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Bonfire taproom closed indefinitely due to liquor license discrepancy

Bonfire Brewing in Eagle will be closing it’s taproom until further notice due to a discrepancy with its liquor license.
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Bonfire Brewing in Eagle posted to Instagram on Saturday announcing that it will be closing its popular Eagle taproom until further notice due to a discrepancy with its liquor license.

The Instagram post included a photo of a draft Bonfire beer on the taproom bar, with the caption:

“Dear Friends and Family, we know it’s been a tough year. You’ve been along for the ride, you’ve seen our challenges, and you continued to gather ‘round the Bonfire, sharing the same love that has stoked our fire for the last 11 years. We are heartbroken to announce that we have come up against a discrepancy with our liquor license. In order to best protect our staff and beloved customers, effective Sunday November 21, we are forced to close the taproom until further notice. If you have additional questions, please contact info@bonfirebrewing.com. Sincerely, Bonfire Brewing Staff.”

The brewery’s website is sharing the same message.

The announcement came before Bonfire Brewing celebrated its 11th Anniversary Saturday evening at the taproom.

Bonfire Brewing representatives could not be reached for comment at time of publication. This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

Just not the sopapillas: Casa Bonita hires a big-name chef to upgrade its menu

Dana Rodriguez is the new executive chef of Casa Bonita.
Casa Bonita/Courtesy photo

Much of the speculation on the future of Casa Bonita — and its trademark terrible food — is now over. On Tuesday, three-time James Beard-nominated Denver chef Dana Rodriguez announced that she’s now leading the kitchen at the Lakewood entertainment destination.

The restaurant will reopen under Rodriguez’s culinary leadership — and under new owners, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker — sometime in the second half of 2022, Rodriguez said.

“I’ve been working (in the restaurant) for about two weeks now,” she told The Denver Post on Tuesday. “And I’ve started thinking how to make everything better in my own way.”

Rodriguez is the chef and operator behind beloved Denver restaurants Work & Class and Super Mega Bien. She also has her own mezcal brand, Doña Loca, named after an affectionate nickname for the chef within the local industry.

She’s known for her candor, sense of humor and down-to-earth approach to running restaurants. Rodriguez and her partners are transparent about finances with employees and pay both front- and back-of-house workers better than Denver restaurant standards.

Read more via The Denver Post.

Eat this week: La Tour chef-owner Paul Ferzacca shares how to make an omelet like a pro

Vail — I was 8 when I decided I didn’t like omelets. I can no longer recall why, but I certainly avoided them for several decades. And then one day my dad whipped up omelets for the two of us — filling them with nothing more than grated Vella Dry Jack and lots of cracked black pepper. It was love at first bite.

Back in my own kitchen, I discovered omelets are one of those deceptively simple dishes: Seems easy enough until you’re standing at the stove, plating up an overcooked scramble. But since there’s no shame in asking for help, I decided to call Paul Ferzacca for some guidance. The chef-owner of La Tour is a natural at breaking down culinary techniques into a straightforward series of steps. It’s what helped his Pro Start high school culinary students take the gold in first the state and then the national culinary competitions. It also doesn’t hurt that he worked the omelet station during Sunday brunch at a fancy-schmancy hotel once upon a time.

LaTour owner and chef, Paul Frezacca, celebrates 20 years of outstanding cuisine creativity this year at his renowned Vail restaurant.
Dominique Taylor

He says the most important concept in omelet-making is mise in place, a French term that refers to having all the ingredients for a particular dish out and ready to go before starting. “An omelet is a 45-second dish,” said Ferzacca, referring to the actual cooking time. “If everything isn’t ready to go you’ll overcook it.”

And “everything” doesn’t just refer to the omelet fillings: there’s also the matter of what else is on the plate. Left to his druthers, Chef Ferzacca goes for applewood-smoked Neuske’s bacon and a fruit salad with fresh figs, oranges and a cinnamon-flavored crema.

The recipe is easy, but it’s all about technique.

Omelets for Two

  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fillings, such as cured meats, grated cheese and sautéed vegetables
Omelets can be as simple or as complicated as one likes, but nothing beats a few slices of fresh truffles.
Special to the Daily

1. Chef tip: When cracking eggs, use a flat surface like a plate. If you use the side of a bowl, you’ll force the shell into the egg. A flat surface allows the shell to simply crack. Whisk together 2.5 eggs, 1 teaspoon water, salt and pepper. The lesson here is you shouldn’t make an omelet for one since nobody wants to divide an egg. Lots of people add milk instead of water, but there’s no need. What you want is to add a little moisture to the egg so it doesn’t dry out. Chef Ferzacca uses white pepper because he’s classically trained and doesn’t like to see the specks of pepper. I am not bothered by peppery contrast. Use whatever you have on hand, as long as it’s freshly ground.

2. Take a look in the fridge and decide on your fillings. Nothing will actually cook with the eggs — there won’t be enough time — so pre-cook anything that needs it. Sauteed mushrooms, roasted and peeled peppers, chunks of ham and shredded cheese all make great fillings. You can do all your prep work the day before if you like, but make sure the fillings come to room temperature before you start using them. That way the egg mixture won’t cool, plus it gives the cheese a fighting chance to melt.

3. Grab a smallish nonstick pan. A really seasoned iron skillet will do, too, but a nonstick skillet is easy. Heat the pan on medium-high. You want it to almost smoke. If it starts smoking, just pull it off the heat for a few seconds.

4. Put a bit of butter or oil in the pan. It might start browning immediately and that’s fine. Just don’t let it scorch. Most restaurant kitchens have clarified butter, which has a higher smoking point than regular butter. That’s ideal, but nothing to fret about not using.

