New Glenwood dining options spring up |

New Glenwood dining options spring up

John StroudPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A host of new restaurants have recently taken up shop in spaces occupied by former eateries along Grand Avenue, including a new life for the old “Loft” at the King Mall.The Grand Restaurant & Bar opened in early August at 720 Grand Ave. in the upstairs space overlooking downtown, which for several years was a mainstay among downtown dining establishments known as The Loft.The Grand serves lunch and dinner, specializing in American cuisine in a “casually elegant” atmosphere, co-owner Margaret Rowe said. The restaurant also caters to special events, and is a venue for live music on Friday and Saturday nights.In September, the Moe’s Original Bar B Que chain also opened a new locally owned restaurant at 1826 Grand Ave., where the Bear’s Loft and Tatry had previously tried to make a go of it.And on Friday, the new Las Margaritas Mexican restaurant and margarita bar opened for business at 817 1/2 Grand Ave., in the space where The King Chinese buffet restaurant had most recently been located. Prior to that, it was home to a French restaurant known as Rendevouz.

Margaret and Darryl Rowe had been operating the Chicken Noodle Cafe at Telluride Mountain Village for the past 3 1/2 years. They moved to Glenwood Springs in May and soon opened the Grand.”We immediately fell in love with the town and the valley and started looking for a place to open a restaurant,” Margaret Rowe said.They had wanted to open a full-service restaurant and bar that wasn’t subject to the seasonal business fluctuations of a ski resort, she said.”We had all of the restaurant equipment already, and wanted to invest in full-service, year-round place,” she said. “And when we found this location, we really liked it.”They had initially hoped to take advantage of more of the summer season, but were delayed in getting up and running, Rowe said.”This is our third restaurant, so we’re not new to the business and were able to adjust,” she said. “We really look forward to the winter season here, especially with this view over downtown.”The Grand has happy hour specials at 3 p.m. daily, including free homemade potato chips with a drink.

Moe’s specializes in Alabama-style barbecue. Local owner John Gregg decided to bring the rapidly growing chain of restaurants to Glenwood Springs.Moe’s is open for lunch and dinner, with a full bar staying open late with sports on the HD TVs, and is soon planning to offer live music, according to a press release announcing the restaurant’s opening.Moe’s started in Minturn in 2001 and now has 19 locations in four states. The menu includes smoked meats and homestyle sides and desserts, and the restaurant offers carry-out service and catering for special events. “Now residents in Glenwood Springs don’t have to travel to Eagle or Vail to get their Moe’s BBQ fix,” Moe’s founding partner Jeff Kennedy said.

The newest addition to the downtown dining options is Las Margaritas, which officially opened for business Friday.The owners are Freddy Ramos, who was previously a waiter at Tequila’s Mexican restaurant on Sixth Street, and Francisco Vasquez, a cook for many years at El Jebel’s Breakfast in America.In addition to a menu featuring Mexican and Tex-Mex fare, Las Margaritas is true to its name.”We specialize in different margaritas, all fresh, no mix,” Ramos said.In addition to lunch and dinner, the restaurant also opens for breakfast at 7 a.m. beginning today, he said.”It’s nice to be downtown, it’s a great location,” Vasquez said. “It’s kind of scary [to open a new restaurant], but I’m really excited, too. I like to be able to make great food, that’s what’s really exciting.”

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