity than businesses that previously operated in the same space. The reduced capacity has resulted in occasional and usually brief waits, and in some instances parties have left. Just earlier this week a party walked out during a late lunch rush.
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Young said she is trying to increase the seating capacity and add larger tables to accommodate bigger parties.
Aside from seating, Young said it's been interesting to hear suggestions from customers, particularly on additional menu items. There won't be any substantial changes to the menu, but daily specials are already common and the staff is looking into other options for sides; although Young said do not count on seeing French fries on the menu.
Additionally, a few of the suggestions will be added to the menu Saturday. The number of additions has yet to be determined and will be a surprise, Young said. Saturday also marks the addition of soup and homemade bread to the menu.
"We're having a lot of fun," she said.
Beyond the brick and mortar restaurant, the Whistle Pig also runs a catering business, which has taken off. They have already catered several events at the New Ute Events Center, and Young said they have four to five more events toward the end of next week. The Whistle Pig team also plans on introducing its "game day" platters, for events such as football watch parties. The platters maintain the Whistle Pig's health conscientious nature, while offering traditional party foods, such as sliders and crackers with dip. If nothing else, Young said she hopes Saturday's event can serve as a thank you to those who have supported the fledgling business.
"It's fun to be a business in Rifle and be a part of the downtown," she said.