New restaurant opening at Winter Park Resort base village to embody mountain lodge atmosphere
Rippy's Mountain Tavern to offer American street food inspired menu, community atmosphere
What: Rippy's Mountain Tavern
Where: Winter Park Resort, 120 Parry Peak Way, Winter Park
When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. or midnight, depending on the season
More info: https://www.winterparkresort.com/things-to-do/dining
It has been almost a year since Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. was evicted from Winter Park Village, but the space finally has a new tenant that hopes to embody the mountain lodge atmosphere.
Rippy’s Mountain Tavern, scheduled to open this summer, will be a full service tavern serving a variety of American street food in an upscale, cozy, community environment.
“We’re excited to be a part of (the resort) and build something that we can all share in,” said Scott Johns, co-owner and marketing and design director for Rippy’s Mountain Tavern.
Johns explained that the name and inspiration for the restaurant comes from classic ski-holes, where resort-goers can gather after a long day “ripping it down the mountain.”
In keeping with that inspiration, Johns said the atmosphere of the tavern will be more residential and offer space for large groups, as well as having a living room style seating area near the bar.
“(Resort guests) need a place to go to after their day on the mountain is over and joke about or brag about their day on the mountain,” he said. “You’ve got to have that place to do that and Rippy’s is going to become that place, I believe, where stories will be told, laughs will be had and great food will be served.”
Guests will be able to choose from small plates and apres options, such as buffalo roulette wings or Colorado wild game nachos, to full meals, including sandwiches, salads, tacos and seafood options. Specialty dishes, a kid’s menu and seasonal menus will also make an appearance.
Johns described the flavors as a culinary take on street food with plenty of options for any kind of foodie. He added that the tavern will be using locally or regionally sourced ingredients wherever possible.
“It’s raised up a level from bar food,” he said. “The spirit is in the vein of being up in the mountains and being a place of destination for a vacation or a staycation.”
As the name suggests, Rippy’s will also include a large selection of beers, wines and whiskeys. Johns said the restaurant will likely offer between 10 to 12 drafts, including local brewery options, and that they are planning to offer a signature cocktail and craft drinks.
However, even though there will be a bar component, Johns said the goal was to still be family-friendly, citing the Farmhouse at Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton.
“They cater to a drinking crowd, but also caters to families really well,” Johns said. “You cater to a lot of different demographics at that point and I think that’s what we find on the mountain is a wide range of demographics from kids on up to travelers and people from town.”
Rippy’s will also be taking full advantage of its patio space to set up a smoker or grill, offer live music, participate in Village events and provide more options for private events and special engagements.
“We really want to create a space (…) for those special engagements and those big parties and I think that’s where our space will really shine,” he said.
Johns, along with his partners at RMT Group, LLC, a Denver-based equity group that owns Rippy’s, are familiar not only with Winter Park Resort as avid passholders, but also have restaurant industry experience.
Partner Bobby Monturo, a chef and restaurateur, owns and manages seven restaurants around the country, including Bar 802 at Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont. Partners Drew Lacy, David Grissom and Scott McCormick all have backgrounds in commercial real estate in the Front Range and mountain towns of Colorado.
Ultimately, the group’s goal is to create a restaurant where everyone wants to be.
“We really want to bring in the community because that’s what makes the sense of home is when people pick their top places of where they want to settle for the night,” Johns said.
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