5. Ladle the egg mixture into the pan. If you have a 4-ounce ladle, now’s the time to bust it out. If you don’t have one (and really, why would you?) you can use a 1/2-cup measuring cup. The egg mixture will probably start to bubble a little immediately. Don’t worry, it’s not burning – but it is cooking, and fast. So don’t get distracted.

6. At this point you can go one of two ways, both of which utilize a rubber spatula. 1. You can pick up the pan and twist and turn it while scooping the more cooked egg to the center and letting the runny egg rush to the outside of the omelet. Or 2. You can gently stir the egg with the spatula as it cooks. Ferzacca prefers this method because it’s just plain easier.

7. When the egg starts to set but is still glossy on top (30 seconds or so), run the spatula around the edge of the omelet and give the pan a hard shake. You want to make sure the omelet isn’t sticking to the pan. It should slide across the pan easily.

8. Now the fun part: start adding your toppings. Put in whatever you want, but only put it on half of the egg. Fold the empty side over the full side, and with a mere flick of the wrist tip the omelet onto the plate. The cheese will start to melt as soon as the egg is folded.

9. It bears mentioning that the classic French omelet is a tri-fold affair. There’s no reason you should try to mangle a perfectly good omelet in the privacy of your own home. A half-moon omelet tastes just as good as a tri-fold, and is much easier.

The Left Bank celebrates 50 years in Vail

Jean Michel Chelain, who grew up in the French Alps in Grenoble, France, started his 35-year culinary career in his teens and came to the states at age 26. He found Vail in late 1998 after being in Florida, California and the Midwest. He took over the Left Bank in 2006. (The Left Bank
Special to the Daily)

Five decades in a mountain ski town is a long time for a business, especially for a restaurant.

The Left Bank celebrates its 50th anniversary this season. The French eatery opened up on Nov. 24, 1970 to then-owners Luc and Liz Meyer. The Meyer’s were not only new to Vail, but new to America. Liz had grown up in Europe and Africa and Luc was raised in France. They met in the Bahamas of all places, got married in the Virgin Islands and came to Colorado on the recommendation of a friend they met there.

“We came to Colorado and visited Steamboat, Aspen, Breckenridge, Crested Butte and nothing felt as right as Vail did to start a French restaurant,” Luc said.

Things moved fast for the Meyer’s once they got to Vail in September of 1970. The birth of their first son came a few weeks after their arrival and they signed a deal to open a new restaurant just weeks after that. Although Luc had a friend working with him as a chef at the beginning, that chef’s wife did not like it in Vail and they moved shortly after he started.

“Claude quit and I came home and told Liz, ‘Today, you start. You are in charge,’ and we had 107 dinners that night,” Luc said.

Luc and Liz Meyer came to Vail in September of 1970 and opened up the Left Bank on Nov. 24, 1970. Luc was the executive chef and Liz ran the front of the house, hand writing the dinner menus each night. (Liz Meyer
Special to the Daily)

The Left Bank’s name is a nod to the Left Bank of the Seine River that flows through Paris and is known for its restaurants, boutiques, Musée d’Orsay and the Eiffel Tower. The menu back then featured classic French dishes like onion soup, escargot and coq au vin.

The couple worked hard and their efforts were recognized, especially once President Gerald R. Ford started coming to Vail for vacations in the 1970s.

“He always came to the Left Bank for his birthday on July 14. He liked the liver and the trout and he loved dessert, especially my homemade ice cream,” Luc said.

Not only would the president dine at the Left Bank but so would American politicians and foreign dignitaries like Henry Kissinger, Pierre Trudeau and Margaret Thatcher. Celebrities and world-class athletes came in as well. Robert Redford, Natalie Wood, Andy Warhol, John Denver, Bob Hope and the cast from “Charlie’s Angels” all have signed the guest book.

There were decades of success for the Meyer’s at the Left Bank, but eventually they knew they would want to pass it along to someone who could continue the legacy of this French restaurant in Vail. Jean Michel Chelain eventually became the perfect person to carry the torch.

Chelain, who grew up in the French Alps in Grenoble, France, started his 35-year culinary career in his teens and came to the states at age 26. He found Vail in late 1998 after being in Florida, California and the Midwest.

“I literally picked this place on a map,” Chelain said about coming to Vail. “I found out about the Left Bank two days before I was driving here.” The two Frenchmen bonded and Chelain landed his dream job.

“It was almost like an apprenticeship, working underneath Luc and Liz and learning the business and all the nuances that go with a restaurant, it was so valuable,” Chelain said.

“The restaurant was like Liz and Luc’s ’baby’ and they’d built it up to the point that it was not just about cooking food, it was also about being a good interpreter and to keep that legacy going for them,” Chelain said.

In order to maintain the tradition, Chelain also had to make it his own.

“There were big shoes to fill so the important thing when I took over was not to change everything. It was the Left Bank and that’s what we were going to do and little by little we would change a few things, reinvent and try to make it even better and try to appeal to the next generation,” Chelain said. “I’d start by doing specials and if people liked the dish, we’d put it on the menu.”

Left Bank chef-owner Jean Michel Chelain’s Dover Sole Meunière is served tableside and has become a signature dish at the Vail restaurant. (Left Bank
Special to the Daily)

“We always had Black Angus beef before, but now I’ve added waygu New York strip, or waygu Beef Wellington from a filet, and I can tell you, that is a super popular dish now, the ‘waygu Wellington,’” Chelain said. “But, even though we add new things, we still carry out traditional French techniques in the kitchen.”

In 2014, Chelain did a complete renovation of the Left Bank’s decor and brought in world-renown interior designer Katia Bates of Innovative Creations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bates, an Italian native, was the designer for Versace’s mansion in 2000 and in 2004. Bates was able to update the Left Bank and give it a brand new, light, fresh look with the use of blue hues and white leather and iron chandeliers with tiered glass and crystal drops.

