Laura the Butcher opens Meatbar in new downtown Steamboat location
The new downtown Steamboat Springs location of Laura the Butcher’s Meatbar will not open until Friday, but on Tuesday, owner Laura Posiak welcomed curious early bird customers with a smile.
“I knew it was coming, but I didn’t know exactly where it was,” said Brad Iversen, whose wife had stopped by the location at 1009 Lincoln Ave. a few days earlier to pick up a charcuterie board that she had ordered. “She let me know where it was, and I just happened to be having lunch up the street, so I came to see if somebody was here.”
He had hoped to purchase a cheese that he had discovered on the charcuterie board his wife had brought home, and when he saw Posiak inside, he decided to step into the recently renovated space. Posiak was happy to answer his questions.
“I will officially be open Friday — that’s the grand opening,” Posiak told Iversen. “It’s a European meat and cheese shop, so you can come in and buy that cheese to go or that jamón (Spanish ham) that you love.”
She said customers can also chose to come in, take a seat and drink wine, eat charcuterie or pick from a menu of small plates from around the world. The shop will also serve customers at the front counter, offering popular stock items as well as a rotating selection of meats and cheeses so that the selections are never exactly the same.
“It’s a great space, and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Posiak said.
Posiak was raised in a small town in rural Ontario and eventually moved to the New York City area. She received a degree in culinary arts and service management from Paul Smith’s College in New York. After college, she moved west where she worked in and managed several top restaurants in the San Francisco area.
Her culinary journey has taken her around the world, and after starting a catering business that specializes in artisanal charcuterie platters in Steamboat Spring two years ago, she has also discovered a following that shares her love for European food.
She decided to expand that business by converting a work unit on Elk River Road into Laura the Butcher’s first Meatbar a year ago in October. She then recently decided to lease the space at 1009 Lincoln Ave. in order to bring her concept downtown.
“The first brick and mortar that I had was my own commercial kitchen space, which allowed me to be able to make more of those charcuterie boards,” Posiak said. “It also became a place to bring people in and to serve them on the spot the different plates and just exciting foods that they’ve never tried before.”
For the past several months, Posiak has been renovating her new space into the shop she’s always imagined. She has exposed the original hardwood floors and brick walls and also built an open kitchen where customers can watch Posiak and her staff at work.
“You can see everything that’s going on back there,” Posiak said. “I’ve got a beautiful butcher block table that we’re going to be making charcuterie boards on all the time, and we’ll be doing some really cool stuff in here, and you can always be engaged with that and see what’s happening behind the scenes.”
The front of the space also includes a small market filled with charcuterie items to go, specialty crackers and chocolates from around the world, including Iceland, Lithuania and Hawaii. There are also great gift items such as handmade charcuterie boards and tinned fish.
Posiak said the new location will also offer a menu with a selection of food and drink items. Customers will also be offered European-style sandwiches served on warm baguettes and a rotating selection of grilled cheese sandwiches served on sourdough bread.
Posiak has partnered with Smell that Bread and will serve freshly baked breads with three different types of butter.
“Who doesn’t want to sit down and eat just like really good bread with really good butter,” Posiak said.
Meatbar will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Posiak said she expects the hours to expand to seven days a week during ski season. On Wednesday nights, the Meatbar will host a reservation-only Raclette night.
She will continue to offer catering services and her Meatskool educational programs for all ages and all levels. Posiak said the new location is a dream come true where she is surrounded by all of her favorite toys and greeted by smiling customers hungry for what she has to offer.
“I always wanted to own my own business, but I did not know what it was going to look like,” Posiak said. “What Meatbar is now is a blend of my passions, but also a Steamboat demand of what people who live here and travel here are excited about, too. It’s that perfect marriage coming together … and I could not be happier. Not only am I doing everything that I wanted to do, and my job is looking for cool meat and cheeses, but the response has been nothing but positive and exciting.“
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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