Stories

This is a place for stories. History of restaurants, owners, staff, locations, and much more that won't fit in the one-line entries on the Menu of Restaurants.


Boulder Restaurant HistoryA bit of insight on Boulder's restaurant history from the Best Western Plus Boulder Inn's website, by Jim Harrington. 


The Alba Dairy (1916-1958) and assorted diaries (1916-2002) [included "soda fountains"]David Hays, Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries 
The Alba Dairy began operations on RFD 1 in Boulder just before WWI at the outset of the prewar agricultural boom.  The dairy market consisted of at least 10 small operations servicing Boulder. Fred Schroeder was the Dairy’s first proprietor. It appears that the Alba Dairy went under after the War. By 1920, Schroeder was running the Gilt Edge Creamery with G. B. Hardy on 2021 15th and Gilbert E. Longshore ran the new Alba  Dairy on 27th and Pine. Fred Watts had, by then, set up his Watt’s Blue Ribbon Dairy on 1435 Spruce.

      Two years later, Alba was being run by G. W. Robbin and J. F. Brahmstadt. Justus Brahmstadt had come from Nebraska where he had been born, raised, educated, and business trained before arriving in Boulder and taking over the Alba Dairy. Brahmstadt became a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Methodist Church, the Masons, BPOE, the Lions Club, and the Republican Party. While the JLS was in operation, the Alba Dairy was located on Pine and 27th and had an outlet  between Pearl and Spruce on Broadway. They advertised 20 flavors of ice cream. Harry Foote claimed, “It took practice to finish one of their thick shakes.” The Alba finally closed down shop in 1958.

     The Gilt Edge Creamery was owned by Boulder raised and educated, CU graduate, Griffin Hardy. It merged with the Watts Blue Ribbon Dairy in 1927. Fred Callaway Watts, an Indiana, Oregon and Washington raised dairyman, became president of the Chamber of Commerce, member of AF & AM, Rotary, BPOE, American Legion, and Boulder County Club. With offices on 1248 Walnut (or near Broadway and Walnut) and their Dairy on 27th and Walnut, they served an entire line of dairy products, including ice cream. During the 1950s, the dairy industry began to consolidate, mechanize and mass-produce. Shopping at supermarkets took over for home delivery. Most of the local dairies dropped out of production. Watts-Hardy and Alba were the chief competing dairies at the time. After 1958, Meadow Gold and Watts-Hardy were two of the last three Dairies in town, both having kept up with the demands of the new mass market. Watts-Hardy had their facility on 27th and Walnut. They built a new facility on 25th and Walnut in the 60s.

     Watts-Hardy was taken over and closed by Sinton’s in 1987, a dairy of similar family background from Colorado Springs. The city considered the Sinton property for a new public library in 1989, an effort that failed. Then the property was divided and an apartment complex called the Sinton Apartments was built in the early 1990s. During the same period, arts groups raised enough donations to purchase and renovate the old Watts-Hardy facility into an arts complex. Now called the Dairy Center for the Arts, it is home to Boulder County Arts, Boulder Actors Group, The Boulder Conservatory Theatre Company, Community Television of Boulder, Dairy Administrative   Offices, Frequent Flyers Productions, The Guild Theatre, Helander Dance Theater, Imagination Makers Theater Company, International Tap Association, Mystyk Hande, Naropa University Arts Department, Peak Association of the Arts (Peak Arts Academy, Boulder Ballet and Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra), and the Upstart Crow Theatre Company. In other words, in keeping with Boulder’s contemporary civic character, lots of theatrics, but no ice cream. Or is that crying over spilt milk?

