Andy and Jaila Benjamin have been crafty in dodging questions about their business plans.
They avoid specific questions such as, "What color will the walls be?" "Will the menu be the same?" and "When are you opening?"
The Benjamins -- who have owned and operated Chelsea's Restaurant in Oak Creek for nearly four years -- began an advertising campaign several weeks that said "the rumors were true."
Chelsea's Chinese restaurant is coming to Steamboat Springs.
But the move won't bring an end to Chelsea's 25-year Oak Creek presence.
"We're not 'moving' by any means," Andy Benjamin said. "We're just opening a second location. We're not closing. (Chef) David (Chen) is staying in Oak Creek. This is his restaurant."
The Benjamins said they were shocked -- and hurt -- by the South Routt community's response to their decision.
"There has definitely been a rumor mill circulating around South Routt, especially in Oak Creek. We've been catching a lot of flack from this community. It's been hurtful," Andy Benjamin said.
Andy and Jaila Benjamin said their decision to open a second restaurant in the Lincoln Avenue space formerly occupied by Tobiano was purely a business decision --nd one he thinks will help keep the Oak Creek location open.
"We have to do what is best for us, as well as what is best for the community. This is going to let us keep this store open," Jaila Benjamin said.
Andy Benjamin said most the negative feedback has come from people who think the Benjamins are taking a staple business out of Oak Creek.
"People take ownership in this restaurant because it is the restaurant that defines South Routt. It's understandable, people being concerned about it closing, but it is also very frustrating, because we take this business so personally, seriously, financially and emotionally," he said.
"We're set on keeping this longstanding icon in the Yampa Valley," Jaila Benjamin said. "Everyone knows Chelsea's. Everyone has a story. People are always telling me what their favorite foods are or what a good time they had at dinner the night before."
Andy Benjamin is keeping quiet about the details of the Steamboat restaurant's opening.
"We're just going to open our doors one day and catch people by surprise. We might say, oh, early June," he said. "We've got some really interesting things happening. That's all I want to say about that."
The Benjamins are eager to bring to Steamboat the same food, atmosphere and environment that have made the Oak Creek location so during popular the past few years. Many of Chelsea's customers travel from other parts of the county.
"Our food is better than it ever has been. We're hoping to bring that same level of quality and service to our new location. It's a theme we want to continue," Andy Benjamin said.
The Benjamins are confident that their quality of food of will win over the taste buds of those who have never experienced a bowl of hot and sour soup or an order of sesame chicken.
"We can go toe to toe against any Chinese food out there, without a doubt," he said.
Whatever the future holds for the Benjamins and their Chinese food, they said they will never forget where Chelsea's was born.
"Chelsea's home is Oak Creek, and if we have anything to do about it, it always will be," Andy Benjamin said.
"We are heavily invested in Oak Creek and in South Routt. We have our house here, we spend our dollars here, we patronize our local restaurants...all of our friends are here."