Beach House Grill does not blend into the Old Town landscape.
Centered perfectly in a district with Old Chicagoâ€™s 1920s-inspired marquee and Drunken Monkeyâ€™s thatch roof patio, the front facade resembles a sun- soaked hot spot youâ€™d find in beach communities throughout California.
The bright murals and well-placed lounge chairs look like theyâ€™re straight from a Jimmy Buffet tune â€“â€“ creating the illusion of a Fort Collins island getaway.
Steve Lauer, owner and local restaurateur, has turned the Scottish tavern Stonehouse Grille into a cozy, Caribbean-inspired getaway. The menu options include fresh organic local ingredients and what Dan Timm, the general manager, calls â€œsome of the best fish tacos out there.â€
â€œWe make our tortillas in house,â€ said Timm. His pride in the menu and attention to detail is clear.
â€œWeâ€™re conscious of using local products and organic grown produce whenever possible,â€ he said. â€œWe respect the need to be responsible with our resources.â€
Beyond the new menu, Beach House is banking on its laid back atmosphere to be its most appealing feature to the Old Town scene, with new live music Saturdays as something to set it apart.
â€œYouâ€™re definitely on island time here,â€ says Timm, who expects the winter months to be even more inviting, â€œcome in, the heat will always be on.â€
New improvements, such as a late night window for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday crowd, will be open until 3 a.m., serving freshly prepared food, although Beach House wonâ€™t start this service until mid-September.
Despite what Beach House sees as many improvements across the board, some former customers are still skeptical.
â€œI feel like they went over the top with the theme. Itâ€™s like Iâ€™m standing in a daycare,â€ said Barry Loseke, senior business major.
Local students like Bruce Zimmerman share Losekeâ€™s sentiment.
â€œItâ€™s an original idea, but the magic of Stonehouse is missing,â€ he said.
Despite both opinions, Timm is confident things will pick-up, citing an influx of business last Thursday.
On Thursdays Beach House offers $3 Rum specials as well as its beer buckets, five for $10 domestics and five for $14 on micro-brews and specialty beers.
Timm believes that once the fully interactive website launches, the Fort Collins community will visit the Beach House more frequently. The Facebook page will also have a feature where fans can tag pictures and post opinions on the menu selection.
Staff writer Sean Bucher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.