Dining scene blooms on Yampa Street with addition of new restaurant Primrose
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Those who enjoy fine cuisine are invited to the new Primrose restaurant once its doors open in February.
The new restaurant, located on the corner of 11th and Yampa streets in Steamboat Springs, is set to offer a chef-driven menu featuring hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, curated wines and craft cocktails. Its opening is expected to add more culinary delight to an already appetizing list of eateries dotting the Yampa River corridor downtown.
“We want it to be someplace that locals can come for date night or just a casual Monday night to watch the game or a Friday night when they have some people that they want to impress,” said Collin Kelley, director of operations at Primrose. “We want it to be a seven-day a week restaurant, not just a special occasion place.
“We’ll have some amazing experiences, presentations and memorable things that people will want to come back for again and again, but we’re also going to have just like a kick-ass bar burger”.
Kelley is not shy to mountain fare. He also oversees Los Locos Mountain Tacos & More and Slopeside Grill, which has recently been renovated and introduced a new menu. Both restaurants are located at the base of Steamboat Resort.
Primrose will add a little extra flare to Kelley’s repertoire when it opens the first weekend in February.
The building itself, which was at one time occupied by Yama, has been completely remodeled. Kelley takes pride in that he used local contractors to complete the work. He hopes customers will enjoy the attention to detail provided — booths finished in handcrafted American bison by Vince Coleman of Coleman’s Haberdashery or the inviting acrylic-on-canvas paintings by Brooke Mac adorning the walls. Those walls were crafted by Greg Grasso and are covered with American clay stucco made by Julie Anderson.
“One thing I’m really proud of is the fact that we used nothing but local tradesmen and craftsmen and craftswomen,” Kelley said.
A carefully curated menu — one that boasts fresh seafood flown in from both U.S. coasts — will complement the building’s features, which will include a raw oyster bar and selection of high-quality meats.
“My passion has always been butchery and steaks and local beef, local lamb and all those types of things. I like to butcher and craft those steaks by hand, so we’ll feature a lot of those,” Kelley said. “But we’re not calling it a steakhouse because it’s so much more than just a steakhouse.”
Kelley’s skill in the kitchen will also be on display as he pulls double-duty serving as chef, in addition to running operations. After selling Carl’s Tavern, where he was owner from 2011 to 2017, Kelley moved to Denver and worked under famed Denver Chef Troy Guard, who founded the TAG Restaurant Group. But Kelley’s affection for Steamboat brought him back last summer when he was offered the chef job at the Periodic Table. He split his time between Steamboat and Denver, where he wanted to remain close to his sons.
As operations head at Primrose, Kelley said he’s been able to put together a top team for the kitchen that includes Craig Sutherland as chef de cuisine, Grace Trolingeras as sous chef and Patrick Ayres as pastry chef.
“We have the A-team. I’m so ecstatic for my kitchen staff,” he said, adding that he also has four line cooks and prep cooks that followed him from Carl’s Tavern. “So we’ve really kind of got the band back together on the kitchen side, and then some absolutely fantastic front-of-house service people coming out from the woodwork wanting to be a part of something new.”
Kelley said he expects Primrose to evolve with time and hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will run its course, so he’ll be able to offer more traditional seating, a full menu and ability to be open seven days a week. For now, his plans are to be open Wednesday to Sunday with a local’s hour from 4 to 6 p.m. that focuses on small plates, drinks and cocktails. The evening will feature a more structured format with two seatings for a four-course dinner — most likely at 6 and 8 p.m. Those seatings will offer a package expected to cost between $75 to $80 and will include a choice of first and second course with a choice of four entrees. The new venue will also offer more than 200 spirits and over 100 whiskeys from around the world.
“We want to get up and running, and our staff that’s chomping at the bit to work. We want to get going and mostly to show town that we’re here, what we can do and to show the place off, because we just think the space is beautiful,” Kelley said. “Whatever we open with won’t be what we’re doing six months or a year down the road.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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