Maple Table closes its doors; owners plan Silt restaurant |

Maple Table closes its doors; owners plan Silt restaurant

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kelley Cox

Having visited the bakery spot since Wild Rose opened in 1993, Mary Noone got her last meal at the Maple Table on Tuesday.”It’s very sad that they’re closing,” Noone said. “I think they need more small places downtown.”Noone said she’ll miss the bakery and sandwich shop.The Maple Table in downtown Glenwood Springs closed Tuesday after operating in the small Seventh Street spot next to Juicy Lucy’s since opening in May 2005. But business owners Casey and Lori Christianson have big plans for Silt, the town where they live.They plan to open a dinner restaurant in downtown Silt in January, in the old Pizza Pro building. They will call their new place “The Slow Road.” It will feature an American bistro style with a menu that includes steaks and pastas, using as many local products as possible. They may open another version of the Maple Table in Silt after that.

“Thanks to Dave and Cece (Zumwinkle) at Juicy Lucy’s and our landlord (Greg Durrett) this was able to happen,” Lori said. “Juicy Lucy’s was generous enough to purchase part of the remaining lease. With that combo, we’re able to pursue our restaurant dreams.”Lori said she thought Durrett was in Italy and unavailable for comment, and the Zumwinkles were in Africa. She speculated that Juicy Lucy’s owners plan to tear down the wall and expand into the former Maple Table space.The reasons the Christiansons mentioned for leaving included not meeting a financial goal for the restaurant, the commute from Silt, a lack of parking in downtown Glenwood, and the spot being a bit small with no room for bathrooms. Lori also said it seems demographics are changing in downtown away from a walk-in, walk-out environment. To make the business work with cheap pastry items, it would take hundreds of people walking in a day, she said.”It’s just kind of tough there on Seventh Street,” she said. “There’s not a lot of draw to bring people to walk down Seventh Street.”Casey said that knowing construction to redevelop Seventh Street would hurt business was also a factor, and that the Maple Table spends more on labor because it makes everything from scratch. The high cost of living in Glenwood has made it tough to retain employees, and there seem to be fewer tourists out and about because rooms are filling up with oil and gas workers, he added. The couple hopes Silt might make for better business.”I think we’ll triple or quadruple the business down there for the Maple Table,” Lori said.

Many commuters who travel up the Roaring Fork Valley and elsewhere from the Silt area might want the coffee and pastries a Silt Maple Table would offer in the mornings, she added.In October 2006, Casey approached City Council about break-ins, lack of parking and transient people hanging out under the shelter across the street becoming problems. There was also a conflict with the city about a Maple Table sign. It was in front of the Riviera Restaurant with the Riviera’s permission, but the city planning department sent him a notice that he was in violation of a city sign ordinance, according to City Council minutes. The Christiansons later felt the city overstepped its authority when the Alcohol Beverage Board delayed action on the Maple Table’s wine tasting plan. Casey said these concerns didn’t contribute to the decision to leave Glenwood.The Maple Table will open its doors once more on Nov. 20 to sell pies to benefit Brad Olsen. Olsen, who is involved with a wildlife sanctuary in Silt, was in a car accident in recent weeks. He’s recovering, but the Christiansons want profits from pies sold on Nov. 20 from 4-8 p.m. to help Olsen. The driver of the car Olsen was in only had a $25,000 minimum insurance coverage, which won’t pay all the medical bills, Lori said. People can also sign up that day to have proceeds from City Market sales benefit the sanctuary.”He’ll be out of work for quite some time,” Casey said.Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121

pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO

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