One of the latest national and regional restaurant chains to arrive in Colorado Springs comes by way of Montana — with a bit of Louisiana mixed in.
Colorado’s Rib & Chop House, part of the Finally Restaurant Group based in Bozeman, Mont., opens at 11 a.m. Monday in the Dublin Commons III retail center, southeast of Powers and Dublin boulevards on the Springs’ booming northeast side. It will be the Finally Restaurant Group’s 10th Rib & Chop House and first in Colorado; other locations are in Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
Owners Burke and Melissa Moran opened their first Rib & Chop House in Livingston, Mont., in 2001, a year after they moved from Louisiana. Burke grew up there, where he learned the ways of his father’s restaurant business.
Colorado’s Rib & Chop House will offer steaks, ribs, chops, seafood, chicken and pasta, along with salads, sides and desserts. Dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya and specially seasoned ribs reflect the owners’ Southern roots. A bar will feature specialty drinks, 30 craft beers on tap and big-screen TVs for sports viewing.
The restaurant isn’t fine dining, but more of a “come-as-you-are establishment,” said general manager Richie Hart. Diners might sit down for a casual meal or come to celebrate a special occasion, he said.
Melissa Moran, in Colorado Springs for the restaurant’s Monday opening, said the Rib & Chop House philosophy is to make everyone feel comfortable, “from the governor to the garbageman,” she said.
“We try to be middle of the road,” Melissa said. “We’re not the prices of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or Fleming’s (national, upscale chains), but we’re not the prices of Applebee’s. We try to be in-between.”
The Morans had looked to expand the Rib & Chop House brand to Colorado for about five years, Melissa said. They were approached by John Winsor, a broker with Olive Real Estate Group in the Springs, who urged them to consider the Pikes Peak region and the Powers corridor, one of the city’s hottest commercial areas.
The Morans chose Dublin Commons III, owned by Winsor, restaurateur Randy Price and Dave Brinker, president of Pikes Peak Professional Contractors.
The lease rate was right, Melissa said, but the location also was appealing; it’s just south of the St. Francis Medical Center and has good visibility from heavily traveled Powers.
The north-south corridor that runs along the city’s east and northeast sides is a short drive from high-density subdivisions such as Stetson Hills, Briargate and Nor’wood, and near the Banning Lewis Ranch that’s taking shape to the east.
“This is a crazy, busy intersection,” Hart said of Powers and Dublin. “This growing northeast side of Colorado Springs, it’s amazing up here. ... Until they start building stuff, restaurants and retail, further east of me, this is the hot spot to be right now. There are so many rooftops around. It is solid all the way back to Marksheffel behind me.”
Colorado’s Rib & Chop House will employ about 90 full- and part-time people, he added. It will have company at Dublin Commons III: Kanpai Sushi, a Japanese restaurant, and the second Skirted Heifer hamburger location also recently opened in the retail center.