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Business: Maverick’s Grille to open Monday

by Cyndi Palmer
Eric Geminhardt, right, and other members of the Maverick's Grille staff roll silverware Friday in preparation for the restaurant's opening today in Granby. (Photo by Byron Hetzler)
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After being closed for more than a year, the Spur Restaurant’s doors will reopen ” this time, run by a new family excited to offer up a family-style restaurant they’ve named Maverick’s Grille.

The building, built in 1933, has a long history, which includes serving as a lettuce warehouse. The latest incarnation will open Monday, Oct. 8.

Maverick’s will serve lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. every day.

The establishment’s bar will remain open until 10 p.m., unless circumstances necessitate a later close, like “the Broncos going into double overtime.”

Co-owner Sean Richardson said he and his father, Dennis, picked the name Maverick’s because the word inspires visions of a runaway steer, which encompasses their idea of a family steakhouse with a little “wild” thrown in. It also fits a story Sean heard of a cowboy riding his horse through the building long ago.

The father and son team are heading up the venture. Before the Grille, Dennis earned an MBA in accounting and finance and spent his career in communications product development.

Sean graduated from Colorado State University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a certificate in entrepreneurship.

The Grille will open through the efforts of the entire Richardson family. Dennis’ wife, Pat, a school district legal affairs director, has been available for various legal counsel; and their other son, Matt, and daughters, Jennifer and Kelly, have also been key components to getting the place ready for business.

Matt is in his first year of law school at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. Jennifer is a senior at Air Academy High School in Colorado Springs ” the family’s hometown. Kelly is a journalism major at CSU.

“(Opening this restaurant) means so much because we love Grand County,” Pat said. “We’ve always loved coming up there. I’m very proud of the boys because they’ve been working hard. It’s exciting, because it’s been one of Sean’s dreams for a long time. It’s nice to see his dream come true. With every opportunity, there comes some challenges, but I think they’ll be able to handle it. They’ve felt very embraced by the friendly folks up there.”

The family started visiting Grand County almost a decade ago and has owned a cabin near Lake Granby for about eight years. They come up to ski, hike and fish, and Sean and his brother worked several summers up here.

Ever since he was a child, Sean expressed his desire to his dad to one day run a restaurant. Sean had been a restaurant manager before, as well a cook and bartender.

“I’ve done a lot in the restaurant business,” he said, “but it’s always been a dream of mine (to own one) ” an interesting challenge.”

Once he graduated from college, Sean and his dad started to shop around Grand Lake, Winter Park, and at several Front Range locations for the perfect restaurant opportunity.

When Sean and Dennis heard about the Spur back in April, the two jumped at the chance.

“We loved the potential,” Sean said. “The rooms offer casual dining, the back bar had great seating, and there was a lot of possibility.” He also said the prime location near the town hall, post office, and library were also important, as well as the large keg cooler, impressive tap system with its old-fashioned keg slough and refrigerated tap lines up to the bar.

Sean said those last three features will allow the business to showcase up to nine Colorado microbrews.

The team also liked the large patio and the possibilities it offered. Distant future dreams for this space include an expanded deck to host live music, and maybe an extension of the tap system to the deck.

The menu will offer “American food with a Colorado twist,” prepared by Executive Chef Daniel Mata who trained in Europe and brings with him almost 30 years of culinary experience.

“My style is global,” he said, “based on local ingredients.”

“We’re really into the local businesses, using as much local product as we can,” Sean said, including items from Morales Farms and Granby Dairy.

“The menu will expand as we grow,” Mata explained, with as many fresh ingredients as possible. Entree highlights include chicken, trout and game dishes; as well as a few requested family-member favorites; “without being super fancy,” Dennis said. His favorite tender and crispy ribeye steak, marinated in pale ale, will be available as a special now and again.

Pat requested an artichoke dip, a recipe she’s famous for with some additions. Sean wanted chicken, marinated in brown sugar, whiskey and sage, grilled for a smoky flavor. Sister Kelly wanted to see a chicken Caesar salad on the menu, and Jennifer is the sweet tooth of the family and quite an accomplished baker. He said to look out for a possible mud pie or Jennifer’s cookies. Matt’s favorites include what he calls the “Danger-Zone” double-bacon cheeseburger, and extreme nachos he calls “Bronchos.”

The Richardson Family will host official Grand Opening festivities and specials on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20 and 21. The celebration will kick off with the ceremonial ribbon cutting with the Greater Granby Area Chamber of Commerce before doors open for lunch at 11 a.m. and round out with a Broncos game that Sunday evening.

Maverick’s Grille has a new lounge or waiting area at the back of the bar, complete with a new gas stove. This back area boasts about a half dozen high-definition flat-screen TVs spread throughout the place, including a 65- and 32-inch in the lounge areas, so it’s a perfect place to catch the game.

The Richardsons also invite anyone to help add to the new, warm ambiance of the place. With its extensive history, residents are encouraged to offer up any old photographs which may be framed for display, or share stories about its wild history.

“People definitely have ties to this location,” Sean said. “The community has been incredibly supportive.”

Maverick’s Grille is located at 15 E. Agate in Granby. For information or directions, call (970) 887-9000 or visit http://www.mavericksgrille.com.


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