Steamboat Springs There’s still sawdust mixed with the snow in front of E3 Chophouse, but that just adds to the flavor.
Steamboat Springs’ newest and most heralded steakhouse had a soft opening Sunday night at its heavily renovated Yampa Street location.
“Just open the doors and see who comes in,” general manager David Eliason said about Sunday.
For an opening, Eliason said, it was nothing short of amazing.
E3 Chophouse was sold out Monday night and almost sold out for Tuesday as of 5 p.m. Monday.
An early guest Monday seemed to doff his cowboy hat as he made his way from the curving bar lined with red leather stools to the white table cloths in the rear of the restaurant.
The inside of the steakhouse is warm, with plenty of wood panels mixed with stone work and rustic touches. Black overhead doors line the wall that faces toward the Yampa River, and inset lights mark the edge of the patio for summer guests.
Eliason said he arrived in town in September to help with the design and flow of the restaurant.
He last spent eight years in Jackson Hole as manager of the Couloir, and before that, he spent nine years working for Red Tracton’s Steakhouse in the San Diego area.
“Steakhouses are my forte,” Eliason said. “This is what I do: build fun places for people to enjoy.”
The steaks at E3 Chophouse will be coming from the Kansas ranch of the same name, also owned by the LaRoche family.
The menu features a New York strip steak for $22 and a 14-ounce cut of prime rib for $29 along with some surf options, as well.
Eliason said the prices reflect that a middleman was eliminated by using their own E3 Black Angus cattle.
From 4 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to midnight every night, the bar menu is half-price, providing more options for those who want to try out the new restaurant.
The large E3 that hangs in the front of the building is a brand in two senses: the mark borne by the southeast Kansas cattle and the bigger, multiform branding push by the LaRoche family and their friends.
Country singer Luke Bryan helped popularize the E3 logo by wearing the ranch’s trademark black cap on tour, and now the ranch's Facebook is filled with people clamoring to get their own.
Adam, Jeff and Andy LaRoche also count Jason Aldean and Duck Dynasty CEO Willie Robertson among their friends who’ve been involved with the E3 brand. However, the brothers are the sole investors in the steakhouse, according to Eliason.
E3 Chophouse will start selling its own merchandise next month, Eliason said, with “Chophouse” in all caps beneath the E3 logo representing the newest step in the brand.
To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz
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