The wine cellar is prominently showcased in the dining room behind large glass doors and glass walls. The artwork exhibits an airy feeling and the deep blue velvet and leather detail on the booths and pillows brings in a cozy yet chic feel. The Left Bank’s updated look is in a class of its own in the Vail restaurant scene.

In 2014, chef-owner Jean Michel Chelain did a complete renovation of the Left Bank’s decor and brought in world-renown interior designer Katia Bates of Innovative Creations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Bates, an Italian native, was the designer for Versace’s mansion in 2000 and in 2004. (Left Bank
Special to the Daily)

In addition to updating the restaurant and evolving the menu over the past 15 years, Chelain is also looking to the future. He wants more people to enjoy the Left Bank not only by dining in, but also by being able to bring a taste of the Left Bank home. Window by Left Bank is Chelain’s latest concept.

Window by Left Bank is a collection of ready-made menu items including the Left Bank’s legendary French onion soup and tomato soup. You can build the perfect meal by adding other favorites like escargot bourguignon in the shell or prime osetra caviar. There are also ready-made entrées that you can finish at home. Impress your dinner guests with Iberico bellota marinated pork lion or duck leg confit sous vide. You don’t have to let them know that chef Chelain did all the work.

Chelain, who is barely 50 years old himself, is still a bit in awe of this banner year for the Vail landmark.

“The Left Bank definitely didn’t achieve the 50-year mark alone. There have been many people involved over the decades. Tremendous dedication and understanding have gone into what this restaurant is all about. It’s the history, the quality and the special feeling people have the moment they dine with us. Our goal is to maintain the legacy while raising the bar of excellence in the 21st century,” Chelain said.

Left Bank is located on Gore Creek Drive in Vail. Visit www.leftbankvail.com for more information about the restaurant.

The Slope Room restaurant opens Friday, focusing on connection between regional farmers, ranchers

Sophisticated yet cozy, The Slope Room restaurant and bar pays homage to the intrigue and dangerous allure of the Old West with a decidedly modern twist on the traditional new American and steakhouse menu.

During this pandemic era, we frequently hear about businesses shutting down, so it’s particularity refreshing to hear of a new restaurant opening up. The Slope Room in Vail has arrived and aims to serve elevated, New American classics, while striking the perfect balance between elegance, style and rustic approachability.

The Slope Room is a part of Gravity Haus, which took over the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa a year ago. Gravity Haus is a globally conscious hospitality and experiential brand that is focused on the best of all worlds: hospitality, technology, sustainability, dining, wellness and outdoor adventures.

The Slope Room is located in the former Terra Bistro space, and Gravity Haus wants to invite all past and future guests in to see what’s new.

“For the team at Gravity Haus and Slope Room it has been incredibly important for us to carry on the decades-long legacy of Terra Bistro. Many of the Slope Room staff and servers had worked at Terra Bistro, and their excitement for Slope Room is palpable,” said Matt Windt, executive vice president of marketing and communications at Gravity Haus. “Throughout the new Slope Room concept we pay homage to one of the great restaurant spaces in all of Vail.”

When developing the menu, The Slope Room and Chef Alberto Soto didn’t intentionally create a signature dish or set of dishes.

“We wanted to bring the idea of ‘pasture-to-table’ to life. In turn, we created an entire signature restaurant that fully aligns with what Gravity Haus stands for by including options for all tastes and preferences,” Windt said.

The Gravity Haus bought the Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa a year ago. Gravity Haus Breck located in Breckenridge, debuted on December 8, 2019 and a third experience, Gravity Haus Winter Park, is scheduled to open in Spring 2021.

The restaurant will be open all day, serving coffee and breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., après ski from 3 to 6 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to close. Just looking at the menu makes you hungry. Try a breakfast burrito in the morning, a beet salad for lunch, Korean fried chicken wings for après ski and the Colorado lamb shank for dinner.

In the morning and during lunchtime, the space will be called Unravel Coffee. Unravel Coffee co-produces and imports straight from farms in Ethiopia and roasts in-house with a Bellwether zero-emissions roaster. Unravel Coffee invites diners to sit down and savor a cup of coffee or pick up some grab-and-go items when they are on the run.

The atmosphere is a blend of the rugged spirit of the Old West along with luxurious modern touches. To learn more, go to sloperoom.com.

Vail Mountain Coffee and tea opens new Beaver Creek location

Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company has a 7,150-square-foot facility along with a cafe in Minturn. Its new location is housed in the old Starbucks in Beaver Creek Village near the Beaver Creek lift ticket office and Coyote Cafe. (Special to the Daily)

If you’re looking for a cup of Joe on your way to the lifts at Beaver Creek, stop by Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company’s new shop in the village. The old Starbucks location now houses the local coffee roaster, which is based out of Minturn.

Founders Chris Chantler and Craig Arseneau started Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company in 1989 with the Daily Grind on Bridge Street. They built up a successful wholesale business and now have a 7,150-square-foot facility in Minturn. They added a cafe a couple of years ago to that location.

“Our goal with the cafe in Minturn was to create an authentic coffee experience inviting our customers inside our roastery and sharing our story and passion for coffee and tea,” Chantler said. “The cafe caught the eye of Vail Resorts as a potential coffee partner at Beaver Creek. I think Beaver Creek is trying build on the guest experience by offering a unique local coffee concept.”

The teams at Arrigoni Woods and European Wood Concepts offered their design experience to create the new look and feel of the Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea Company in Beaver Creek Village. (Special to the Daily)

Things moved fast, even during a pandemic, and Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company and Vail Resorts inked the deal in mid-September and the remodel started on Oct. 2. They opened for business on Nov. 13.

“A rather stressful six weeks for sure,” Chantler said. “We are so grateful to the team at Arrigoni Woods and European Wood Concepts for their design experience and the professional way they executed the remodel. Timing is everything and we are very excited to join the Beaver Creek community.”

At the new location, look for drinks that are more European in style.

