When Steamboat locals Adam Feiges and Cam Boyd purchased the iconic Victorian-style building on 7th street in 2020, formerly housed by Off the Beaten Path and then the Ghost Ranch, they knew they wanted to do something that was community-focused but also uniquely special. “This building is a staple in Steamboat, so we wanted to come up with something interesting and unique for the community, but also something that would stick,” says Sarah Boerger, Business Developer and General Manager of The Commons.
When the pandemic hit, it gave the new owners more time to come up with the perfect formula. They knew it would be challenging for a local business to make it in such a large space and began thinking about ways to instead support multiple business owners, and that’s when lightning struck. “We saw an opportunity with food halls, which have been growing in popularity in urban centers like Denver. We started looking at what different buildings and spaces were able to accomplish with this concept. It was an evolutionary process for sure,” says Boerger.
The owners agreed the food hall concept would provide an opportunity for six small business owners with a smaller entry into the market and create a space that is community focused. “From the very beginning, we just wanted to make sure we could do something for the Steamboat community, which evolved into this,” Boerger says.
The next step was figuring out how to curate the right types of businesses, a process that required some creative networking and dialogue. “We definitely wanted to find food concepts that were unique to Steamboat and to create opportunity for small local business owners who are looking to expand,” Boerger says.
The lineup will include everything from a Spanish café and Jamaican food to poke bowls, with five locally owned and one from Breckenridge. The Commons Bar will be the centerpiece of the main level, owned and operated by Justin Keys, owner of The Barley Tap and Tavern. He’ll be expanding the extensive lineup of beer and wine on tap to include handcrafted cocktails with a special menu of lunchtime cocktails with lower alcohol content. Three hot food vendors will also take up residence on the far end first floor, including Poke the Bear, serving up ramen and Hawaiian-style poke dishes, Sizzlin’ Jamaican, dishing up Jamaican food, and Yield, offering sustainably sourced grain bowls that can be modified to accommodate any dietary restrictions, from gluten free to vegan.
The three-story, 7,200-square-foot building lent itself to interesting seating and outdoor configurations with a wide variety of options from high top bar-style tables and outdoor patio seating to lounge-style deep upholstered couches and even more private, intimate spaces for meetings and small parties.
Clyde’s Pies, a locally owned wood-fired pizza joint formerly operated out of a food truck, will occupy the lower level with an alley walk-up that will have an exterior bar that overlooks the kitchen. The main level will also have a 12-foot accordion door for an indoor/outdoor experience, and tall bar top community tables will foster that interactive brewpub-style experience. The mezzanine has more relaxed seating, featuring a 27’ banquette and a few comfy tucked-away spaces.
“We were really determined to utilize the uniqueness of the building to create seating and energies that allow all kinds of people, whether you’re with your family or with a friend or work meeting or on a first date, you have an opportunity to find your spot based on what you’re looking for,” says Boerger. “We also wanted to make sure our food offering was totally unique. It’s all really exciting because there’s nothing else like it in Steamboat.” The Commons is open January 16th 2023. //steamboatcommons.com