I first heard the word "Sammy" on an episode of Rachel Ray's "30 Minute Meal's." I felt like I had discovered something special in this word - quite similar to the feeling of finding that last Christmas gift behind the tree that you SWORE wasn't there a minute ago....that kind of special...and I knew from then on out the word "sandwiches" would never be the same.
"Heeere's Danny," enjoying one of their Chicken Pesto Sammy's
I have to say I lit up like it was Christmas morning when I saw the word "Sammys" written on the creatively designed chalkboard that greeted me when I walked through the door....OK...it was actually Danny himself that greeted all of us when we came in...Nevertheless, I was so distracted by said sign that I almost forgot to order my food! This would have indeed been an epic fail, as their food is off the charts delicious in every way. Their dishes are works of art, perfectly designed to match the vibrant and eclectic setup that is The Colorado Room - Whose name by the way was inspired by the fictional Colorado Lounge in the movie "The Shining" (filmed in Estes Park's very own Stanley Hotel).
Danny began his love for the industry at the age of fourteen when he started working at the swanky steakhouse, Texas Land and Cattle."It was run by passionate people who cared about what they did, and did it right” Shea reminisced about the zeal these chefs had over the flavor profiles they were creating in their dishes. He described it as watching an art form being crafted, and that you could truly see the dedication that they had put into their food.
His inspiration to evolve his culinary appetite was also encouraged by his Mother - pastry teacher and creator of the (now seasonal) cupcakes featured at The Colorado Room. I may have accidently destroyed one of these pillowey perfections while I was there, so to Danny's sweet Mother: My sincere apologies for damaging your baked goodies, but I have to say your frosting was AMAZING!
Shea explained, "When ever you go out to eat with Justin he's the guy that's like - you order that and I'll order this and we'll split it" - Are you accustomed to this statement too? That's because we, for some reason or another, always want what the other person is ordering. This problem and/or bad habit has indeed been solved. Their Sammys were intended to be mixed and matched; leaving you with everything you wanted without the dreaded lethargic-like state we are sometimes left with. Well, you might be needing a nap if you had a bit too much of their local whiskey, but hey! No judgment here! At least you went local!
Now...if anyone could help me with my love for potatoes, yet need to give them up in order to tone my bod for summer habit, I am all ears…just as long as your plan involves using potatoes as part of my work out regiment...
These guys are adamant that if they can't create something perfectly, they will find the person who can! In this case Michael LaGrasta, fellow friend and bartender, was flown out from Florida to create the concept for their drink menu. LaGrasta has created other beverage concepts for places such as The Denver Chop House, and Old Chicago’s as well as competed in numerous bar competitions throughout his career. His vision encompasses many Colorado distilleries including Colorado Vodka, Leapold Bros., and Peach St. Distillers and that’s to name only a few of their local sourced libations.
"Everything we do we try and keep as local as we possibly can," and he meant it. Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Cozy Cow Dairy, and Boulder Natural Meats are just some of the places these conscious fellas derive their food from. Their thought is to continue to find new avenues to keep it local as they settle more into Fort Collins.
Remodels are in sight, with conscious crafting being their inspiration! In just a few short weeks they will be bringing in brand new booths, made from recycled beetle kill wood that will wrap all around the inside of their main dining area. These re-crafted beauties are being designed by Rescue Renovation's Kayleen McCabe, whom Danny met when his family's Denver home was featured on her show! Pretty amazing, right?! Celebrity sighting! ;) The hope in their own remodel is to encourage people to schmooze and enjoy great food together with a refreshing atmosphere that bring you to common ground.
But wait....there's more! No more nights that are kabashed by Mother Nature. They have got it covered...literally... As winter approaches there will be new additions to their outside patio including a cover, heaters and a new bar to accompany their live music stage outside!
Danny is one of three owners of this mouth watering restaurant, and these guys have been working together for quite some time!
Executive Chef David Richter has a wide open canvas on which to create. I believe, because of this, it leaves limitless possibilities for his artistic passion to be carried throughout every bite you experience there. Chef David, this interviewer is coming for you next and can't wait to hear about the creative process that went into your beautifully crafted work sir!
Justin Serr, a down-to-earth music lover who manages all things bar related, even took the time to book us for a show while we were there! That's right; see my duo The Key of Joy at The Colorado Room this July 11th! We all know there will be amazing food and awesome people, so come on by and see the artistic inspired venue that these lovely gentlemen have created together!
"We didn’t want this place to be a restaurant or a bar, but a place you
come to meet your friends" Which is exactly what they created with their original business plan to become 'The Cheers of Fort Collins.' - What's that? You aren't familiar with the show "Cheers?!" Well then, here's a song to help you feel like you are in this moment with us! Love the show and can't get enough of the song? Great! Play it again Sam!
Danny and his team pour their hearts into the Colorado Community. So much so that every quarter, part of their proceeds are donated to a local charity. Not in check form though, instead these selfless foodies put every penny towards things that the charity directly needs. They have also donated and held benefits to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis, programs like Read Aloud, and even recently participated in a benifit that will enable 30 children to have bikes this year! So when you eat there just know that these conscious Sammys, with the help of Danny, Justin, and Dave, are paying it forward in a major way!
Being that The Colorado Room has only been open for....wait for it...18 MONTHS, they have definitely taken the Colorado restaurant scene as well as social media by storm. Throughout their first year open, without any advertizing outside of word of mouth, they have received much praise and recognition for their hard work and dedication. Such as...
Voted Best App in Fort Collins by the Rotary Club
Voted Best of 2015 Fort Collins Restaurant by the Fort Collins Award Program
Rated the Fourth Highest Restaurant on Yelp
Voted Best American Food by Trip Advisor
Featured in Zagat as One of Nine Reasons to Come to Colorado
"People that truly care about what they’re doing, and what they're providing to the people who support them, are the type of people who succeed in what they do." The Colorado Room features local artists all throughout their energetic atmosphere. Everything from quirky cartoons done by the incredible Professor Lunchbox, to clocks made by Tick Tock Vinyl. You could stay there for hours, browsing the amazing talent displayed in front of you! Who knows, maybe you will find the perfect piece of art to style out your kitchen!
SO NOW YOU KNOw
If you are looking for conscious food with outrageously delicious flavor profiles and a place where your money is paid forward into the community, The Colorado Room is the place for you! Grab a Sammy, or two, and say hi to the guys! They will make you feel right at home, and leave you happily singing the theme from Cheers "...where everybody knows your name..."
All my Gratitude to Danny, and Justin for their time, and willingness to go above and beyond to make me feel at home during this interview! You guys are the best and here's is to next time where I get to meet the Sammy Man himself, Chef David Richter!