Milk Run Donut Cafe, Carl’s Tavern among new Steamboat businesses |

Milk Run Donut Cafe, Carl’s Tavern among new Steamboat businesses

Jack Weinstein

— Less than two weeks after opening Milk Run Donut Cafe, co-owner Aaron Fulbright said he can't believe the response.

Fulbright opened the cafe in The Victoria at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue with girlfriend Lindsey Smith on Aug. 6. Although it's a learning process — they're still trying to figure out how many doughnuts to make so they don't run out by mid-morning — the twentysomething "North Carolina beach bums" already have attracted a loyal following. And Fulbright said he's talking to other retailers who want to sell his doughnuts.

"We thought we could make a living doing it and we are," he said. "The whole community of Steamboat has supported us. We couldn't ask for a better place to start something like this."

Milk Run is one of several new food-related businesses to open locally this summer. Several others have changed hands.

Fulbright said he got the idea for Milk Run when he visited Smith, who previously moved to Steamboat, last December. He wanted a doughnut but couldn't find a good one. So he scouted a location, talked to the Realtor and building owner and developed a concept for a doughnut shop.

But he had to learn how to make doughnuts. Fulbright went home to North Carolina and asked to apprentice at a doughnut shop near his parents' home in Southport. After four months of on-the-job training, he returned to Steamboat.

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And four months after that, they opened the business. Fulbright gets in at midnight each day to start making doughnuts in preparation for the 5:30 a.m. opening. The cafe closes at 3 p.m. and doesn't open at all on Tuesdays. He made 75 dozen cake and yeast doughnuts Thursday in about 25 varieties, from glazed — the best seller — to maple and bacon, green tea and peanut butter and jelly.

New ventures

A few blocks east on Yampa Street, Collin Kelley calls his new restaurant and bar, Carl's Tavern, an "upscale dive."

The professionally trained chef, who moved to Steamboat specifically to open Carl's, said he wanted to create a place for locals with a neighborhood feel. That's what Kelley thinks he has with Carl's, named in honor of ski jumping pioneer Carl Howelsen.

It opened last Friday at Seventh and Yampa streets in the Howelsen Place building. Kelley called the tavern's fare American comfort food with a Southern twist. Everything is made from scratch.

"We've got burgers, fried chicken and (Pabst Blue Ribbon)," he said. "We wanted it to be like going to a friend's place to grab dinner (and) get a beer."

Carl's opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and at 4 p.m. Monday. The kitchen is open until 10 p.m., with the exception of later hours on Friday and Saturday. The bar is open until midnight Monday through Thursday, until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and until 10 p.m. Sunday. Happy hour, featuring $2 oysters, is 4 to 6 p.m. daily.

Other local restaurant news

■ Chocolate Soup Pastry Cafe has added to a business family with Enzo's Pizzeria Italiano at its location on Mount Werner Circle.

Co-owner Nick Ciraldo said the cafe has served pizza at various times over the year but would now offer authentic made-from-scratch Italian cuisine, including Neapolitan pizza, and a full wine and beer list from 4 to 11 p.m. daily. He said patrons still can get coffee and pastries, and Chocolate Soup will continue to serve as a wholesale baker.

"It's going to be done with the same high standards with everything we've ever done in town," Ciraldo said. "It's still very much a part of the same Chocolate Soup family and part of our endeavor here."

■ Taco Cabo, a freestanding taco stand located in the small structure adjacent to Grease Monkey, opened recently.

■ Daddio's Bar & Grille in Milner also is open for business, starting at 6 a.m. for breakfast.

■ Jeff LaRoche bought Cantina Mexican Restaurant this month from Kristi and Jeff Brown, who owned the restaurant for 10 years. The Browns, who will remain in Steamboat, retained ownership of the building.

■ In Hayden, resident Charlie Epp bought Wolf Mountain Pizza. A longtime caterer and contest entrant who also has been the concessionaire at Yampa Valley Regional Airport, Epp said he's expanded the Wolf Mountain menu.

"We go from pizza to prime rib and everything in between," he said.

Epp said the reaction to him taking over has been "phenomenal," and encouraged others to stop by and say hi. He's open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

— To reach Jack Weinstein, call 970-871-4203 or email

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