Johnny McGuire’s will now sandwich the Roaring Fork Valley
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — One of next year’s new entries in the restaurant scene here will be Johnny McGuire’s deli and sandwich shop, which has been a staple eatery in the Aspen area for more than 20 years.
The business, which at one point spawned a minor empire with stores in several towns up and down the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond, has been pared down to one spot on Monarch Street in Aspen, with the other soon to open on Eighth Street in Glenwood Springs, effectively turning the valley into a kind of sandwich itself.
Terrance McGuire, 47, is now the sole owner of the business, after buying out his partner, John Hoffman, seven years ago, McGuire said. He has been working for a couple of months to redesign and rehabilitate the space at 205 Eighth St., the former home of Raymond’s Office Supply, the In and Out House, the 8th Street Deli and, most recently, the Haute Plate Bistro.
He also has warehouse space near the intersection of Highway 82 and County Road 114 (the CMC Road), which will provide storage for his expanded businesses profile.
McGuire said on Dec. 27 that he was hoping to have the new shop open by mid-January, although he has had a few disputes with local building officials that have put him off-schedule more than once.
The building, owned by former Glenwood Springs mayor Bruce Christensen, was built in 1913 and, if McGuire is successful, will appear much as it did a hundred years ago when he gets the doors open.
“We brought what we could back to era,” McGuire said, describing work done on the floors, the walls and the ceiling, not to mention a plan to repaint the store front on Eighth Street.
He and his workers have taken the floor down to its original, 100-year-old “straight-grain pine” flooring, though they have had to supply modern wood for patches in a couple of places.
In addition, the two exterior walls to the west and east have been stripped of multiple layers of sheet rock and other wall coverings, to expose the original brick and give the space a kind of rough, almost industrial feel.
The ceiling has been raised in one area to the original height and is being kept in the original plaster throughout.
And two interior walls, flanking a staircase that leads from an outside door on Eighth Street up to the Mountain Weavers production rooms above the restaurant, has been stripped down to its original lathe and will be overlaid with plaster, as it was originally.
In the kitchen, McGuire continued, the flooring will be covered by a bellow and black linoleum, which he feels is in the style of the early 1900s in Glenwood Springs.
McGuire said he plans to make the Glenwood Springs location the “production kitchen” that will supply breads, meats and other sandwich fixings to the Aspen store. He explained that he will have a baker and a prep cook working on the breads, buns and prepared meats that form the foundation of the business.
And, he said, if he ever again decides to expand into other towns in the valley, the Glenwood kitchen will supply those satellite restaurants, as well.
His menu will be “exactly the same” as the menu in his Aspen shop, he said, and he plans to serve local and Colorado beers and wines to retain his intensively local business model. The menu is to include “hand-crafted sandwiches” with locally prepared ingredients, salads, breakfast dishes, and burgers, among other items.
Tables will be positioned around both halves of the ground-floor space, with eating counters and stools along the brick walls on either side the building.
He also plans to have a small bar tucked into a corner and positioned centrally to serve customers in both halves of the business.
He expects to employ about a half-dozen people, including a baker and the meat-prep cook, along with a cashier and two or three cooks, McGuire said.
The service will all be from the counter separating the eating area from the kitchen, with no waiters or waitresses in attendance.
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