Local chef to close popular ROOTZ cafe and expand sister restaurant, Seedz
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Some bad news for healthy food lovers with a hankering for fresh juices. The popular ROOTZ café on Lincoln Avenue will be closing for business.
“Things have changed drastically with COVID-19,” said owner Fawn Racoma about the pandemic that has shuttered restaurants in every state.
Racoma opened the quirky little café seven years ago with the intent of turning so-called healthy food into comfort food — a combination she first perfected in San Diego years ago.
“At that time healthy food was low fat yogurt and rice cakes,” Racoma said. “I wanted to make healthy food delicious.”
Pam and Klaus Meyer were one of ROOTZ’s most rabid fans.
“Oh my gosh, it was our favorite place when we visited and when we moved here three years ago,” Pam said.
“The best thing about ROOTZ was the intimacy you had with everyone that worked there,” added Klaus. “It was like a family. They made you feel at home.”
They say when one door closes, another opens, so ROOTZ lovers will be happy to hear that Racoma’s newest café, Seedz, will be expanding from breakfast and lunch to dinner as well. She opened the café at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and 11th Street two years ago.
“It’s a throwback from my days at Sweetwater,” Racoma said.
Some may remember Racoma was head chef at the former Sweetwater Grill restaurant located where Aurum is now housed on Yampa Street. Back then, Sweetwater hosted a super popular happy hour, and Racoma hopes to recapture that atmosphere.
The happy hour will be offered from 3 to 5:30 p.m. with half-priced drinks and $2 to $4 appetizers.
“We serve beer and wine, but we’ve applied for our full liquor license,” Racoma said.
Like many restaurants and small businesses, Racoma and her crew were barely surviving at ROOTZ even with a Paycheck Protection Program loan and a lenient landlord.
Fortunately, Racoma’s Seedz café was on track to double its first year’s business when COVID-19 hit. So she thinks Seedz’s popularity is established enough now to get her customers back for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“We’ve expanded our patio to make it more of a garden fresco out there with vines and trellises,” she said.
Corvina in Banana Leaf
Corvina (fish) steamed in a banana leaf with blue corn maize, fresh tomato pico, cilantro rice and caramelized plantain
Charred flank steak, sauted peppers and onions, chimichurri sauce served with green chili polenta & creamy elotes (corn)
Hawaiian comfort food
Seedz’s new dinner menu is a tribute to the 21st and 22nd parallels — a circle of latitude above the Equator that crosses parts of the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, North America and three oceans.
This season’s menu will feature Costa Rican flavor and a hint of Hawaiian fare, Racoma said.
Seedz’s new dinner and happy hour will start Friday, June 5, and be offered Wednesday through Sunday. Happy hour is 3:30 to 5 p.m. and dinner will be served from 5 to 9 p.m.
Frances Hohl is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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