“Craig and I have always wanted to showcase the coffee in our espresso drinks and not mask the flavor with various sweet flavorings and copious volumes of steamed milk,” Chantler said.

The cappuccinos will be more of European size made with a double shot and just 5 ounces of velvety milk foam layered on top. The Cortado and Flat White drinks on the menu will be served with the same philosophy. Mochas and traditional lattes will be offered in traditional sizes with the opportunity to flavor with both regular syrups and sugar free options.

For tea lovers, the shop sells 55 different loose leaf teas at the Minturn location. In Beaver Creek, they have edited the list to 12 of their top selling teas. Pair any of these drinks with fresh sweet and savory items baked on-site for breakfast, lunch and grab-and-go snacks throughout the day.

Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company will serve European-style coffees and various flavors of teas along with fresh-baked sweet and savory items. Look for hot craft cocktails coming in December. (Special to the Daily)

In addition to coffee in the morning, Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company is planning on serving hot drinks with alcohol once they receive their liquor license in a few weeks. Chantler says they also plan to offer a weekly cocktail on tap, micro beers and wine. The hot craft cocktails will feature spirits from local distilleries paired with their coffee, teas and Ghirardelli hot chocolate. Some of the creative cocktails include:

  • The Ullr Hot Chocolate — Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate with Ullr Peppermint Cinnamon Schnapps — guaranteed to create a few snow angles at après ski
  • The Grind Irish Coffee — Rock & Rye whisky, Irish cream, coffee with a hint of vanilla
  • Rock n’ Chai — Rye whiskey, Kummel steamed with Sherpa Chai
  • London Calling — Earl Grey tea with Fernet, dry Curcao honey syrup and oat milk.

The new Vail Mountain Coffee & Tea Company in Beaver Creek plans to be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. this winter. For more information, visit vailcoffee.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Warren Miller movie premiere, restaurant deals, art programs and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/13/20

America Recycles Day

America Recycles Day is Nov. 15 and Eagle County wants to help you understand the best ways to recycle every day of the year. According to the lovevail.org website, the current national recycling rate is 35% while the state of Colorado’s rate is 16%. The town of Vail recycling rate is 27%, just shy of the Eagle County rate of 28%.

Are you confused about what can and can’t be recycled? If the answer is yes, download the free Eagle County Waste Wizard app. The Recycling Guide will give you and your family the answers to all your recycling questions at your fingertips.

Walking Mountains Science Center has been counting down to America Recycles Day by offering tips and tricks to help you recycle right and manage your waste more sustainably. New tips are posted daily to its Sustainability Facebook page and Instagram stories (search for @walkingmtns). You can also send in your questions to @walkingmtns or tag #recycleright and the Walking Mountains Zero Waste team will answer your questions.  

If you want to ditch the single-use plastics, head over to Fill & Refill, a store in Edwards that is dedicated to reducing single-use plastic by selling many household items like shampoo and laundry detergent that are unpackaged. Simply bring in your own containers or purchase reusable containers at Fill & Refill and break the cycle of contributing to more plastic waste. More info can be found at fillandrefill.com.

On Friday, the town of Vail had planned to host a recycling event for paper shredding and electronic waste. Due to the rising COVID-19 cases in Eagle County, the town of Vail is postponing the event and it will be rescheduled when the COVID-19 case numbers have been lowered.

As an alternative, Eagle County residents can take electronics waste to the Eagle County Household Hazardous Waste facility in Wolcott. The facility is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. There is a small charge for electronics and Eagle County residents can deposit up to 20 items of household hazardous waste, such as paint, free of charge per visit.

Second Friday ARTwalk on Broadway

This weekend marks the second anniversary of the Second Friday ARTwalk, a monthly event held in downtown Eagle. The milestone won’t be marked by any grand celebrations due to COVID-19 restrictions, but you are still invited to stop by and support local artists and shops on Broadway and beyond on Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. by ordering takeout, getting gift cards and doing a quick shopping trip in the shops and galleries.

Founder and event organizer Tara Novak, owner of ARTSPaCE workshop and gallery, has been working hard throughout the pandemic to support local artists and small businesses that are a part of the Eagle community. Novak is currently working on uploading items by local artists for holiday gift ideas on artspaceworkshop.com to provide a resource for those looking to shop local this holiday season.  

The Vail Valley Art Guild will be holding a member exhibit on Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Visitors will be allowed to choose two free holiday greetings cards designed by artist Beth Levine. The Vail Valley Art Guild’s Gallery is located at 108 Second Street in Eagle.  

Even though the Broadway Promenade in downtown Eagle won’t be bustling with exhibitor tents and food trucks like it has in the past, browse the art galleries and stop by the restaurants for a quick bite or takeout or buy a gift card and support those places as well:

  • Bonfire Brewery’s 10th Anniversary Celebration – new chalk art reveal by Natalia Gray, live music with The Evolution from 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Katch of the Day Wine Bar – Frida Kahlo, Picasso, other assorted vintage art and wine specials
  • Owashi Sushi Kitchen – fine art exhibit and dining specials
  • Chics Couture – fall sale, local artisan jewelry
  • Everyday Outfitters – fall sale, home holiday decor and art prints

71st annual Warren Miller Movie Premier

Even though we are in the middle of a pandemic, it’s still stoke season and the 71st annual Warren Miller movie, “Future Retro,” is the official flick that kicks it off.

You read that correctly, 71 years of Warren Miller films. These films about winter skiing and snowboarding attract die-hard enthusiasts, aspiring wanna-be pro athletes and even those who may never step foot on the slopes this winter. The footage, music and commentary are that entertaining and iconic. And although you can’t watch this year’s movie on the big screen like in the past, you’ll still see the beautiful scenery, amazing athleticism and hear some of Warren’s famous quotes.

