Jack Weinstein: New Hungry Dog venue opens Thursday

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Reporter Jack Weinstein

— Hungry Dog devotees will be able to get a Chicago dog, Cincinnati cheese coney, Steamboat dog or whatever they crave after coming off the slopes.

The popular downtown hot dog vendor is opening a new location in Gondola Square at Steamboat Ski Area behind Christy Sports on Thursday. Owner Brad Somers said that in addition to offering most Hungry Dog favorites, he is offering breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, coffee and hot cocoa.

“It’s a new kind of grab-and-go option up at the mountain,” he said. “We can serve our customers fast.”

Somers said the new Hungry Dog cart will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days each week for the rest of the ski season.

■ Steamboat Restaurant Group owner Rex Brice said he plans to open The Laundry on Tuesday.

Brice said he’s putting the finishing touches on his fifth restaurant, which will offer what he calls “casual elegant” dining, on 11th Street in the space formerly occupied by Giovanni’s Ristorante.

“It’s going great. It’s really coming along,” he said. “We’ve got some incredible food coming out of the kitchen right now. The dining room is shaping up and looking real nice. I’m as excited as could be about it.”

■ A Steamboat business that cut its teeth during the Mainstreet Farmers Market this past summer is taking its product to the big stage.

Steamboat resident Susie Makens will sell her baby clothing product called Snekams at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, which starts Saturday and runs through Jan. 22.

Makens said she created the sleeping-bag-like carrier for her son nine years ago as an alternative to children’s snowsuits and heavy jackets. Makens said she was surprised by the reaction at the Farmers Market to Snekams, which are made from flannel or fleece in a variety of colors, and didn’t expect to be approved to sell at the Stock Show.

“I never expected this to happen quite so fast,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to really test the market, a bigger market, and see how it goes. I’m really going to have to start looking at upping production. It’s exciting. It will be interesting.”

For more information about Snekams, visit www.snekams.com.

■ The owners of Qdoba Mexican Grill acknowledged there would be some initial competition with new Central Park Plaza restaurant La Fiesta Grill & Cantina but think the two are different enough that they can coexist.

La Fiesta will occupy the space formerly occupied by Village Inn, which closed in April 2010.

Jeff Warner, regional manager and operating partner with Denver-based Flavors West LLC, which owns Qdoba, said the restaurant’s fast, casual style differs from La Fiesta, which will be a sit-down restaurant.

“Will it affect us a little bit? Yes,” he said. “I would be crazy not to say that. But I’m not concerned. We’ve done a lot to carve out a market in Steamboat.”

Leasing agent Justin Brockman, of Denver-based THF Realty, said the new owners expect to open sometime in the first quarter. They couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

Warner said he already has a good working relationship with the La Fiesta owners. They bought some equipment from Village Inn. Its owner, Family Restaurants Inc., is owned by the same people as Flavors West.

Jack Weinstein’s column appears periodically in the Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4203 or jweinstein@SteamboatToday.com.

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