New eatery focuses on freshness, honors Grand Lake history
GRAND LAKE — Grand Lake’s newest eatery, Squeaky B’s, opened last week just in time for summer’s high tourism season, and while the upscale, fast-casual burger joint, with its focus on fresh farm to table ingredients, is just starting to establish roots in the mountain community it is steeped in town history.
Squeaky B’s is owned by Colorado rancher Deborah Fitch and her son Jonah Landy, a recent graduate of Colorado State University. For the mother and son duo their new business venture in Grand Lake is the realization of a long process that started with Fitch’s foray into cooking school.
“I was a vegetarian my whole life and I couldn’t cook. I couldn’t boil water,” Fitch joked. “I did a year of cooking school. I went from not cooking to cooking and from being a vegetarian my whole life to eating meat, to now raising grass fed beef.”
Fitch and her family operate a ranch and farm near Franktown and began growing many of their own vegetables at home. It was that way of life and style of eating that inspired them to open their own restaurant, where the focus would be on Colorado-raised quality beef and other ingredients, a farm to table delivery system for produce and fresh, made-to-order food.
“We wanted to be able to provide that at an affordable price,” Fitch said. “It is a take on farm to table and being able to have that fresh, quality food.”
Fitch was very proud of the provenance of Squeaky B’s ingredients. According to Fitch, the beef from their hamburgers comes from a ranch in Colorado. Their produce currently comes from farms throughout the state, though Fitch said that might change in winter months. All food served up at Squeaky B’s is made to order, Fitch said, from the burgers and brats to salads and sides, including hand-cut French fries. Their menu also includes a list of unique milkshakes from the salted caramel apple pie to the cotton candy milkshake.
The restaurant’s unique name is an homage to Squeaky Bob Wheeler, one of Grand Lake’s early residents who opened up a lodge in the space now occupied by Squeaky B’s. When Fitch and Landy were first digging into remodeling work on the property earlier this year, they were kicking around several potential names for their future restaurant.
“We found this picture of Squeaky Bob in the kitchen,” Fitch explained. “We started doing research and discovered he was a character. He was a really good cook and evidently had a wonderful personality. We learned that the first restaurant in this building was Squeaky Bobs.”
The discovery of the history of their new location coupled with the unique character that was Squeaky Bob seemed like the perfect fit for the restaurant.
“We thought we would do a little spin on it and bring the history of Grand Lake back,” Fitch said. “Grand Lake is full of history and charm and that is what I love about it. To restore just a little bit of that, we thought it would be appropriate.”
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