Eagle Ranch is starting to pop | VailDaily.com

Eagle Ranch is starting to pop

EAGLE — Two Eagle Ranch businesses benefited from good timing and willing landlords earlier this summer and the result is larger digs for a popular pub and a new coffehouse for local residents.

No sooner had 7 Hermits Brewing moved out of its location at 717 Sylvan Lake Road than the new Color Coffee Roasters pounced on the spot. Now both operations are reporting brisk business in spaces that can accommodate their workings.

Matt Marple opened 7 Hermits Brewing on Feb. 2, 2014 — the date of a particularly heartbreaking Denver Broncos Super Bowl appearance that is best forgotten. But before long, the pub — which includes both a restaurant operation and an on-site production facility — had outgrown the space.

"Matt needed to expand and he look at the space next door but it didn't work for him," noted Carol Glasson of Wright Development Company, the building landlord.

In fact, Marple looked at many, many spaces that didn't work for him.

"I still wanted to stay in Eagle Ranch," he said. "But production changed the whole face of this business. Every month the brewing operation was creeping further and further out front."

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After looking at storefronts from Vail to Gypsum, Marple found what he was looking for at he corner of Capitol Street and Founders Avenue. The building that formerly housed a retail store was a perfect fit for his business. In fact, the building itself had originally been planned as a restaurant so at 4,300 square feet it was large enough to accommodate Marple's brewing and canning operations. What's more there is a large dining room and outdoor deck for patrons.

"I love rolling up to that corner over the weekend. That corner is popping," said Marple.

While he was excited to set up shop in the new space, Marple admitted some trepidation about leaving the Sylvan Lake Road location.

"I put a lot of effort into the space," he said. "I was really happy when Clark (Gundlach, one of the principals for Color Coffee Roasters) came in to see about the space."

Brewing a plan

"Matt set the table for us nicely," said Gundlach. "When we heard Matt was seeking a bigger space, it just clicked."

Gundlach said the concept behind Color Coffee Roasters isn't just to be a coffeehouse. It's a new hybrid — a roastery — that functions similarly to the way craft brew pubs have set up shop around the nation. In addition to serving coffee and food at the front end of the business, Color Coffee Roasters is producing craft coffee on site, which it sells by the bag and plans to distribute to restaurants and cafés around the valley.

Because of 7 Hermits, the Sylvan Lake Road building had the mechanical systems necessary to operate the roastery. So, instead of an empty shell, the building already has a tenant who needs the physical structure available on site.

New vibrancy

With Castle Peak Senior Living slated to open in late September, Yoga Off Broadway relocated to the area and 7 Hermits/Color Coffee flip, the Eagle Ranch Village is seeing an activity upswing.

"You know, businesses come and businesses go everywhere," said Glasson. She noted the 2008 recession hit just about the same time the village was ready for occupancy so its been a bit slow finding tenants. Eagle Ranch Wine and Spirits and the Capitol Theater have anchored the site for years and later John Shipp built The Dusty Boot building and took over the space across the street to open Luigi's Pastahouse. With that foundation now established, Glasson said the village is positioned to break out.

"The word about this area is permeating outside of Eagle," said Gundlach.

"This area is more vibrant now," agreed Marple. "We get people every day from upvalley who never came down here before."