Business roundup: E3 Steakhouse planned for old Cottonwood Grill space; Blue Sage Pizza plans dual locations |

Business roundup: E3 Steakhouse planned for old Cottonwood Grill space; Blue Sage Pizza plans dual locations

— With the change to cloudless skies and mild autumn temperatures Friday, Lincoln Avenue restaurants with outdoor seating like the Cantina Mexican Restaurant were buzzing during the noon hour. And there's also a buzz this week about the LaRoche brothers' plans for a new signature restaurant in downtown Steamboat: E3 Steakhouse.

Jeff LaRoche — who owns Cantina with his brothers, Andy and Adam, and is its manager — said they are in the midst of a major remodel at the former Cottonwood Grill, 701 Yampa St., which will be transformed into a steakhouse.

Jeff and Andy LaRoche are minority owners with Adam in the 10,000-acre E3 Ranch near Fort Scott, Kan., where they raise all natural Angus beef.

"We'll be using all-natural beef directly from the ranch," Jeff LaRoche said. "It's going to be farm to table using ingredients (sourced) within a 400-mile radius" of Steamboat.

Fort Scott is due south of Kansas City, Mo., but 5 miles inside Kansas.

The brothers are shooting for a soft opening sometime in November and a hard opening by mid-December, he said.

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LaRoche confirmed that E3 is the ranch brand and a tongue-in-cheek reference to his brother, Adam, who plays first base for the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team. That's E3 as in error on the first baseman!

The Nationals currently rank third in the National League wild card race, which is evolving from day to day.

If you're curious, you can check out the country music/reality TV celebrity buzz at the E3 Ranch Facebook page. You'll quickly notice that the E3 logo merges the letter E and the numeral 3 into the traditional look of a cattle brand. You might also notice photographs of country star Luke Bryan wearing an E3 Ranch ball cap.

Back in Steamboat, Jeff LaRoche is busy conferring with architect Mike Olsen, of Michael JK Olsen Architects, and contractor Rob Van Deren on the remodel project. He said the work will transform the building from its current design to a blend of mountain rustic and contemporary elements.

"There will be a lot of rough-cut timbers, but it won't be the Ore House," LaRoche said. "There will be a touch of modern in it. You may not recognize the front of the building when we get done."

The curvilinear bar will remain, but the bar top will change. Interior walls will be moved to open an expanded dining room to the Yampa River, which flows behind the south edge of the property. The exterior south wall will be extended 14 feet, and bronze garage doors with glass panels will be added.

"They will give us a bigger interior in winter and a more open feeling in summer," LaRoche said.

Although he will be able to run back and forth between the Cantina and E3 Steakhouse, LaRoche said he won't attempt to run both businesses.

"I'm not the right guy to open a new restaurant," he said. "I've hired a general manager, and we're negotiating with a couple of chefs."

Is there any way to blend baseball memorabilia into a Western-themed, contemporary, farm-to-table steakhouse?

"There may be a hint or two of black-and-white baseball pictures in a back room," he said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

Blue Sage Pizza plans 2 new storefronts

A popular pizzeria that for years has called Central Park Plaza home has expanded its reach to west Steamboat and is opening a new location at Wildhorse Marketplace.

Last month, Blue Sage Pizza owners Michael Eller and Brett McFadden opened a new location at Riverside Plaza. They planned to close their Central Park Plaza location Friday in anticipation of a move to Wildhorse Marketplace.

“We’re hoping mid- to late October,” Eller said about the planned opening of the Wildhorse location.

The new Riverside Plaza location is called Blue Sage West.

“We were just getting a lot of demand from people on that end of town,” Eller said.

Blue Sage West will be able to meet the delivery needs in areas that were not serviced before by local restaurants. For residents in Steamboat II, Heritage Park and Silver Spur, pizza and other Blue Sage West menu items are now just a phone call away.

The phone number is 970-871-0123 and hours are from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. They serve standard breakfast items until 11 a.m. on weekdays and until 2 p.m. on weekends. Their lunch and dinner menu includes salads, wings, appetizers, calzones and sandwiches, and hot subs are coming soon.

With the two new locations, Eller said they are trying to add a dine-in option.

At Wildhorse Marketplace, Blue Sage will serve the lunch, dinner and late-night crowd in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Coretto.

“It’s getting a full renovation,” Eller said.

Eller said to expect pizza and beer specials.

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