Tuesday 10: Fort Collins Restaurants Serving Food Since the 70’s or Before

Ah…1974. The year my beautiful wife and I moved to Fort Collins. Restaurants near Horsetooth Road were considered the outskirts of town. Downtown and Midtown (near campus) were the hubs for restaurants. For lunch, we’d go to the Woolworth’s counter service, located on College and Mountain. We’d sit on the little stools at the counter and order comfort food.

My first job in Fort Collins was as a waiter at the upscale Northern Hotel Restaurant. Chef Bergmeister, fondly called “Bergie”, was in charge and saved us from starvation on a failed fishing trip (2 ten inch trout, 4 big guys, and 1 wise chef who brought an extra prime rib).

Although Woolworth’s and the Northern Hotel Restaurant are no longer around, here are ten restaurants that have lasted through the years:

  1. Canino’s Italian Restaurant (1976) – 613 S College Ave. – Laid back Italian food in a 1903 house. We’ve enjoyed many family dinners here. Their homemade pasta is a classic. Go on Tuesday for their “Retro Night” with 5 entrees at 1980’s prices. http://www.caninositalianrestaurant.com/index.html

  2. Bisetti’s Italian (1979) – 120 S College Ave. –Hearty Italian food. A great stop for lunch, dinner, and special occasions. Be prepared to eat way too much of the bread with fresh herb butter. http://www.bisettis.com/

  3. Jay’s Bistro (started as Columbine Café) – 135 W Oak St. – Fine dining in Old Town. Varied menu with lots of local ingredients. Fantastic live jazz Wed.-Sun. The tuna tempura appetizer is a favorite. http://www.jaysbistro.net/

  4. Charco Broiler (1957) – 1716 E Mulberry St. – A steakhouse with an atmosphere that feels like stepping back into the 50’s. We often went here for special dinners as a family. Look for the salad with chex mix served over top. http://charcobroiler.com/

  5. Silver Grill Café (1933) – 218 Walnut St. – Cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls…and other delicious food. The oldest restaurant in Fort Collins. Always buzzing, but worth a stop for home style food. Did I mention the cinnamon rolls? http://www.silvergrill.com/

  6. Ever Open Café (50+ years) – 1422 North College Ave. – A small town diner feeling with big comfort foods. A convenient stop on the way up to the mountains or for a filling breakfast. http://www.yelp.com/biz/ever-open-cafe-and-gas-stop-fort-collins

  7. Rainbow Restaurant (1976) – 212 W Laurel St. – Healthy and fresh vegetarian fare. Great for eating indoors or on the beautiful patio (dogs allowed). Anything is recommended on the menu, but my family is especially fond of the vegan coffee cake and benedicts. http://www.rainbowfortcollins.com/#about

  8. C.B. & Potts (1974) – 1415 W Elizabeth St. – Burgers, bar food, and beer near campus. Great place to gather and catch a game with friends. Popular with students, but still has a local feeling. http://www.cbpotts.com/locations/fort-collins/

  9. El Burrito (1960) – 404 Linden St. – Known as the first Mexican restaurant established in Fort Collins. Serves family recipes in a quick, cafeteria style. http://elburritosince1960.vpweb.com/default.html

  10. Washington’s Sports Bar and Grill (1978) -132 Laporte Ave. – Burgers and bar food surrounded by arcade games, trivia tournaments, and little bit of Fort Collins history. The burgers are recommended (although my vegetarian daughters might object). http://www.thewashbar.com/

What restaurants do you remember when you first moved here?

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