Glenwood Springs’ new Native Son restaurant opens in former Loyal Brothers location
After a decade of serving Glenwood Springs’ residents and tourists their favorite libations, Ricky Rodriguez, owner of Loyal Brothers Lounge, officially closed his business. The next day, Rodriguez reopened but with a new name, different look and a tasty twist.
Meet Native Son.
Located in the heart of downtown at 813 Grand Ave., Rodriguez described his new venture as a place where “James Bond would come in and have a martini but also kind of an edgy coffee house style restaurant.”
Native Son welcomes patrons with a full service kitchen, a coffee bar as well as graffiti walls, photographs, and a pool table on one side and an expanded 43-foot bar, a lifted stage, and Vegas-esque chandeliers on the other. The spacious layout and eclectic decor promotes Native Son’s mission: feed your body, fuel your soul.
Rodriguez, a Glenwood Springs native himself, teamed up with chef Michael Love, and the duo crafted two menus.
“We have a brunch menu that will run daily from 10 to 3. Then we have a tapas menu that will run from 5 until 10, with a late night from ten to twelve,” said Love.
The brunch menu features everything from a probiotic salad trio to breakfast enchiladas as well as wraps and even an oatmeal bowl, which, according to the lively menu, will give customers more energy than cocaine.
“The diet menu in this sense is meant that you can come in and sustain yourself to go biking for the day, hiking for the day, and or stop in and have a wrap for lunch and be able to get back to work in the afternoon,” explained Love.
“At night we make the food a little sexier. We move into a tapas style format. It is actually true to nature small plates, but I wouldn’t say classic French tiny plates by any means. We are taking some classic pub fare and some classic Spanish tapas fare and blending those together to be very vibrant, very bright, real playful on the plate.”
Meant for sharing, Native Sons’ tapas menu includes Peruvian kabobs, a chorizo quesadilla tostada, charcuterie and many other smalls bites, which, whenever possible utilize locally sourced ingredients.
“It’s a social food. It’s fun. It’s more of a way of life of actually putting down our cell phones, turning off all the TVs and actually having a conversation. That’s what I wanted,” said Rodriguez.
While Rodriguez installed flat screen TVs behind the bar, he won’t broadcast sports or news but instead will display information regarding upcoming events, new menu items, cocktail ingredients, and local breweries and their products.
“We’re switching up all our beers. We’re not doing any domestic beers. We’re not going to have Bud Light, we’re not going to have Coors Light, we are doing all local breweries,” said Rodriguez.
In addition, Rodriguez loves preparing and enjoying a cocktail, the proper way. Clearly not a fan of mixing good scotch with pineapple juice or coke with cognac, Rodriguez also makes sure his handcrafted cocktails at Native Son come out in the proper glassware. Rodriguez even installed numerous taps strictly for the popular beverage Kombucha.
While a Loyal Brothers Lounge sign remains intact near the stage where DJ’s will still spin and bands perform, Native Son does not embrace the club scene like Rodriguez’s former bar did, but rather provides a fun atmosphere for adults.
Ironically, Rodriguez does not have any brothers, but instead named his last business, Loyal Brothers Lounge, after his core group of friends. Native Son, though, focuses more on Rodriguez himself and his evolution and personal growth over the years.
Born in Glenwood Springs in 1980, the 37-year old entrepreneur spent years in Washington, D.C. and Miami building and working in bars and restaurants before bringing his knowledge and passion back home.
“I’m a native here. I’m as native as they get,” said Rodriguez.