The AnchorageDavid Hays, Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries 
13th Street on the “Hill” in Boulder has long been the site of sandwich shops, drug stores, and college restaurants, haunts of CU students. One such haunt for JLS/OLS students was The Anchorage on 1135-1137 13th Street, on the west side of the street about a half block south of the Sunken Gardens. The Anchorage Nite Club came by its role honestly, as the property had been the site of  J.E. Marshall’s Buffalo Club, featuring dancing during the late 1930s. After a short period of vacancy, The Anchorage Nite Club, was established in early 1943 by Hitoshi Ogata. The club featured chop suey, beer and dancing and was a favorite of the JLS/OLS. Dr. John Bitzan and Dixon Wansbury recalled the place. The Navy student magazine, Knots & Fathoms, carried the club’s advertisements from 1943 through 1945, boasting Miller’s High Life on tap and Juke Box dancing every afternoon and evening.  City Directories show a change of name and owner by 1949. The Nite Club had become the Anchorage Bar & Grill and was owned by Ray Imel.  May Ogata continued as a waitress.
     For those wondering what became of Hitoshi Ogata, he and his wife Meyeko later managed the Starlight Drive Inn, on 1600 Broadway. They lived on the Hill.  Phillip Ogata (son?)  was a CU student in 1955. In 1958 Mrs. Meyeko Ogata opened the Mikado Curio Shop on 1833 Broadway. Tomo and Tsugue Ogata joined the Starlight as cook and waitress. In 1959, Hitoshi Ogata passed away. His widow continued with the Curio Shop on into the 1970s. A Mary and Madeline Ogata were students in the late 60s and 70s and Philip Ogata taught public school in Boulder during this time. No idea if they are all relations. The Ogata family were Boulder business people of some standing. Interestingly, Makizo Ogata was a JLS Teaching Associate, leaving the program in June 1944 (another relation?).
     After 1951, the 1135-37 13th  property became the Fox Theatre, the Buff Cafeteria, Ted’s Buff Café, Robinson’s Café and Sugar & Spice Confectioners, although the Arthur Murray School of Dancing kept the tradition of dance going within its walls for a time. One reason why that property ceased being a dance club, was that soon after running the Anchorage Bar & Grill in 1949, Ray Imel and Rex Bailey opened Tulagi Night Club, right up the street at 1129 13th. Tulagi went on to become a Boulder landmark as a music venue.   Its name is a constant reminder of the War in the Pacific. 

Canyon Spots—David Hays, Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries      Blanchard Lodge, took its name from the ranch upon which it was situated, homesteaded Timothy Blanchard. The lodge was built and operated by John C. Doughtery, who had learned the resort trade in Maine and had come out to Colorado in 1919 to recover from a bout of Influenza.  That next spring, he took a job in the small resort that rancher Blanchard had operated on his property. In 1927, Dougherty married the youngest Blanchard daughter and both of them worked to expand the resort, building cabins, expanding the log and stone lodge, putting in landscaping. Upon completion, the lodge could house 40 overnight guests and feed 150 people. Blanchard’s became a popular place for Boulderites to take out-of-town visitors.
     The lodge radiated a distinct Rocky Mountain flavor in its stone and log construction, its large fireplace, its wicker and leather furniture and its home-style fare. Dougherty died in 1947, after which his wife passed local operations onto a local couple she hired. She maintained overall supervision and was assisted by her son Neil and a staff of CU students.
     Neil Dougherty was killed in Korea in 1951. Four years later, the Boulder Chamber of Commerce built a park in John Dougherty’s memory, just east of Boulder Canyon Tunnel. 
     The Red Lion Inn opened at Blanchard’s Resort in 1963 under Christoph and Heidi Mueller. The name Blanchard’s ßslowly dropped from their advertisements but the homey architecture, furniture, and atmosphere has remained the same.
     The Canon Park Nite Club had a shorter, but more colorful, career. The Nite Club was located in Canyon Park, ¾ mile west of the city limits in Boulder Canyon, where it could take advantage of being outside the “Dry” town. The Canon Park liquor store was right across the highway. The Club appears in the Silver & Gold in 1935,  featuring the music of Kayo Lam* and his orchestra. Even then, The Grotto, serving sandwiches and beverages, was located downstairs in the stone and stucco building. In 1936 the Club hosted regular dances with Ken LeMoine’s Rockaway Rhythm. Owner Fred Larson and manager Chick Clark promoted dances every Friday and Saturday with the Westerburg – Durnell 11 piece band and Jake Warde. They advertised 25-cent taxi rides to the club for a customer and his date.
     Advertising increased after 1939, as did the variety of the bands. Between 1940 and the the Summer of 1942, Milt Nunamaker, Joe Cook and his All Colorado University Band, Jimmie Lunceford, Emmett Ryder, Lloyd Hunter and his 14 piece, Colored Orchestra, Jep Walthers, and Pogy Stoner’s Band all played at the Canon Park Nite Club. Free rides left from and returned to Owen’s on the Hill for the Nite Club every half hour during one summer. The Club put on prom dances, victory hops and Jitney Jigs.   
    The popular dance club met its demise prematurely and permanently when the club burned down on September 13th, 1942, casting a pall over its Navy, student and public clientele alike.