“Future Retro” features a cast of nearly two dozen of today’s most talented skiers and snowboarders that will take you to the slopes of Utah, Vermont, Montana and Alaska. International destinations include Switzerland, Iceland and Antarctica. For those of you missing the Birds of Prey World Cup Races at Beaver Creek this year, there is a segment from last year’s women’s World Cup race in Killington, VT.

Due to the pandemic, “Future Retro” is being premiered in locations across the U.S. over a three-week period via a streaming platform. Last Saturday, the East Coast got to view “Future Retro,” This Saturday, the Rocky Mountain Region can view it at 6 p.m. MST and next Saturday the West Coast will be able to see the film.

A ticket for the movie premiere costs $30 and that will accommodate one to four people on a single device. This ticket gives you and your three guests access to door prizes like ski gear, coupon codes and other swag. Have more than four who want access to the goods? Simply purchase more tickets to accommodate your viewers. You will have access to the event for up to 48 hours in case you can’t watch it Saturday or want to watch it again.

Olympian and long-time Warren Miller films narrator Jonny Moseley reprises his role in this year’s film and will kick it off with a virtual red carpet experience. Get your living room ready for the 71st annual Warren Miller movie with popcorn, “free” drinks from your own fridge and a comfortable couch. To purchase tickets or watch the movie trailer go to warrenmiller.com.

Cupcakes and Clay

Instead of Cupcakes and Canvas, Alpine Arts Center is hosting its Cupcakes and Clay event this Sunday from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Enjoy delicious cupcakes while creating a lasting piece of functional art. This week, the class will be creating platters for serving or as a decorative piece to display.

During the class, you will be provided with all the art materials to make the platter and the instruction and assistance you’ll need throughout your artistic journey. Start with a ball of clay and shape it into the desired platter you envision. This is the family-friendly version of Cocktails and Canvas, but those over 21 are allowed to purchase beer, wine or champagne from the Alpine Art Center for $6 each.

Go to alpineartscenter.org to make a reservation for the class. Tickets are $35 and include the cupcakes and all the art supplies. You can do the class virtually for $25, which doesn’t include the art materials, but you can buy art class kits online as well.

You may have seen information about the Social Arts Programs that the Alpine Arts Center is doing for the town of Vail this season. These are discounted classes for $20 due to support from the town of Vail, Alpine Bank, Holy Cross Energy and Vail Daily. This Friday’s trail map painting class is already sold out but inquire about a virtual class. More information can be found at alpineartscenter.org.

Off season deals

There are a few restaurants doing deals this time of year. Take advantage of the savings and treat yourself to a nice meal before the ski season starts and support local restaurants:

Northside Coffee & Kitchen:

  • All entrées $20
  • Specialty entrées:
  • Filet mignon, rib eye or prime rib $24
  • Lobster shrimp risotto $27
  • Thenorthsidekitchen.com

Hooked:

  • 20% off all appetizers and sushi
  • 20% off all whole fish and wine over $100
  • Available Sunday – Thursday
  • Must mention ad to receive the discount, dine-in only
  • Hookedbc.com

Route 6 Cafe and Bar:

  • Three courses for $21
  • First course: soup, chili, house or Caesar salad
  • Second course: choice of any entrée
  • Third course: chocolate brownie or apple tort a la mode
  • Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
  • Routesixcafe.com

Painting a full moon, a food drive, 10 years of beers and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 11/6/20

Cocktails and Canvas

If you’re not watching the big Clemson-Notre Dame football game on Saturday night, maybe Cocktails and Canvas is more your thing at Alpine Arts Center. Even if you don’t fancy yourself as an artist, you can still create something and you may even amaze yourself.

This week’s art project lets painters create a moonlit scene with a mountain backdrop. An Alpine Arts Center instructor will guide you through a step-by-step process on how to paint the full moon, stars, evergreen trees and a lake with a reflection on it.

Advance registration is required and you can do this from the comfort of your own home or in the studio. Visit alpineartscenter.org for options on how to register for an in-person class, which is $45 per person, or a virtual class. If you’d like to attend virtually through Zoom please select that option for $25. It excludes materials but class kits available for purchase online.

Saturday’s class starts at 6:30 p.m. and goes for about two hours. Beer and wine are available at Alpine Arts Center’s bar for $6. Soft drinks are available for purchase, too.

Congratulations to Alpine Arts Center for earning the gold medal for Best Art Gallery in the Vail Daily’s Best of the Vail Valley contest for 2020. View the entire list of top spots here.

Bonfire Brewing’s 10th Anniversary Party

Bonfire Brewing in Eagle turns 10 years old this weekend! To celebrate, this popular brewery is hosting a weeklong celebration with retro beer styles re-released to the public along with a commemorative pint glass, brewery tours, live music and more.

Stop by on Sunday to get your hands on a limited-edition pint glass that Bonfire Brewing is deeming a “Decade of Pints.” The artwork depicts the exterior of Bonfire Brewing’s location on Second Street in Eagle and shows the number of pints sold throughout the past decade.

Bonfire Brewing will be conducting tours of its production facility on November 12. Pre-register for the tours in advance as space is limited to four to 10 people per tour due to social distancing guidelines. Tours are free and are 45 minutes long.

Congratulations to Bonfire Brewing for earning the silver medal in the “Best Happy Hour” and “Best Brewery” categories as well as bronze in the “Best Patio” category in the Vail Daily’s Best of the Vail Valley contest for 2020.

Bonfire Brewing has decided to celebrate the occasion with a week full of events:

  • Sunday – Commemorative Glass Release, Chalkboard Art Revealed
  • Monday – Throwback Beer Release #1
  • Tuesday – Guess Your Flight Night and Throwback Beer Release #2
  • Wednesday – Specialty Slush Release #1
  • Thursday – Chambers Brew Tours and Throwback Beer Release #3 and Live Music: Lance Boyle and the Red Bottom Boys 6-9 p.m.
  • Friday – Throwback Beer Release #4, Specialty Slush Release #2 and Live Music: The Evolution from 6-9 p.m.
  • Saturday – Final Hurrah – Mug Club Auction, Prize Drawing, No. 10 Bottle Release and Live Music: Hardscrabble from 6-9 p.m.

