Steamboat Springs Two eateries at city facilities have changed management in the past two weeks.
Olivia Murray, who operated City Cafe in Centennial Hall on 10th Street since April 2009, has left that position to become the food and beverage operator and executive chef at Staxx New West Bar and Grill at the city-owned Haymaker Golf Course. Murray said she’s been awarded a five-year contract to operate Staxx, a job formerly held by Karen and Dom Riggio.
Taking Murray’s place at City Cafe is Nicolette Powell, who’s lived in the Yampa Valley for about 20 years and held several cooking and catering positions. Those positions have included operating the bakery and wine bar at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore several years ago, when the business was on Seventh Street, and operating a “cupcakery” at Amante Coffee in Wildhorse Marketplace. She runs a catering business called Chef Nicolette.
Powell said this is her first full week as the operator of City Cafe. It’s her first time having a space to call her own after years of running culinary operations for others or catering out of someone else’s kitchen.
“I’m very enthusiastic and excited,” Powell said. “My goal is to be here a long time.”
Powell said City Cafe will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays serving breakfast, lunch, coffee, desserts and baked goods, including fresh muffins and scones, daily. Breakfast will be served all day, she said.
Powell also is a former caseworker for the Routt County Department of Human Services, where she focused on helping at-risk teenagers. She said she wants to bring some of that work into City Cafe, as well.
“What I’d really like to do is bring some community programs in … and do some culinary skills,” Powell said, adding that she’s applying for grants to help that effort.
Powell said she’d like to expand the cafe’s hours to Fridays and already has started opening some evenings when public meetings are held at Centennial Hall. Powell said she’ll be open for Steamboat Springs City Council meetings, for example — including tonight — in addition to municipal court hearings and other events.
Murray said she’s hoping to expand service at Staxx by hosting events year-round at the golf course’s restaurant.
Murray said she’s sampled a little of Powell’s work.
“I have had one of her red velvet cupcakes,” Murray said. “It was absolutely delicious.”
Bob Litzau, of the city’s Finance Department, stopped by City Cafe on Monday afternoon for lunch and some work on a crossword puzzle. He said it was his second lunch at the cafe since Powell took over, and he gave positive reviews.
“So far, so good,” Litzau said.
To reach Mike Lawrence, call 970-871-4233 or email mlawrence@SteamboatToday.com