First look: MainLine, a Breckenridge-Wynkoop project, opens Wednesday in Fort Collins
Over the years, Fort Collins has amassed a cauldron of awards: top downtown in the country; a best vacation destination for beer lovers; one of the ten best cities to retire; a top-ten college town; and the best city in which to live -- and work -- if you're a young professional. The only thing missing? Accolades for its dining climate, but considering the influx of new restaurants opening in Fort Collins -- and its burgeoning international cuisine scene -- my guess is that it won't be long before the collegiate hamlet to the north of us begins to appear on top ten dining destinations, too. And restaurants like MainLine, a new concept from Breckenridge-Wynkoop Holdings, will undoubtedly propel the fervor.
- Scott Parker leaving Table 6 to spearhead new Breckenridge-Wynkoop concept
- Breckenridge-Wynkoop have a concept for South Pearl -- but the name's still a secret
- Breckenridge-Wynkoop have a Fort Collins spot on tap for spring
Dave Query, who founded Big Red F, the restaurant group that owns, among other joints, Jax Fish House, honed in on Fort Collins in 2011, opening a Jax in the center of all the action. "We like to have restaurants in towns that are very community-based, and Fort Collins fits into that philosophy perfectly, what with its college atmosphere, terrific farming communities and CSAs," noted Jamey Fader when I interviewed him back in June of that year. The Kitchen [Next Door], reports Eater, will open in Fort Collins sometime in the future.
And MainLine, a stunning, behemoth, two-story space at 125 South College Avenue, near Jax, will open Wednesday night, giving foodists, oenophiles and beer hounds a new chef-driven restaurant, a philosophy that Wynkoop-Breckenridge Holdings is integrating into all of its concepts, including the group's forthcoming restaurant in Platt Park, which will be helmed by Scott Parker, the former exec chef of Table 6.
MainLine enlists the talents of company executive chef Chris Cina; MainLine exec chef Eric Chiappetta, the former kitchen soldier of Pizza Republica and ex-owner-chef of the now-shuttered Chia's Breakfast & Lunch Counter, in Golden; TJ Hobbs, the former chef de cuisine of Ghost Plate & Tap; Jeremy Gable of Goosetown Tavern; and cocktail wizard Ken Kodys, the company's beverage manager. "All of our restaurants," says Breckenridge-Wynkop concept director Lisa Berzins Ruskaup, "are moving in a cocktail-and-chef-driven direction, and this restaurant is a high-bred ale house with elevated cuisine and cocktails."
Beer, of course, is still an essential component, and there are 32 brews on tap and by the bottle, most of which aren't Wynkoop-Beckenridge beers. "We're serving the best beers from the best breweries in Colorado -- both familiar ones and esoteric ones," says Cina. "It's all about our local partners," echoes Ruskaup. "We have the ability here to represent some of the state's best nano-breweries, which is really cool." Cocktails, wines and sparkling wines, she adds, are also poured from taps.