New restaurant and bar opening this winter in iconic Tugboat building
Steamboat Springs — Chad Gagliano is salvaging The Tugboat Grill & Pub this winter and bringing back some energy to Ski Time Square.
When music and beer return to the iconic restaurant building near the base of Steamboat Ski Area, the new establishment fittingly will be known as The Wreck.
“We want to turn the lights on again for the locals,” Gagliano said Tuesday as he shared the vision for his new restaurant and bar. “It’s been stagnant up there in Ski Time Square, and it’s been frustrating to drive by and see a lot of hard work and good times up there gone.”
Gagliano, who spent eight years running restaurants and bars in Ski Time Square only to see them suddenly razed and converted into a grass lawn, has been working hard for a long time to return to the helm of a restaurant on the mountain.
“It feels like home up there on the mountain,” Gagliano said. “Eventually, Ski Time Square is going to be something again, and I’d love to be a part of that when it happens. I guess this is a pathway, and hopefully I’m going to be a part of rebuilding it.”
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Gagliano still is working out some details of the new restaurant, including what food concept will be offered. He said he is working to finalize a partnership with an existing local restaurant to offer the food at The Wreck.
He guarantees the restaurant will be affordable and family friendly. It also will feature live music and entertainment.
“We want this place to have a good, local feel,” Gagliano said.
He said he’s aiming to open The Wreck sometime between Christmas and Jan. 1, and the establishment will have a lot of the Tugboat feel still inside it.
Gagliano brings years’ worth of restaurant experience to the new location. From 2001 to 2008, he owned Levelz, Wired and Lupos Sports Bar & Pizzeria in Ski Time Square. He also has served as general manager of Slopeside Grill.
Today, he’s bartending and serving as building engineer at Sunpie’s Bistro on Yampa Street in downtown Steamboat.
Gagliano said there are many reasons he decided on The Wreck as the new name of his place.
For one, he said, much of Ski Time Square was wrecked when several bars and restaurants were demolished in 2008.
Then, in 2013, the Tugboat got wrecked when it was seized by the Colorado Department of Revenue because of unpaid taxes and penalties owed under the previous ownership.
“People also wreck on their skis, snowboards and downhill mountain bikes,” Gagliano said.
The restaurant plans to run with the “wrecked” theme, and Gagliano is seeking the public’s help to decorate the place.
Gagliano said he is seeking wrecked skis, bikes, snowboards, snowmobiles or any other wrecked mountain toys with stories behind them to display in the bar.
He said people who volunteer to display X-rays in the bar showing their injuries from a wreck also could earn free drinks and food.
People interested in helping decorate the bar can email Gagliano at email@example.com.
Gagliano said he expects the Tugboat building ultimately will be wrecked, too, in order to make way for redevelopment.
But until that day comes, he plans to maximize the use of the iconic building.
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