Truffle Pig restaurant opens at Steamboat base area
Another nearby business, Routt County Roadhouse, plans to welcome customers in July
June 27, 2010
Steamboat Springs — A new Ski Time Square may be years away, and work on the promenade likely will stretch into at least next summer, but the emergence of two new restaurants indicates that business activity continues to move forward at the base of Steamboat Ski Area.
The Truffle Pig restaurant opened Thursday at One Steamboat Place, at the immediate base of Mount Werner and steps from Gondola Square. Owned by St. Louis restaurateur David Jones, Truffle Pig can seat more than 200 in two dining areas, a more than 40-foot-long bar and an outdoor patio with a fire pit, snowmelt and views of the ski slopes.
Although the restaurant's operating company is the high-end Timbers Resorts, developers of One Steamboat Place, Jones said there's a concerted effort to make Truffle Pig accessible to a variety of customers in an environment of "casual elegance." A menu displayed Wednesday included entrees that top out at $30 for a Wagyu ribeye steak, salads for $9 and appetizers for less than $15.
"It was really important for us to be a lot of things to a lot of people," said Lance Thompson, Timbers' director of resort operations.
Thompson said the Truffle Pig bar would offer $3 domestic beers, including Pabst Blue Ribbon on tap.
"It's a very approachable feel," Thompson said. "A lot of times people mistake price with quality, and vice versa."
The restaurant soon will include a market offering pastries, breakfast sandwiches and more.
Across the street at The Steamboat Grand, work is continuing on the Routt County Roadhouse. Owner David McCarble, a Texas transplant, said he plans to open the Roadhouse early in July and will offer burgers, ribs, sausages and, surprisingly, Mediterranean food such as tabbouleh and hummus. Most menu items range from $7 to $12, he said.
"I'm part Lebanese," McCarble said by way of explaining the diverse menu. "I have family recipes that have been handed down for a century."
McCarble said he's been skiing in Steamboat for about 25 years, bought a house here about three years ago and brought his family here full time about a year ago, from the Houston area.
"I decided it was a great place to raise kids," he said about Steamboat. "This is hopefully the first of many roadhouses. I'm looking to target resort areas."
The restaurants plan to be open year-round, seven days a week.
They're already giving a needed boost to the local job market. Routt County saw unemployment rise above 10 percent in May, which had the county's highest monthly rate since 1992.
Thompson said Truffle Pig has hired about 50 employees, the vast majority of whom live in Steamboat.
Several workers were on the job at the Roadhouse on Wednesday.
The restaurants also are emblematic of continued confidence in a base area revival and increasing efforts to spur business around Mount Werner.
The Mountain Village Partnership, a base area marketing and event promotion group, has a growing membership of more than 30 and is hosting numerous base area events this summer, including weekly farmers markets and Torian Plum Plaza block parties.