Winter Park transit center with new brewery, coffee shop nears completion |

Winter Park transit center with new brewery, coffee shop nears completion

A rendering of the what the outside patio of Big Trout Brewing Company will look like. Around the corner guests will be able to catch a Lift bus, buy a coffee or check transit schedules.
Courtesy Big Trout Brewing Company

Winter Park’s new transit center, along with accompanying brewery and coffee shop, could be opening its doors as soon as February, according to town officials.

On Tuesday, Winter Park Town Council approved a $145,000 sidewalk snowmelt system for the area surrounding the transit center, which is going in the first level of the Vasquez Street parking garage near Cooper Creek.

“It was determined to be in the town’s best interest to install snowmelt systems in the sidewalks thereby improving the overall customer experience and reducing the potential for people slipping and falling,” Town Manager Keith Riesberg said at the Tuesday meeting. “The goal is end of February for completion… ideally we want to have this done in time for Spring Break visitors.”

Construction crews finished up the drywall in December and are working on finishing the floors and building out the inside.

Once open, the 5,500 square foot center will serve as a hub for the Lift bus system, as well as offer Amtrak tickets and, in 2021, it will be the destination of the Denver to Winter Park Bustang route, according to Michael Koch, transit manager.

Other amenities will include a patio, public restrooms, a trash area, building storage and a bike washing station.

Following the opening of the transit center, Big Trout Brewing Company is aiming for an opening date in March, according to co-owner Tom Caldwell. The steam boiler is getting installed in the space currently and Caldwell plans to get the brewhouse in next. 

A rendering of what the inside space of Big Trout Brewing Company will look like.
Courtesy Big Trout Brewing Company

“We’re hoping to start brewing the second week in February or somewhere around there,” Caldwell said. “It will probably be four or five (taps) when we open, but we will be rolling out beers weekly.”

The brewery will eventually offer 10 standard taps, 5 rotating or seasonal taps and five non-alcoholic beverages, such as rootbeer and spritzers. It will also have a menu of appetizers, salads, small pizzas and sandwiches, as well as wine and spirits.

For guests’ breakfast or caffeine needs, the center will also be home to a new location of the Granby-based Lion Head Coffee, which roasts its own beans locally and offers breakfast staples like burritos and pastries.

Owner Lucas Harville said the coffee shop is trying to match its timeline up with Big Trout Brewing and aims for a March opening date.

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