New restaurant Munchies opens in Oak Creek |

New restaurant Munchies opens in Oak Creek

New restaurant has delivery, pick-up from Sharp Avenue store

Ralph Fox
Matt Stensland

— Until this fall, former Florida resident Richard Hart never had been to a town meeting.

After moving to Oak Creek in August, Hart found himself at the local town hall, discussing his new business with the South Routt County residents he aims to serve.

“What I like about this area is that people are real people,” Hart said. “They’re not superficial like where they’d rather run you over than stop to help you.

“Oak Creek is working people.”

The recent transplant hopes to cater to that tight-knit community of hard workers with his new restaurant, Munchies.

Munchies officially opened Thursday in the food service space in the back of Mountain Market, 202 S. Sharp Ave. Mountain Market, a convenience store, relocated from the Sinclair gas station in November.

Market co-owner Ralph Fox said he and Hart went in on the new building together with the idea of complementary businesses.

Hart said he didn’t need all the storefront space, while Fox said he had no use for the large kitchen. The building used to be home to Black Mountain Tavern.

“It brings more people through my doors,” Fox said about having a take-out restaurant in the back of his store. “It takes a lot of pressure off me.

“And I’m always testing the food. I had some cornbread the other day that was really good,” he said.

The restaurant only has about two tables, making take-out and delivery Hart’s primary focus.

Munchies will open at 11 a.m. each morning for pick-up orders, and deliveries will begin in the evening.

There will be one run to Stagecoach each night, with orders due by 5:30 p.m. Deliveries will be made in the Oak Creek area until about 7:30 p.m., and pick-up is available until the restaurant closes at about 9 p.m.

The menu offers American fare, from baby-back ribs with Hart’s bourbon-based barbecue sauce with a pineapple zing, to hot sandwiches and salads.

He also offers tacos, chicken wings, roasted chicken and New York-style pizza.

“A lot of the recipes are my own, out of my head,” Hart said. “Some are recipes I picked up and added my own flair to. I just love to cook.”

He said he has worked in the restaurant industry for 25 years, and this week marks the realization of his dream to open his own restaurant.

The Munchies family comprises about five people, and Hart does all the cooking.

Hart said he’s off to a good start and has plans to expand deliveries to Phippsburg.

But the launch of the restaurant wasn’t without challenges. The men said the kitchen was in bad shape and they spent two months making it squeaky clean. They had to borrow tools from neighbors, they said, to scrape grease an inch thick from the ovens to the ceiling.

A Routt County health inspector came through Thurs­day and declared that the restaurant is fit to open with no violations.

Alhough it’s just the beginning of the partnership, Hart and Fox learned that building a business together took the support of the entire community.

“People were behind us 100 percent,” Fox said.

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 871-4204 or e-mail

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