For more information visit Bonfire Brewing’s website at bonfirebrewing.com and follow its social media accounts.

Giving with the Grooms Food Drive

In a few weeks, many families will be feasting on turkey and all the fixings during the Thanksgiving meal. But while many don’t feel the strife of food insecurity, it is a problem in the Vail Valley. To help get food into the hands of those in need, rock band The Runaway Grooms have stepped up to host a food drive.

Throughout the month of November, The Runaway Grooms is hosting “Giving with the Grooms” at various locations up and down the valley. Donate non-perishable goods or City Market gift cards at any of the drop-off sites. All donations will benefit the Vail Valley Salvation Army Food Pantry.

The Vail Valley Food Pantry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many more households needing assistance. According to the Vail Valley Salvation Army’s website, non-perishable food and hygiene items are needed. Non-perishable food items include canned soups, peanut butter, pasta and rice, canned vegetables, dried fruit, nuts and cereal. Hygiene items include soap, shampoo, toothpaste, lotion and toilet paper.

Drop off locations:

  • Bonfire Brewing
  • Vail Brewing Company – Eagle-Vail
  • Vail Brewing Company – Vail Village
  • Riverwalk Theater
  • Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy

The Runaway Grooms is hosting this food drive until the end of November. For more information, go to therunawaygrooms.com.

Colorado Snowsports Museum

Unlike other ski towns that were mining operations first, Vail was created because of the ski area. Vail started spinning its lifts for the public in December of 1962 and the town was erected around the slopes and was incorporated in 1966. This short yet impressive history is brought to life with the Colorado Snowsports Museum. The museum also houses artifacts and much more about the history of skiing in Colorado. 

Vail’s history has a lot to do with its past. Just south of Vail is Camp Hale. At one point, up to 14,000 soldiers were stationed there training with the 10th Mountain Division, the winter warfare unit of the U. S. Army during World War II. The Colorado Snowsports Museum has a full exhibit dedicated to the stories of the men of the 10th, complete with a movie called “Climb to Glory” that shares stories from that era, vintage footage from Camp Hale and the battles in Europe.

When the men of the 10th returned home after the war, many of them went into the fledgling outdoor ski industry as we know it today. One of the founders of Vail, Pete Seibert, was in the 10th Mountain Division.

In addition to information about the 10th Mountain Division, the Colorado Snowsports Museum houses Olympic memorabilia, the evolution of ski equipment, lost ski areas, the history of snowboarding and the Hall of Fame.

The Colorado Ski Museum’s Snowsports Hall of Fame includes an interactive touchscreen monitor display of information on the movers and shakers in the winter sports industry of Colorado. Each year, Hall of Fame candidates are nominated under the established criteria of Athlete, Sport Builder, Inspirational or Pioneer categories, with the Hall of Fame Nomination Committee evaluating and confirming the nominees to move onto the final ballot.

Join the Colorado Snowsports Museum on Tuesdays and Thursdays for a 60-minute Walking Tour in Vail. During the tour, the guide will relay how Vail became the town and resort it is today. The tour information dates back to when Vail was a remote area, accessed only by the Ute American Indians as a summer residence. The land around Vail was part of the Gold Rush and became home to ranchers and eventually became America’s number one ski resort. Learn the story of Vail and share it with others time and time again after you take this tour.

To join a tour, call (970) 476-1876 to make a reservation. Then, meet at the Colorado Snowsports Museum just before 11 a.m. to start the tour. Masks and proper social distancing are required on tours and in the Museum. Have a larger group? Private tours can be arranged outside of the Museum’s regular schedule. The Colorado Snowsports Museum’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For more information, view the website at snowsportsmuseum.org.

Avalanche dogs, Halloween costume contests, restaurant deals, live music and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 10/16/20

Live Music

The fall colors are still holding on and so are the nice temperatures. That weather will bode well for the live music offerings this weekend, many of which are outdoors.

Rewind Halloween Costume Party – Edwards – Saturday

Get your 80s costumes ready for an early Halloween show with 80s retro rockers Rewind, a cover band from Eagle County. Rewind will take the stage under the marquee at the Riverwalk Theater on Saturday night from 5 to 8 p.m. Check Rewind’s Facebook page for more details.

Pop-Up Street Music – Vail Village – Saturday

Shakedown Presents has more live music coming your way. This Saturday the stage will be in the Solaris Plaza. Scott Rednor, owner and musician at Shakedown Bar, has been hosting a series of outdoor concerts due to COVID-19 regulations that have kept his bar closed. Rednor has been working with the town of Vail to provide live music for free on the streets of Vail from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit shakedownbarvail.com.

Live music at Bonfire Brewing – Eagle – Friday and Saturday

Listen to the sounds of Motown, rock and folk music by Jen Mack, a long-time local who will play acoustic sets at Bonfire Brewing in Eagle on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. On Saturday, Brian Chinn takes the stage from 6 to 9 p.m. Axe Throwing is back with Wood & Steel Axe Company who will be hosting events every weekend in October. Don’t forget, Bonfire’s patio is heated. For more info, check out bonfirebrewing.com.

Kevin Danzig  – Vail – Saturday

Join Kevin Danzig for his eclectic mix of sounds and songs at the King’s Club Lounge at the Sonnenalp Vail. Enjoy the lounge atmosphere of the Bavarian-style hotel while listening to a variety of musical genres from folk to rock and some of Danzig’s originals from 7 to 10 p.m.

Meet Avalanche Dogs at Colorado Snowsports Museum

Dog lovers, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to meet Vail’s Avalanche Dogs and get some insights into photographer Scott Brockmeier’s latest book, “Skiers’ Best Friends.”

