By Lucas Vader
Cedaredge’s popular highway cafe, which has until recently been titled “Creekside Cafe,” is on its way to seeing some extensive changes, some of which have already started.
For one thing, Creekside now has a general manager, Antyn Heatley, whose job is to take over some managerial duties from restaurant owner Codi Nelson. This will allegedly allow Nelson to be more involved in the overall restaurant than she was before, as she had previously been mostly busy managing food preparation.
On Nov. 1, Creekside Cafe will have a grand reopening with its new name, “Creekside on 65 Family Restaurant and Lounge.”
“We’re actually wanting to meet the needs of not only our local customers and exceed their expectations,” Heatley said, “but we also want to establish an identity to [people] who are traveling.”
The goal, as Heatley put it, is to extend the community cafe and diner into an important venue to the area — one which can host events and bring people together.
One of the important pieces to the remodeling process is the addition of a bandstand, Heatley said.
“Our goal is to have barbecue every Friday — like that’s going to be a feature,” Heatley said. “We’re going to feature barbecue ribs and short ribs and have a live band every Friday.”
They will also be looking into having patio seating during the winter with the help of wedding tents and heaters to accommodate those who want to sit outside.
According to Heatley, as the restaurant’s new title suggests, the back room, which had been a secondary dining room, is currently in the middle of a remodel, which will transform it into a lounge with full bar service.
“Codi Hugget Nelson, who’s the owner now — her fiancé actually purchased it in order to change it to Creekside on 65 — her dream wasn’t the diner and cafe,” Heatley said. “It was kind of to have an upscale and elevate her food.” The Creekside on 65 transition will focus more heavily on providing high quality food at good prices.
Changes so far have been a new exterior paint job and the beginning of construction on the lounge area. Additionally, employees have already begun greeting phone-callers with their new title, “Creekside on 65.”
Further changes will include a menu overhaul that will bring barbecue brisket, pulled pork, pizza and other options to the table.
“Being one of the largest restaurants in the area, we want our food to compliment what other restaurants are doing,” Heatley said. “We want to actually make sure that we’re including diversity in what we’re offering so people have different choices and it stimulates our economy.”
The restaurant will put out a new, much more diverse menu, but Heatley assured that, while some items will no longer be on the menu, the staff will still be happy to make it on request from old Creekside-goers.
The main dining room will be seeing a remodel in the coming weeks as well as part of the overall rebrand.
“The painters are coming next week,” Heatley said. “We’ve purchased new booths. When you walk into it, there are going to be some things that are recognizable, obviously.” However, the theme will be “modern lodge.”
“We’re the gateway to the mesa,” Heatley said, “so we don’t want to go too [fancy] of a restaurant but we want it to be relatable to individuals, so our signature look for the restaurant is this beautiful deep orange color, so that’s going to be one of the focal walls.”
The restaurant reboot will furthermore include a brand new logo, new plates and cups, an online menu and delivery services. They’ll deliver alcoholic beverages as well as part of that new service, which is planned to be available this winter.
Management has hired more staff, including two new chefs, in order to prepare for the transition.
Sunday, Nov. 1 will be the celebratory relaunch, according to Heatley, and the main celebration will be in the evening.