The Casa Del Matador is a Tex-Mex mini chain that’s a sister concept to Matador. Casa Del Matador opened in Ft. Collins in February of 2016, whereas the original Matador opened in Seattle in 2004. There are three Casa Del Matadors, and there are eight Matadors now spanning from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Colorado (one in Denver).
Starting in Seattle, in 2004 by Nathan Opper and Zak Melang the two are invested in the restaurant’s growth and both add their own unique background to the operation.
Opper started in construction at a young age, and his background lets him guide with the architectural design and unique construction of each Matador restaurant. Malang visits Mexico twice a year, and spends a particular amount of time “researching” the tequila market to ensure the restaurants’ collection of more than 100 tequilas stays up-to-date and diverse. He also designs all the beautiful tables and bar tops, by hand in each restaurant.
I’m going to focus on two things that stood out to me at Matador Ft. Collins: the artistic interior design and the lengthy tequila menu.
DESIGN: Like other Matador restaurants (I’ve been to the one in Redmond, Washington) the interior is stunning. Although in a mall location which isn’t always my favorite, the Ft. Collins location interior doesn’t dissapoint.
The custom metalwork around the restaurant was designed and forged by local Seattle artists. Co-founder Melang, hand-designs, cuts, and created the golden inlay bar and table tops. Local artists hand-paint the bull skulls dotting the walls alongside floor to ceiling golden mirrors. I also was stunned to learned there are 232 candles in the Ft. Collins location. That yes, they light by hand each night to make the place sparkle.
The chandelier when you enter the restaurant is stunning and enormous (below). It was made in hand in Mexico, and delivered just to this location.
TEQUILA: Their tequila menu in Ft. Collins is five pages in length!
From blanco to reposado, they have 128 carefully curated tequilas to go with their dishes. When there’s something as lengthy as their tequila menu, you know that this is something they take seriously and I couldn’t help but highlight. I suggest you try one of their offered tequila flights, if you’re in the mood to broaden your tastebuds and enjoy.
Offering made-from-scratch Mexican cuisine some of my favorite dishes were their small bites which are great with a group, alongside my watermelon margarita.
I recommend you order their grilled, stuffed jalapeno’s with goat cheese, hickory smoked bacon and ranch dressing (top left).
Given the location, Matador is family-friendly and a good spot for a bite to eat before the movies or in between shopping. They have happy hour daily – 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. They turn to 21+ after 10 p.m. They also offer a different brunch menu on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Find them: 341 E Foothills Pkwy #110 Fort Collins, CO 80525 | matadorrestaurants.com/fort-collins