The Colorado Snowsports Museum in Vail will host Brockmeier and have a book signing from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday. Brockmeier traveled throughout the state of Colorado and got to observe these working dogs in action in his new book. The book will be available for purchase and so will the 2021 Avalanche Rescue Dog calendars.

A portion of the proceeds from the book and calendar sales will be made to the Avalanche Rescue Dog teams. Beer, wine and 10th Mountain Whiskey will be available for purchase during the book signing.

Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. For more information, call the museum at 970-476-1876.

“Purple Mountains”  movie at Riverwalk Theater

Professional snowboarder Jeremy Jones has been enjoying the steepest slopes and deepest snow all around the globe for decades. Now, he’s taking his experience and observations to the slopes and streets to meet the people to discuss climate change. “Purple Mountains” is an hour-long documentary that hopes to build dialogue to help people understand what can be done climate-wise in order to keep enjoying the great outdoors.

The Riverwalk Theater is hosting this documentary on Friday night at 7 p.m. Tickets are free thanks to the help of a former employee of the Riverwalk Theater and some businesses that stepped up to sponsor this event.

“A former employee of mine (who wanted to remain anonymous) reached out to me and wanted to bring this movie to the theater as a way to support our business and bring this specific message to our community given its subject matter,” said Grant Smith, owner of the Riverwalk Theater in Edwards. 

The former employee enlisted the help of Jeremy Lepore of Edward Jones, Alpine Quest Sports store in Edwards, Mid Valley Paint and Hemp Works Colorado, a sustainable wood material made from hemp stalks.

“It means a lot as a business to have groups like this stepping up to show the Riverwalk Theater support and especially for a movie like this that is meant to bring people together. This is 100% in tune with what we are trying to do at the Riverwalk Theater,” said Smith, whose mission is to have the Riverwalk Theater be a place where people can connect with friends and family.

Once again, tickets are free, but reserve yours now by contacting the Riverwalk Theater or by stopping by to reserve tickets. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the maximum capacity is 50 people. Come early and enjoy live music from 6 to 7 p.m. and happy hour specials including $10 chopped brisket sandwiches and $5 Vail Brewing Company Octoberfest lagers.

Back to the movie, expect to see scenic vistas you’d expect from any Jeremy Jones film, but also witness conversations with people on all sides of the issue. To learn more about “Purple Mountains”, view the website and trailer at www.purplemountainsfilm.com. To learn more about the Riverwalk Theater, go to riverwalktheater.com.

Gypsum Fun Fest

Get into the Halloween spirit at the Gypsum Fun Fest this Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. Costume contests, live music, food and more will be on hand along with a pumpkin weight-guessing contest.

The Gypsum Chamber is hosting this event with The Andrews Team of All Western Mortgage, which will be celebrating its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Stop by its new location and register to win a 58-inch flat-screen television that will be given away at 5 p.m. Neighboring Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Colorado Properties is co-sponsoring the event and many of the activities will occur on its lawn on the corner of Green Way and Highway 6 in Gypsum.

Dress up in your favorite Halloween costume for a chance to win prizes. Awards will be given for the best child and adult costume at 4 p.m. Kids will also receive a Halloween goodie bag. Register to win raffle prizes at the Gypsum Chamber’s registration table at the event. Raffle prizes will be given away at 2 and 5 p.m. Raffle prizes include six complimentary Sunny Pop lift tickets to Sunlight Mountain Resort and gift certificates for local businesses. Guessing the correct weight of the large pumpkin on display can earn you a prize, too.

Grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and other snacks will be provided at this celebration. Listen to live music by Mysterious Forces and enjoy family games on the lawn and the kids can burn off some energy in the Bounce House.

In case of inclement weather, tents and heaters will be in place and Vail Honeywagon has donated mobile hand-washing and sanitation stations for attendees. For more information go to gypsumchamber.org.

Restaurant and shopping deal cards

If you head down valley for the Gypsum Fun Fest, stick around and have a bite to eat at some of the restaurants that are participating in Gypsum Restaurant Daze. Get a Gypsum Restaurant Daze punch card at Gypsum Town Hall or any participating restaurant. During the month of October, stop by all of the 11 restaurants, get your card punched and once you’ve completed the punch card, drop it off at the dropbox outside the main entrance of Gypsum Town Hall by November 1.

Two winners with completed cards will be randomly selected in early November and each winner will get $300 in gift cards to Costco, Ridley’s and Ace Hardware.

Participating restaurants include Creekside Clubhouse & Grill, Turgeon’s, DJ’s + Dahlias, Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, Trigo Food Co., Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Tu Casa Coffee Shop, Spice of Life and Firebox. For more information to go townofgypsum.org

Access Unbound is offering a discount card as well. Access Unbound’s mission is to transform and heal the lives of people with disabilities or disabling conditions who qualify for its adaptive programs.

The Access Unbound Access Card will allow you to save 20% at many valley businesses and restaurants from now until Oct. 23. Buy the card online for $55 by going to au-accesscard.org. Check out the long list of businesses that are participating while you’re on the website, too. There are tons of great deals to be had, but hurry, the offer ends on Oct. 23.

Take advantage of the savings while helping Access Unbound reach their goal of providing funds for adaptive equipment, scholarships, instructor incentive programs and more.

A benefit for firefighters, Oktoberfest, pumpkin patch, pet blessings and more: Tricia’s Weekend Picks 10/02/20

Firefighters Tribute Festival

The smoke may have cleared and the fires contained, but the hard work and the dedication that local, regional and national firefighters went through this season got Dave Kraft thinking. Kraft, a valley local since 1981, decided he wanted to throw a benefit in honor of those who fought so hard to protect Colorado’s landscape.

