Stonewall brings ranch-to-table experience to Steamboat, featuring fresh Colorado food |

Stonewall brings ranch-to-table experience to Steamboat, featuring fresh Colorado food

Chef Julie Eade joins Stonewall owners Kell Kaiser, middle, and Christopher Stackpole, right, inside the recently renovated dining room at the restaurant on Thursday, March 9, 2023. Stonewall, a new upscale ranch-to-table restaurant, is set to open on Wednesday, March 15.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Christopher Stackpole and Kell Kaiser want their new restaurant, Stonewall, to offer guests a ranch-to-table dining experience that showcases small-batch Colorado producers.

“We’re thrilled to be opening our doors and to have this opportunity to share our passion for Colorado’s amazing culinary heritage and the abundant variety of quality ingredients that it affords all of us,” Stackpole said. “It’s such an honor to introduce our guests to ingredients from their backyard that they may never have had the pleasure of enjoying.”

The owners describe the new Steamboat Springs restaurant as a Colorado-focused dining experience that will open to the public on Wednesday, March 15, at 685 Marketplace Plaza in the location of the former McKnight’s Irish Pub, which closed in November 2022. Stonewall is expected to be open from 4 p.m. to close Wednesdays through Sundays.

Executive Chef Julie Eade, who relocated from the mountains surrounding Yosemite National Park in California, has worked with the owners to create a menu of main dishes that include braised elk with house-made leek gravy and basil baked halibut served with a chardonnay caper butter sauce, as well as vegetable primavera, lamb rack lollies and chicken piccata.

“We are trying not to have anything else that any of the other restaurants in town have,” Stackpole said. “We’re trying to be as non-generic as possible with limited menus, so that we can bring in a whole lot of specials.”

Stonewall offers tastes that venture beyond the entrees, such as an anasazi bison chili, potato leek soup or a chef’s soup du jour to go along with the salad selections and choices like Stonewall’s own hummus, seared duck street tacos, bacon wrapped dates and elk meatballs on the starters menu.

“They wanted something unique, and want to make this a destination,” Eade said. “They just don’t want to be like any other restaurant … so we’ve created unique dishes that will reflect their vision and their concept.”

A new sign hangs above Stonewall Steamboat Springs on Thursday, March 9, 2023. The new restaurant, which will bring an upscale ranch-to-table dining option to Steamboat Springs, is slated to open Wednesday, March 15.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Stackpole and Kaiser said the mission is to feature Colorado first and foremost.

The overwhelming majority of proteins, fruits, vegetables, beers, wines and spirits are produced in state by smaller independent operations. Additionally, Stonewall will use cheese from Moon Hill Dairy, offer coffee from Steamboat Coffee Roasters and have beers from Storm Peak Brewing and Yampa Valley Brewing.

Stackpole and Kaiser both have more than 20 years each in the restaurant business and owned the Crown Social jazz and blues club of Broadway near Interstate 25 in Denver’s antique row for three years from 2013-2016. The club closed in 2016 after sustaining heavy damage in a hailstorm that pounded the area.

More recently, they have been looking to pursue their culinary passions in the mountains after spending a decade in Denver.

“We found that when we did have time off, we were in the mountains, so why drive to the mountains every time you have a day off when you could just step outside?” Kaiser said. “Chris came home one day and said, ‘Let’s go to the mountains,’ and that we should start looking at towns we could move to. I was like, ‘We can look at any town you want, but we’re going to move to Steamboat.’”

Kaiser and his family lived in Steamboat Springs until he was 10, but when he was a fourth grader at Soda Creek Elementary, his parents divorced and he moved to Florida with his mother. He moved to Denver 14 years ago and has been back in Steamboat Springs for four years.

Stackpole and Kaiser knew they wanted to return to running a restaurant, and when McKnight’s Irish Pub closed in November, they jumped on the chance to open their concept in a place that blends rustic mountain charm with modern comfort, offers views of the mountains and is in a location customers can get to on foot, bike, car or transit.

Inside the space, guests will find art from the Jace Romick Gallery hanging on the freshly painted walls, along with brighter lighting. There are sections that feature seating on a first-come, first-served basis including at the 16-person bar and a 12-person communal high top. There are also four-person high tops and a mountain view patio that can accommodate 37 people. Stonewall will also take reservations online at or at OpenTable each night.

The owners said the restaurant’s name is a tribute to the men and women of the 1969 Stonewall Riots who made it possible for them to live, love and pursue their passions openly and authentically, as well as to the frontier men and women who, against the odds, settled the high Rockies paving the way for towns like Steamboat Springs to exist today.

“We said for a long time we would open a restaurant when the right space, right time and the right financial situation came together,” Kaiser said. “I think I agreed to that because the likelihood of all those things coming together is not real high, but here we are. We have always sort of like felt like the men and women who have at times died, especially after the Stonewall Riots, to let the three of us live our lives and own a restaurant as partners goes back to that whole thing. Chris and I didn’t break the mold and create the world we live in, but we just benefited from those that did.”

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