Bartenders make drinks for a big crowd on opening night at the new E3 Chophouse in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Photo by Scott Franz

Bartenders make drinks for a big crowd on opening night at the new E3 Chophouse in downtown Steamboat Springs.

Steamboat Springs approving more liquor licenses than in previous years as restaurants shuffle


New liquor licenses approved in 2014

• Schmiggity's

• Karma Bar and Lounge

• Low Country Kitchen

• Blue Sage Pizza (two locations)

• Chelsea's

• Eureka Mediterranean Street Food

• The Barley (opening soon)

• Sumatera

New liquor licenses approved by year

2006: 0

2007: 6

2008: 7

2009: 7

2010: 11

2011: 5

2012: 5

2013: 5

2014: 9 to date

— Call it the big shuffle of 2014.

Or the great culinary renaissance of Steamboat Springs.

A look back at this city's liquor license activity since 2006 shows Steamboat this year is seeing a shuffling of restaurants on a level it hasn't seen in many years.

With the recent arrival of Sake2U, E3 Chophouse, Eureka Mediterranean Street Food, Aurum Food & Wine all within the last seven months, Yampa Street is ground zero for this culinary renaissance in the city.

And this year, some more new restaurants and bars are popping up nearby on Lincoln Avenue.

Citywide in 2014, nine new liquor and tavern licenses have been approved to date.

All of them have been for restaurants and bars, with six of the licenses held downtown.

That's the second highest level of liquor license activity in the past eight years and second only to 2010 when 11 new licenses were approved.

However, a closer look at those 2010 licenses reveals three of the licenses never were used because the establishments never opened and one was a simple transfer of ownership.

Still, Steamboat's overall inventory of establishments with liquor licenses hasn't climbed too much since 2006, meaning the activity is more of a shuffle of existing spaces than any flood of additional dining options.

There are 94 active licenses today as opposed to 87 in 2006.

A lot of the uptick appears to be from new licenses and eateries downtown.

"The last time I counted, we had 52 places to eat in downtown Steamboat and a majority of them have liquor licenses," Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said. "We've had in the 40s downtown for the last several years, and it goes up and down depending on when I count. There aren't that many more locations, it just rotated."

She said there appears to be about six to eight new total dining options downtown than there were a few years ago.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10


Cresean Sterne 2 years, 7 months ago

Drink Town USA!!! And we wonder why there are sooo many DUI's here...


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