“I drove the Turtle Bus for weddings, but COVID-19 reduced those trips, and then the fires reduced the Turtle Bus tubing trips we’d do on the river, so with that extra time on my hands, I decided to put together a benefit concert and that’s how the Firefighters Tribute Festival was started,” Kraft said of the event taking place Saturday.

Kraft started calling in favors and got the venue, entertainment and raffle prizes in the span of one month with zero budget. Stoneyard Distillery in Dotsero is providing its large venue for the event. They will also be pouring various drinks including daiquiris and pina coladas for $5. Stone oven wood-fired pizzas will be sold for $14 and the Turtle Bus is offering transportation from Vail, Avon, Edwards and Eagle for $30 round-trip.

Firefighters will get two complimentary drinks and a complimentary pizza. Kraft also wants to honor the firefighters with prizes. There is a free drawing for firefighters where they can win a marble fireman sculpture donated by Rex Branson of the Marble Institute in Marble; two nights lodging donated by the Four Seasons Vail; a guided snowmobile trip; and more.

Local musicians donated their talents for performances that will go on all day. Kraft will play with a collection of musicians in what he calls the Fireman Legacy Band, playing a mixture of classic rock, country and originals. Other artists include Primal J and the Neanderthals, Don Watson, John Dunn, the Al Maul Trio and Helmut Fricker will be there wearing lederhosen along with his companions Charlotte Bogert and Rupert Oberlohr. It’s a fantastic lineup of entertainment that appeals to many age ranges and crosses musical genres.  

The event goes from noon until dark, is free, the drinks are affordable and round trip transportation is $30, so take advantage of the beautiful setting for a good cause. If you’d like to contribute any raffle prizes or for more information, call Kraft at 970-977-9649 or email davekraft2018@gmail.com.

Vail Farmers Market & Art Show

This Sunday marks the last day you can buy products in person at the Vail Farmers Market & Art Show. A 20-year tradition, the Vail Farmers Market & Art Show modified its operations to comply with COVID-19 regulations in order to bring this event to the streets of Vail once again this summer.

Come and get your produce, but there’s also so much more at the Vail Farmers Market & Art Show. Housewares, soaps, candles, jellies, coffee and teas, clothing, books as well as art can be found each week. Instead of having 158 vendors as in years past, the market hosted 58 booths. This year, they implemented a virtual market, which will allow you to keep on buying vendor products throughout the offseason.

Although some of the farms’ crops suffered from a frost earlier this year and wildfires and road closures almost prevented them from getting to the markets, the peaches and other produce still eventually made it. 

“The fires and many other non-COVID-related issues made some of our Sundays different, however, we were able to have most of our vendors show up and they drove over five hours to get here from Palisade,” said Angela Mueller, organizer of the event. “We are glad now that we have pumpkins, squash and so many beautiful apples and pears available.” 

This year the market is providing time slots to get guests into the market to help with crowd control. You may still enter the venue without signing up for a time slot, but your wait to enter the venue might be a little longer, so plan ahead and schedule a time. Wear a mask and there will be plenty of hand sanitizer placed throughout the market. The Vail Farmers Market & Art Show goes from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. For more information on reservations or the virtual market, go to vailfarmersmarket.com.

Oktoberfest at Ein Prosit

Last weekend, Beaver Creek hosted Septemberfest, which gave event-goers a taste of Bavarian fare, beer and music. This weekend, Ein Prosit in Avon wants to help you get your oompah on by hosting its own version of Oktoberfest on Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Ein Prosit already carries a variety of authentic German brews on a daily basis, as well as pretzels and traditional and exotic sausages. Try the wild boar with apricots and cranberries or the pheasant mushroom and parmesan sausage. 

This two-day event will have live music as well. They’re not quite the lederhosen guys you’d expect to find at an Oktoberfest celebration, but the Runaway Grooms may throw out a yodel to get the crowd going on Saturday night. On Sunday, Those Austrian Guys will take the stage and with a name like that, don’t be surprised if you find yourself dancing to the “Chicken Dance” after a few brewskis. Check out Ein Prosit’s Facebook page or go to einprosit.net for more details.

Eagle Ranch Pumpkin Patch

Fall is here and along with the autumn colors, cozy sweaters and pumpkin spice lattes, it’s time to get your pumpkins for the season. Grab one to adorn your doorstep or a dozen for pumpkin decorating with the family.

The Eagle Community Gardens will once again host its annual fundraiser in Eagle Ranch on Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Brush Creek Park and Pavilion in Eagle Ranch. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Eagle Community Gardens is issuing tickets and time slots for parties of up to eight people.

Tickets are available on EventBrite and you will be given time slots to choose from once you are in the reservation and purchasing system. Reservations are from 9:30 a.m. until noon. Walk-ins are welcome from noon until 2 p.m. Don’t worry, word has it that they will still have a good selection of pumpkins past noon, too.

Each reservation per party costs $5.50 and it includes a small “pie” pumpkin. Once you are in the pumpkin patch, pick out your pumpkins, which will cost between $5 and $10 each.

In addition to finding that perfect pumpkin, there will be a pumpkin maze to go through and an area set up for photographs. Bring your own camera and create a memorable memento of the season. Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions the usual fair activities won’t be happening this year, but the playground will be open.

Blessing of animals

Does your pet need to be blessed? On St. Francis Day this Sunday you can bring your pet to Edwards to be blessed in honor of this patron saint of animals. In early October, people all over the world will celebrate St. Francis Day, for Saint Francis of Assisi.

Bring your furry friends down to the Freedom Park recreational dog area on the east side of the pond in Edwards. There, Pastor Scott Beebe of Mount of the Holy Cross Lutheran Church will be conducting blessings. It’s not just limited to dogs, all creatures large and small are invited to come with their owners whether by foot, bike or even a drive-by blessing can be conducted.

For more information, call 970-471-3563 or view the website at mountholycross.org.