I had the chance to dine at the Simple Eatery featuring Spoon It Up recently. Ryan McFadden, the owner had a few minutes to sit down with me to reminisce about his move to Buena Vista, Colorado as a restauranteer.
Ryan and his wife, Heather, and two girls, arrived here in April of 2009 at the behest of his sister, Molly Heynekamp, and her husband, Mick. The Heynekamps were slated to open a restaurant and brewery in South Main, an up and coming subdivision in Buena Vista. The McFaddens left New Mexico behind and embraced their new home while immersing themselves within the community.
Ryan incorporated both his psychology and business degrees to co-manage the Eddyline Restaurant & Brewery. After his sister and her husband sold their interest in the restaurant to focus on their brewery and taproom, Ryan left to manage the Eddyline Brewery & Taproom during its recent transition and expansion.
Ryan said goodbye to the Eddyline family for good in the summer of 2014 to create a new eatery inside the former State Highway Dept. building. His concept is a fresh take on simple classic food. For him, it all starts with the spoon. Hot or cold, we all use a spoon. He founded an eatery that focuses (with a fresh twist) on pasta dishes, salads, and yogurt by the ounce, and of course, a spoon. He has rounded out his varied menu with several meat dishes and fresh baked bread.
This business started as a “Proof of Concept” that has proven to be a downtown destination. Ryan is looking to the future with a second location and to expand his bread line.
Doyle Furniture Maker & Undertaker once sat on the same site as what is now known as the State Highway Dept. Next door to the mortuary was a livery stable, the fire department and the Webb Hotel. The DeRemer Hook & Ladder Co. was formed on June 8, 1881, at a time when volunteer firefighters answered the call of the bell by hooking themselves to the water cart and pulling it to the fire. Imagine their surprise, in 1934, when the bell rang and they arrived to find their firehouse burning. The bell was still ringing as it crashed to the ground. The only building on this block that is still standing today is the structure in the far right of the image. It was built in 1885 by J.F. Jacobs. It once housed the Webb Hotel, Welkers Antique Store, Meister House and Mother’s Bistro. Courtesy of Buena Vista Heritage Collection and “A History of Chaffee County”.
Ryan is contributing to Buena Vista history himself, however, the building which houses his eatery had a life of its own. It is now referred to as the State Highway Dept. building, but it was built in the 1920’s by George “Skinny” Pyle as a car garage. Because it was heated, locals rented space inside the building during the 40’s and 50’s to store their vehicles to ensure they would start when the weather had a bit of a nip to it. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the highway department moved in and painted their name across the front (which is still visible). Today, The Trailhead, an outdoor adventure retail store and Simple Eatery featuring Spoon It Up cater to both locals and tourists alike.
So here are my choices and in no particular order (it just depends on what you are hungry for):
- Simple Eatery featuring Spoon It Up (see above….love it all! They also carry Eddyline and Elevation craft beers)
- The Lariat Bar & Grill (best burger & tap beer in town)
- Los Girasoles (2 for 1 margaritas, lovely salsa & chips)
- Eddyline Brewery & Taproom (home of the Whitewater Pizza! Great music on the patio, locally brewed craft beer. Honey Wheat is my all time fave – grab a growler!)
- The Rooster’s Crow (breakfast – bacon – until 2 p.m.)
- K’s Dairy Delite (fish & chips if you are in a hurry, and of course soft ice cream!)
- The Midland Stop (located in South Main – great flavorful gelato and a great cup of coffee or tea)
- Eddyline Restaurant (located in South Main…anything on their menu….it’s all wood smoked!)
- Jan’s Restaurant (yummy comfort food)
- Jade Garden (Asian food, great for lunch if you are in a hurry)
#BVRocks #EscapetotheMountains #SimpleEatery #TheTrailhead #StateHighwayDept