New restaurant concept brings convenient food option to local lineup
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The sign hanging above the entrance of the Hypnotic Chicken in Steamboat Springs has been grabbing attention for several months now, but the owners of the new restaurant hope the food and the family-fun concept are what attracts customers.
“Sometimes, you want to go out to eat, but you may have your kids or you don’t want to go downtown and have a sit down with a waiter,” said Kari Ann Partovi, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Jason. “So we kind of wanted something that would be conveniently located, fast and affordable but not sacrificing on the quality of the food. … It’s a hybrid of fast casual with a bar and a drive-thru. I haven’t really seen a restaurant like it, because we’ll be utilizing drive-thru, but it’s not fast food.”
To create the restaurant they envisioned, the Partovis, who also own Skull Creek Greek in Steamboat and are involved with Sunnyside Bar & Grill in Hayden, have spent the past several months renovating the interior space to meet their needs. They’re hoping to open Dec. 14. If the COVID-19 restrictions are still in place, they plan to open for drive-thru.
The renovation included the additions of a new commercial kitchen with state-of-the-art fryers, a full-service bar and a dining room that offers a fun atmosphere.
“The drive-thru is going to be huge for us,” Kari Ann said. “It is basically like having two separate restaurants, because we’ll have someone running the front of house, and someone just handling the drive-thru orders. I think with the direction we’re going with COVID, that will be huge for us.”
The menu will feature chicken tenders that include original crispy and Hypnotic Hot chicken for those who want something with a little kick. The platter will be served with Texas toast, pickles, Hippy sauce and a side.
“We chose to offer tenders, because it is faster, and we are not sacrificing taste,” Kari Ann said. “I think the tender is one of the best pieces of chicken.”
Customers also can choose from a chicken sandwich, chicken and waffles, “What the Kale” salad and a large selection of wings. There will be waffle fries and fried pickles for those who want to share and a two-tender meal and grilled cheese for the kids.
“We’ll offer wings, and I think we’ll have probably like nine flavors. We’ll try to keep them interesting and may have a rotating flavor of the month as well as the classics,” Kari Ann said.
“But the tenders are going to be the hero,” she added. “We’re using Colorado chicken, marinated for 24 hours and cooked to order, so everything is fresh right when you order it.”
Kari Ann said diners who come in will order through a queue and then a waitress will bring the food to the table and take drink orders. The restaurant will offer a full bar with locally crafted beer on tap as well as locally produced spirits.
“We will have eight beers on tap, and we want to really do as local as possible, because we have such great breweries,” Kari Ann said. “We want to do the same for our mixed drinks and use local spirits, as well.”
The couple is hoping Hypnotic Chicken offers a concept that was missing from Steamboat’s lineup of restaurants.
“I wanted a place where you can still feel like you’re going for a night out, but you’re not having to pay the high prices or even fight parking downtown, “ Kari Ann said. “You can come here and get something quick, hang out or drive through, and it’s still a fun dining experience.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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