Carnival CaféHarris Rosenberg, Benson, Arizona
    I'm a former member of the cooperative, collectively owned and run restaurant, the Carnival Café, formerly on Broadway between Canyon and Pearl Street. 
    It was a fully vegetarian restaurant that at times went vegan and non-dairy. We had live entertainment three times a day and anybody could come and play their music on stage. If you played for an hour you would get a free meal. Our prices were very low. Collective members were paid $1 an hour and we were allowed to come in and eat whenever they wanted and even to sleep in the restaurant if they wanted to. It was truly a ground-breaking, unique experience.
    Amazing people came through our restaurant. We served breakfast to Timothy Leary one day. The legendary Boulder band Navarro often played at there. On Friday or Saturday night the Carnival Cafe was a true hippie commune run out of a restaurant. We had one house in Boulder, one in Nederland, and one in Gold Hill. Most of us would just crash around from house to house.
    When customers ordered a meal it could take up to two hours for the meal to be prepared and served as everything was made from scratch with very wholesome ingredients. The food was always delicious we never got any complaints. A full dinner special cost about two bucks. 
    The Carnival Café had a great collection of vinyl records and a record player. Whoever was the dishwasher was in charge of the music. I was a long order cook. I had a lot of fun during my days in Boulder.
    Our theme song was “Life is a Carnival”, until a bank came along and decided to build a parking lot and we had to close down. Then our theme song was “They Paved Paradise and Put up a Parking Lot”. 
    The Carnival Cafe introduced me to the Rainbow Family and many different ways of living. I will always treasure and cherish my time there. It was Woodstock and Wavy Gravy in a restaurant. It was Stephen's Farm without Stephen. It was the ultimate commune, ashram, rock festival, and rave in a restaurant experience.
    Shalom; Peace; Aloha; Namaste; Dios te bendiga—from Harris Rosenberg, somewhere in the Arizona desert.

Howard's Cafe & Restaurant - 1921-1959David Hays, Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries      
Howard Baker arrived in Boulder sometime after 1908, residing in boarding houses. By 1913, Baker had married Gladys, opening Baker & Baker on 1444 Pine. The Bakers moved to 1326 Pearl and opened a Billiard Parlor in 1916. During World War I, Howard Baker had to give up his billiard parlor and became a milkman. After the Great War, Baker began his long running establishment under the name Howard Baker Restaurant. Through the twenties and thirties, the name of the place on 1412 Pearl shifted from the Howard Baker Restaurant to Howard’s Café, the change seemingly permanent after 1927. Howard retired from daily management of the café after 1940, turning the reins over to his wife Gladys until 1949.

     During the War, according to Marylou Williams, Howard’s Café served a good steak. The reputation of their steaks had an influence on the business.

     The Bakers appear to have sold the restaurant and moved in 1950. The café had turned into Howard’s Steak House and was being managed by John L. Latta. Howard B. Baker (Howard’s son?) was a cook. By 1953, Howard B. was working at Owen’s on the Hill and Howard’s (now a Restaurant again) was managed by Laura Alpers.  The next year management passed to Victor Gray. Howard B Baker continued to live in town, but never had anything to do with his parents’ café again. In 1959 the Steak House was owned by Chester Adams, but 59, was to be Howard’s last year.

