Dave Query, founder of Boulder-based Big Red F Restaurant Group, has been spending much of his time in Colorado Springs overseeing the completion of his newest Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar at 11 S. Tejon St. The space was previously occupied by Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza. This will be the sixth location of Jax, which is planned to open Jan. 7.
“I’ve gotten an apartment here,” Query said. “There was a lot of work to be done on this building. It had been Il Vicino for 23 years. I had been coming to the Springs for 20 years looking for the right spot for a restaurant and finally we found this building. It was an ‘aha’ moment for me.”
The inside and basement of the space have been gutted. As you enter the building, the raw bar will be front and center on the bar top, similar to the Jax in Glendale.
“It’s all about the fresh oysters, clams, crab legs and lobster,” he said. “And, of course, all the other fresh fish we serve. We’ll have charbroiled oysters, caviar service, lobster rolls and gumbo.”
His was the first Colorado restaurant group to partner with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. And they work with The Blue Ocean Institute, Fish Choice and The James Beard Foundation’s Smart Catch to make responsible sourcing choices.
The basement is dedicated to fish processing.
“This part of the project has taken the most time,” Query said, “but it’s worth it. We’ll have a line for breaking down whole fish and refrigerate it in a large walk-in.”
Query opened his first Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar on Pearl Street in Boulder 25 years ago. Over the years he has opened others in Denver’s LoDo area, Glendale, Fort Collins and Kansas City, Mo. Visit jaxfishhouse.com.