Hayden Hayden residents and visitors are following their noses to the west side of town where savory smoke billows from a large smoker.
Tyler Antwine was recruited from Osawatomie, Kan., to be the head pit master at We B Smokin’ BBQ.
For the past seven years, Antwine had been at an unaffiliated restaurant with the same name.
“I’ve been smoking meat for a long time,” Antwine said.
The beef and pork were being cooked at about 180 degrees and would be in the smoker for 12 to 13 hours. Antwine cooks with apple- and cherry-scented pellets.
“It mostly just gives it a sweet flavor,” Antwine said.
During the lunch hour Friday, several of the tables were occupied by people trying out the food for the first time since the restaurant opened Dec. 16.
“Yummy, yummy,” Wyoming resident Sharon Thoren said. “It’s the best barbecue I’ve had in forever.”
Her husband, Brad, nodded his head.
“And a lot of it,” he said while eating through the basket of ribs.
The couple was traveling back home and stopped after a propane truck driver recommended they try it out.
The building had been vacant since July 2012, when the Double Barrel Steakhouse moved to Craig.
The owners of the property at 825 W. Jefferson Ave. did not find a new tenant and chose to open up the restaurant themselves. The owners are Hayden developers Stefanus Nijsten and his brother Louis Nijsten and Bob Zibel. They developed the Creek View Townhomes behind the restaurant, and they have plans to build a hotel on the property. The restaurant and hotel would complement each other, Louis Nijsten said.
Nijsten said the feedback so far from customers has been really good.
“We have a really good staff, and I think that’s a recipe for success,” Nijsten said.
Jenny Hines and Haley Ann Perryman were hired to manage the smokehouse, which currently is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. There are plans to eventually open Sundays and offer a buffet and bloody mary bar.
Menu items include classic barbecue made with local meats, burgers and homemade sides, including mac 'n' cheese. Perryman uses a family recipe for the bread pudding dessert.
The full menu and prices can be found at www.we-b-smokinbbq.com.
Hines and Perryman said they want to see a restaurant be successful in the prime location along U.S. Highway 40.
“We’re trying to be the best smokehouse in Northwest Colorado,” Perryman said.
She said the support from the community has been overwhelming, and they are glad to offer another dining option for residents.
“We’re trying to get people in Hayden to stay in Hayden,” Hines said.
Hayden resident Essam Welch stopped by for lunch with his 1-year-old daughter Aisha, and he was happy to see the restaurant building occupied once again.
“It’s good to see some more action here,” he said.
To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland
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