Fraserites wind up in The Ditch
April 10, 2012
“Ditch,” Richard “Scotti” Smit, whichever friends prefer, is the power force behind Fraser’s newest eatery that opened on Dec. 7 and has already grown a significant following from both locals and visitors alike.New Mexico-select roasted green and red chilies are the guests of honor in an array of menu items, from breakfast burritos smothered in the heavenly green chili, to the famous Ditch burger. Add some Christmas cheer and smother with both the red and green chili.Smit’s family found a company that roasts the chilies to a high standard. Around harvest-time, his family stems, de-seeds and roasts them in a commercial facility in Denver. “Nothing is from a can,” Smit said. It had been his dream to offer up a place that was affordable, specializing in New “Mexicanesque” fare. Local friends from the Fraser Valley had adored his green chili and enthusiastically encouraged him to share the specialty. He has lived here, skiing with friends, for years and had looked at a handful of spots in the area for a restaurant. The structure that once served the community as the Sub ‘n’ Shake, Fraser Brazier, and most recently Timberline Thai, was freestanding and in a great location. It had a cool, classic feel with great roadside appeal, a “building deserving of a whole lot of attention.” With his 1993 degree from the University of New Mexico, he landed jobs at some of the finest restaurants on the Front Range. From waiter to expeditor to head manager, he honed his diversity at all business levels. After working for Brinker International, he met wife Robyn working for the Denver Chophouse, which hired him to open a new chain in Washington, D.C.The Ditch is a family affair. Robyn and Scotti’s two sons Keegan, 12, and Brayden, 8, and Scottie’s sister Tammie Smit’s daughter Jaycee Rogers, 14, lend a hand on weekends. While finishing up his GED studies, Tammie’s son Avery, 17, adds to the laid-back atmosphere on a more regular schedule. Service is available on all heat/spice (or low-to-no-spice) levels, through indoor seating or a walk-up window.