Midway owners holding out for a restaurant to fill void in Hayden
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Daniel Foley and the other owners of Midway Building on Jefferson Avenue are looking for the right person to serve up just what Hayden needs downtown.
“We need a new restaurant operator. We have had business owners knocking on the door for other uses but want to wait for a restaurant,” said Foley, who purchased the building at 107 W. Jefferson Ave. along with his wife, Susie, and business partner Eric Connor about two years ago. “It doesn’t get much cheaper. I just need to see the right person.”
Foley and his partners are offering the space for $1,600 a month, plus utilities. The owner said he currently has six of the eight spaces in the building rented, but at 3,300-square-feet, he would like to see the space that used to be home to Wolf Mountain Pizza filled.
“Hayden doesn’t have to have someone local there, but they would love someone local there, right,” Foley said. “They want the guy they see down the street, the guy they go to church with or hang out with at their kids’ soccer games to be the person running the restaurant.”
Foley is hoping to find someone with restaurant experience who is interested in coming into the community and filling a need in a town that has seen a reduced number of dining options the past few years.
Earlier this month, the Sunny Side, located on the west side of town at 825 W. Jefferson Ave., closed its doors. The restaurant provided breakfast, lunch and dinner. The choices in Hayden now include the HiWay 40 Grill & Lodge, located at 136 E. Jefferson Ave., and Embers Wood Fired Pizza, which just recently started offering dine-in service and shares space with the Wild Goose Coffee at the Granary, which offers breakfast and lunch menu at 198 E. Lincoln Ave. Food trucks park in temporary places around town as well.
“I think the point being, with those specific uses, obviously, there’s a void to be filled. Traffic is heavy on (U.S.) Highway 40, and I think there’s an opportunity for a restaurateur, who knows how to operate a restaurant, to do well,” said Mathew Mendisco, Hayden Town Manager.
He said the town of Hayden is serious about drawing in small businesses, and restaurants in particular.
“The town has a small business grant program currently going for small businesses in Hayden,” Mendisco said. “We have two, one of which has already been allocated, but one that is for a startup business — which if a new restaurant wanted to hit, we would consider that as startup.”
Mendisco said the grant awards up to $10,000 with a match of 20% from the business owner. That means, for an investment of $2,000, the owner will receive an additional $8,000 that can be put back into the business.
“It can be used for startup costs and improvements, Mendisco said. “So, if you need to buy some new booths, or you need to buy some chairs or, you know, whatever. That is a particular incentive that is on the table.”
Foley said the owners have also stepped forward hoping to entice a restaurant owner to come in with $25,000 of improvements that included cleaning the space up, renovations to the bathrooms as well as replacing ceiling tiles and painting the kitchen.
Foley said he wants to lease the space, but even more importantly, he would love to see a new dining option for the residents of Hayden and those who are willing to make the drive from Steamboat Springs or Craig.
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Sales tax collections in the city of Steamboat Springs during the first five months of 2021 were nearly 20% more than the same period last year, according to a report recently released by the city.