Steamboat Springs Patrons stand in line on the sidewalk to get a breakfast table at Winona's on summer mornings. So it's not surprising that owners Scott and Kristy Fox are encouraged they can repeat that success in a second location.
The Foxes and minority partner Jason Provost recently acquired the building that formerly housed Springs City Diner, which was owned and operated by Mike Gagnebin. The Foxes intend to open a new restaurant called Freshies.
The name is a play on words. Along with implying the restaurant will use fresh ingredients in its recipes, "freshies" is often used to describe untracked snow.
Freshies will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Winona's serves breakfast and lunch only.
Scott Fox said he and his wife have been interested in expanding to a new location for three or four years.
"We have a great lease at Winona's, we've got another 10 years," Fox said. "But the key for opening a new restaurant was the ability to acquire the property. Getting the property was our No. 1 goal."
Minority owner Provost will cook for Freshies.
"We wanted somebody in here who is vested," Fox said.
Both men will take a turn in the kitchen, as well as managing.
"We work an actual shift," Fox said. "I cook every day."
Most recently, Provost managed The Shack, a longstanding breakfast and lunch spot on the other side of Lincoln Avenue from Winona's.
He began in the restaurant industry as a 16-year-old dishwasher in his home state of New York, Provost said. In college, he looked forward to becoming a lawyer, but discovered over time that the kitchen is where he belongs.
"Every restaurant I go to, I learn something new," Provost said. "I've worked in steak and seafood restaurants, delis, and corporate catering. This is what I've chosen. I love cooking. It's where the fun is."
Provost said he will miss the people at the Shack, but he's excited to begin a new phase in his career.
"I'm going to miss the waitresses," he said. "They rock."
This spring, Fox celebrated 10 very successful years at Winona's.
"Our employees are the backbone of the restaurant," Fox said. "We have people who have been with us three or four years."
Provost and Fox have convinced Greg Margolis to oversee dinners at Freshies. A graduate of the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park, N.Y., Margolis worked at Winona's during recent summers and at Ragnars on the ski mountain during the winters.
Fox acknowledges the irony that both of his restaurant buildings began as fast food outlets. The building that houses Winona's was a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the 1970s and Freshies was an Arby's. He said an engineer looked at the Freshies building and was impressed with how well-built it is.
Fox has gutted the interior and will give the exterior a new color scheme.
He also has plans to take more advantage of a small patio in front to offer outdoor seating.
The patio is screened from U.S. Highway 40 by mature landscaping, but still offers great views of Mount Werner, as does the dining room.
Fox said he will put down stamped concrete and build an outdoor gas fireplace ring in a style that has proven very popular in restaurants in New Mexico, where the evenings turn cool quickly.
The interior will feature earth tones accented by pendant lighting over the tables and booths. The Foxes have chosen a corroded-copper green laminate for their new tabletops.
Winona's can seat 43 diners inside the restaurant with limited sidewalk seating. Freshies will seat 60 indoors plus about 10 outdoors.
The kitchen in Freshies is about four times the size of the Winona's kitchen.
The larger kitchen will allow Freshies to do a couple of things Winona's does not. First, Freshies will open earlier -- 6 a.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends. Second, Provost, said, Freshies will serve breakfast all day.
Tables will be greeted with a loaf of fresh bread, and salads will be served family style, from a large bowl that everyone can share.
Fox said the successful formula at Winona's is as simple as providing clean surroundings and quality food.
Quality food translates into making all of his desserts and pastries in house, for example.
"We got on a little roll 10 years ago with our cinnamon rolls," Fox said.
"They were written up in Bon Appetit and then in Gourmet. We'll definitely bring the cinnamon rolls over to Freshies."
-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205 or