     During the past 20 years, 1412 Pearl has hosted a Chinese restaurant, a Greek taverna, several sports shops, and a couple galleries on the “quiet block” of the Pearl Street Mall.

Matterhorn
"Restaurant owner's dream twice destroyed by fire", Daily Camera, 3/20/2011

Timber TavernDavid Hays, Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries 
The Timber Town Tavern was opened in the summer of 1935 by John A. and Elizabeth Stengel on 2450 Arapahoe Avenue, on the southwest corner of Arapahoe and 24th Street, later named Folsom. The Stengels were members of a large pioneer farming clan in South Boulder.  They took advantage of the recent overturn of prohibition, while avoiding the city limits of then “dry” Boulder. They also built the gas station and an open-air market. By 1938, while the Stengels kept the gas station, they had moved back to Baseline Road and the new owners of the alternatively named Timber Tavern, or Timber Town Tavern, were William and Meta Teviotdale. Stanley Teviotdale lived with them. By 1940, Roxy and Sarah Ochiato ran the Timber Town Tavern. W.W. Babel, owner of Bill’s Place on 15th and Pearl, were the owners of Timber Tavern during the War and were the first to live off site. During WWII, V-12 Navy students were given Friday afternoons off, to prepare for Saturday morning inspections. Many Navy students took advantage of their free afternoon to descend the parade fields to the Timber Tavern’s “Friday Afternoon Club.” Rex Bailey owned the tavern from 1946-1952. Bailey had taken on partners, Ray C. Imel and Matthew Gold, as well as ownership of Tulagi by 1953. Both bars enjoyed a considerable student clientele and continued the Friday Afternoon Club as a sort of Friday Happy Hour. Ray Imel left the group in 1954. In 1960, Rex Bailey and Mathew Gold split Tulagi and the Timber Tavern between them, the Golds continuing to run the establishment as the Timber Tavern until 1978. Mathew’s son, Joseph Gold changed the name to Goldini’s and served Mexican food and prime rib until 1984. The economic downturn of the mid 1980’s saw the closing of a number of Boulder restaurants. In 1985 Josephina’s Café and Pizzaria took over the location, but lasted only two years. Likewise, successor restaurants like the Folsom Grill and Rookies Sports Bar and Grill lasted three years apiece. In 1996, Paul Turley, longtime Boulder restaurateur with his own history, once owned the Harvest and had run the Golden Buff restaurants, took over the old Timber Tavern location. He brought his distinctive Boulder/Southwest/health/1970s cuisine through each of his places. Likewise, his clientele followed him to the new  “Turleys.”   He was successful but soon moved his operation to the vacant larger TGIF on 28th & Pearl. The next occupyier was Rincon del Sol, whose name changed to Fiesta, took over in 2000. But if you look closely, you can still see a corner of joined logs from the old Timber Tavern.      

Tom's Tavern
Stories about Tom Eldridge dying and Tom's Tavern closing:
"Tom Eldridge was an 'icon': Councilman, Tom's Tavern owner died of brain cancer" Colorado Daily, 5/15/2007
"Tom's Tavern Closing" Daily Camera 12/3/2007


Stoffle's "Awful Waffle Shop"David Hays, Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries  
The Stoffle Grocery was established on 1100 13th Street in 1928 and sold groceries until 1931, when it changed into Stoffle’s Restaurant. Stoffle’s ‘Awful Waffle’ Shop served students and residents of the Hill until 1939, managed by Mrs. Fariba Owen (cook).
    In 1939, Donald and Fariba Owen bought the restaurant from W. Merton Stoffle and renamed it Owen’s Sandwich Shoppe. It was in this configuration that most of the JLS/OLS crowd will remember it, along with decades of CU students. The new shop soon became one of the most popular places to “go coking”. Their slogan became, “You’ve been ‘Owen’ Us a Visit and We’ve been ‘Owen’ you a Good Time, Pleasant Surroundings, and Fine Foods – Sandwiches – and Soft Drinks” (1941). Owen’s had a long run until 1966.  Harlan O. Owen and Wiona B. Owen ran the “shoppe”  from 1949-1958. Harlan Owen ran it himself after that.
      After 1966, a series of franchised restaurants have occupied that corner. During the heyday of the “People’s Republic of Boulder”, between 1967 and 1972, the Charcoal Chef put up with crowds of transients, the Hill Riots of 1969 and 1971, and slow change of the Hill into a Bohemian neighborhood. For one year,  1972, a Three Flags franchise came and went. From 1973 until fairly recently, a Dairy Queen has graced that corner, weathering the economic ups and downs of the Hill commercial district. The only waffles left until a few years ago, alas, were waffle cones. In the past few years, a Pizza and a Taco place have had their turns.

