New business serves up fresh donuts, artisan gelato in downtown Grand Lake
Grand Lake’s restaurant scene got a whole lot sweeter this spring with the opening of Lulu City.
Serving up classic summer staples and mountain morning favorites with a distinctly Italian flair, Lulu City dishes out coffee and donuts to early risers and offers a wide selection of house made gelatos and sorbettos throughout the day.
The business was developed and opened by Debbie and Cameron Fitch and Jonah Landy, owners and operators of one of Grand Lake’s other popular eateries, Squeaky B’s.
Lulu City, located on Grand Avenue directly east of Bob Scott’s Authentic Indian Jewelry, held a soft opening in late April and, beginning this week, they plan to open permanently.
The new business will be open Thursday through Sunday for the first two weeks, after which it will open full-time, year-round.
The idea to open Lulu City developed organically after Debbie Fitch attended a cooking school studying ice cream production as part of her preparation for the opening of Squeaky B’s. At that school, Fitch and Lulu City’s head chef Lydia Lepper, found a passion for the unique Italian treat known as gelato.
“We came back madly in love with gelato,” Fitch said.
Gelato is a frozen Italian dessert that is significantly different from but analogous to ice cream. It features a much lower butterfat content than traditional ice cream and is typically served at a slightly warmer temperature making for a product that is creamier on the pallet than air-whipped ice cream. Fitch even ordered specialty equipment direct from Italy for the new venture.
“We wanted it to be very authentic,” Fitch said. “Artisan gelato is gorgeous in presentation, delicious and really fun to make.”
As Fitch and her family began to consider the possibility of opening another business in the Grand Lake area, the idea of a gelato shop became something they could not ignore. In an effort to take their product to the next level Fitch said she brought two Italian gelato masters out to Grand County to help Lulu City develop specialized recipes for gelato making at high altitudes.
Lulu City will offer an extensive selection of gelatos and sorbettos, with a heavy emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. The shop offered two dozen different varieties during their soft opening event.
Flavor selections at Lulu City will be mixed up and changed on a frequent basis though some, such as chocolate and pistachio, will likely become featured staples. Fitch said she is already looking forward to creating a house-made Palisade Peach sorbetto once the popular Colorado fruit comes into season this summer.
Along with gelato and sorbetto offerings, Lulu City will also be serving up fresh house-made donuts and classic Italian-style coffees such as espresso and cappuccino.
The shop’s name, Lulu City, is an homage to the history of the Grand Lake area. Lulu City is one of Grand County’s historic mining ghosts towns and can be found near the headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park.
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