The Riverside has been around for 100 years. But since I’ve lived in Boulder (summer of 2008) nothing has been in its place and it sat empty. What real estate, I’ve always thought to myself as I pass it, it’s right on Boulder Creek and downtown. The Riverside building now includes an event space, a co-working space, and the food component which makes for a vibrant, community.
Now comes Food at the Riverside, coupled with chef Corey Buck, previously of John’s Restaurant.
He has teamed up with seasoned restauranteur David Nestler, who has opened a dozen successful restaurants in Nashville before coming to Boulder.
The food component is a mix of three parts – a street level cafe, an outdoor patio featuring brunch, lunch and a sunset menu six days a week and the soon to come, romantic restaurant down below that they’re working on now. From all three concepts, at full capacity, they expect to employ 50-70 people across their restaurants.
Downstairs, their cornerstone restaurant, will be called Cellar at the Riverside, a dinner concept that should be launched in the next few months. Sitting 68, Buck is excited about all his wine that he has preserved and saved from his John’s days that are tucked away in a warehouse, ready to be opened and offered.
The wall, still intact (see below) is 100-year flagstone that was mined in Lyons, which will add to the classic, yet romantic ambiance. In addition, they want to pay homage to the creek they reside alongside, where the sound of the creek rushing by will always be intact downstairs in the cellar restaurant (thanks to a microphone).
The patio plays live music, and seats 100. You can expect to find heat lamps for colder months, making it still accessible for those sunny Boulder days and they’ll also offer blankets for when you sit on what they call “Boulder’s best patio.”
Buck’s (below) style is very eclectic, but as he says, rooted in technique from his time he has spent cooking in France and Italy. I thought another interesting antidote was that Buck only takes Escoffier graduates, to fill up his kitchen. He loves acting as a mentor to the recent grads, and it’s a great program to bring them up in the ranks, while filling his kitchen with innovative, eager chefs.
With the background behind the restaurants, and another fine dining restaurant being added to the mix to Boulder’s downtown, I have high hopes for Food at the Riverside. The space is vibrant, with exposed brick, the rushing creekside, bright lights and windows that are facing west. There’s the appreciation that the cafe, patio, or restaurant downstairs are options and as long as the food and experience of service can stay consistent, I think they’ll have a crowd pleasing winner on their hands.