Village, Twinburger, Gunbarrel and Williams Village:  August 2014 —Petur Williams (His family built Williams Village)
There is a mention of Frank Borra (his mom owned the Village, and they owned the rolling skating rink north of Walnut...then became partner with Ed Novak in The Broker) and Mr. Call...I don't know if Call actually owned a restaurant with Borra, may have just worked there.   He also was associated with the Berardi group of restaurants, maybe all the way from Jigg's Place at 95th and South Boulder Road to the one on North Broadway and their places in downtown Denver.
   Twinburger at about 40th and on the south side of Arapahoe was a truly legendary hamburger drive up joint in a park. My father and uncle built it for whomever owned it. The hamburgers were great, up until they replace the original grill...maybe the seasoned old one added something to the flavor.
   In Gunbarrel, the no longer present white stucco building that started in 1973 as The Hofbrau House turned into a series of names....Gunbarrel Inn, Blackie's, Lookout Inn, Mockingbird, even I have forgotten all the names. 
   The Love family opened a restaurant in Williams Village, that became Al Fike's cabaret, which Fike named Zodiac, I believe.  The building was a big empty performance and dance hall with a professional stage and recording studio at the time, and it did okay, but it really took off when a group of Western Airlines pilots brought their concept, called Grande American Fare, to the building, along with a backlot full of movie props, to create The World Famous Dark Horse, now owned by David Tobin.  Ed Novak and Fred Borra had a marvelous restaurant in what was once a fine hotel, The Boulder Broker, and also in Williams Village was the marvelous pizza parlor, Roman Village.

Wayne's Cafe, 1928-1965David Hays, Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries  
     The fourteen hundred block of Pearl, one block east of the Boulder County Courthouse, used to be the second to last block of down town Boulder, before the three to five story brick commercial storefronts began to thin and give way to gas stations, railroad yards, auto repair shops and working class residences. Until 1926, 1445 Pearl Street had been a shoe store, an auto supplies store and a men’s furnishings shop.
     In 1928, Wayne D. and Viola Calvert opened a restaurant at 1435 Pearl that was named Wayne’s Café by 1932. Between 1940 and 1943, Wayne’s Café moved to 1445 Pearl, next door.   
     At the same time the management changed from Wayne Calvert to Sylvester Newton, who ran the café from 1943 to 1955, and again in 1964 until it closed in 1965. Newton kept the previous owner’s name for the establishment, arranged for several civic clubs, such as the Lions, Kiwanis, Optimists and Rotary, to hold their luncheon and dinner meetings at the restaurant.
     By the latter 1940s, Wayne’s boasted of private luncheon and banquet rooms and served chicken, steak and trout dinners. From 1956 to 1963, Robert Auran managed the restaurant, advertising a smorgasbord. Sy Newton again took over the café, called cafeteria, in 1964 and 1965.
    Between 1966 and 1969, the address was vacant, during which time the lot was rebuilt. After 1970, 1445 Pearl hosted accountant’s offices, a business college and a variety of concerns. In 1976, the 1400 block of Pearl became the sleepy end of the bricked-in walking mall. Between the late 1970s and the mid 1980s, the new building hosted Golden Mountain, a Chinese restaurant. In the early 1990s, a retro café was situated down the alley and in the basement. During this period, an environmental store and a books-on-tape store followed each other. An art gallery and Illegal Pete’s are now operating out of the address that was once Wayne’s Café.

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