Carnes: Always carefree at the GRB |

Carnes: Always carefree at the GRB

For over 20 years it has been THE place to go in Edwards.

The Gore Range Brewery has supplied food for the hungry, beer for the thirsty, booze for the thirsty who for some inexplicable reason don’t like beer, and the perfect environment to enjoy all three seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

Closed only on Thanksgiving Day for decades, now the legendary institution has closed for good, and Happy Valley has bid adieu to another in a long line of treasured gathering places.

But don’t be sad, for as the saying goes, “All’s well that ends well,” and to say the GRB ended on a good note is the ultimate understatement.

Not to say that it ended with a Shakespearian flair (that’s far too dramatic), but two decades’ worth of loyal customers arrived to say goodbye. There were so many, in fact, that they flowed out onto the back patio in spite of the temperature just to give Chef Pascal and the rest of the GRB staff a proper farewell.

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Did we exceed fire code for occupancy that night? Sure, probably, but that’s all beer under the bridge at this point anyway.

After being open for a decade, the GRB was purchased in 2011 by two local friends, Russell Molina and Pascal Coudouy, and they transformed a brewery burger joint into, well, into something this valley had never seen before.

A James Beard Award-winning, Parisian bourgeois style of cooking French chef who prepared food for world leaders at the United Nations while having his own restaurant in the heart of New York City (with his lovely wife, Carol) and spent over a decade as executive chef of the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek owning and running a brewery burger joint?

Were we going to see escargot, quiche and Croque Monsieur on the menu?

Yes, yes we were, and so much more.

The completely new menu was an immediate hit, garnering new loyal customers with each visit, and the return of the Great Sex Honey Lager didn’t exactly put a damper on things either.

The Gore Range Brewery thrived like never before.

In addition to the food, brews, and an all-around fun place to hang, the GRB had a softball team, a bowling team, even a golf team (a facetious use of the word “team” if there ever was one) and produced a special “Beaver Logger” for the Vilar Performing Arts Center to help celebrate the 2015 World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek.

And about 10 days ago it all came to an end. Why, you might ask?

Although still strongly connected to Happy Valley, the Molina and Coudouy kids are grown and gone, and when opportunity knocked, they answered.

We’ve seen it happen many times around here.

But I’ve never seen Russell and his always smiling wife, Allison, as happy as they are right now, and as many of you know, Pascal and Carol are two of the closest friends my wife and I have.

Their roots run deep; neither are going anywhere anytime soon.

But a place is just a place, a building, a bar, a restaurant, but the people in the place are what made the GRB special. Friends became customers, customers became friends, and with the never-ending help of staff members like Sean, Erin, Patrick, Hannah, Alondra, Ocho (just to name a few), the GRB became a carefree familiar place to relax, have a good meal, a good beer and meet up with good friends.

So cheers to all involved, and a sincere “au revoir” to the GRB. We’re gonna miss ya.

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