New eatery in downtown Craig, more on the way this summer |

New eatery in downtown Craig, more on the way this summer

Tom Mathers and Susie Partin stand by the register of their new Side Door Kitchen restaurant Thursday, May 23.
Clay Thorp/Craig Press

There’s a new eatery at one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Craig, amid other developments downtown and beyond.

The Side Door Kitchen adjacent to Mathers Bar is now accepting customers, opening its doors to residents after several previous establishments closed.

Tom and Mike Mathers enlisted the help of the whole family in redecorating and remodeling the inside of the restaurant. The result is a red carpet entryway that leads hungry visitors into a back-home-themed dining area complete with a bar, raised booths for larger families, and a party space with its white wooden siding and windows inside the restaurant.

Clay Thorp/Craig Press
The Mathers family’s new restaurant has a new look Thursday, May 23.


“It just has a better atmosphere than it did before,” said Susie Parton as she stood by the register Thursday. 

Stacey Mathers has also worked hard to get the restaurant redone and the menu revitalized.

“We choose high-quality products, high quality meat,” Stacey said. “We shop local for our meat. We have an excellent cook on staff.”

In the kitchen, Dustin Earle, the Side Door Kitchen’s new kitchen manager and head cook, worked with his prep cook, Juan Marquez, to bust out hot food fast in the middle of Thursday’s lunch rush hour. A few Philly cheese steaks and seasoned fries later, the Side Door Kitchen’s wait staff crowded the small kitchen to deliver their food to several customers giving the new restaurant an early try.

Clay Thorp/Craig Press
Dustin Earle, the Side Door Kitchen’s new kitchen manager and head cook, helps run hot food to hungry customers moments after pulling it off the grill during one of restaurants first lunch rush hours Thursday, May 23.


Mathers has been a family-owned business since the 1950s.

“That’s a long time in one spot,” Tom said Thursday as customers came and went.

The Side Door Kitchen’s menu sticks to the classics.

“We’re doing more comfort food,” Tom said.

The new restaurant recently got the go-ahead from the Craig City Council to add an outdoor patio area.

“We got approved there, so be looking for that,” Tom said.

For more than a week, the family could be seen coming and going, managing contractors as the restaurant was closed for renovations.

Stacey said the hard work it took to get the restaurant back open brought the Mathers family closer together.

“It brought us closer. It’s really made us a tight-knit unit,” Stacy said. “We hope it does that for the community.”

Others on the horizon

Though they were hoping to have grand openings somewhat sooner, another new restaurant at the golf course and a brew pub in downtown Craig say they hope to hold grand openings this summer.

Yampa Valley Brewing Company’s Erica Tieppo said the company hit a snag due to having secured the wrong type of brewing license.

She said Craig’s new brewery — The Barrel Cathedral — had a brewpub license but not a manufacturing license needed to produce and age its own beer in downtown Craig.

“You can only have one,” Tieppo said of the licensing required.

Tieppo was able to secure approval of their new manufacturing license May 14 from Craig’s City Council, and now the paperwork is at the mercy of the state and federal bureaucracy.

“Once our new licensing goes through the federal and state level, we’ll begin the barrel operation over there,” Tieppo said.

The brewery will also feature a Cajun bistro restaurant inside it — a separate operation called Fais Do-do which Tieppo said will be run by a Cajun woman.

“She’s from Lousiana, so she will be cooking mostly authentic Cajun food,” Tieppo said.

The Yampa Valley Bar and Grill at Yampa Valley Golf Course is also pushing back its opening date to June.

Restaurant manager Cherissee Smith said their menu is worked out and so is their draft beer selection for residents in need of a quick bite or after-work brew.

“We have four different beers on draft,” Smith said.

The grill’s menu isn’t complicated.

“It’s a pretty simple menu,” Smith said. “We’ve got burgers, salads, sandwiches and an all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar. It’s a fresh salad bar everyday.”

Smith has also helped work the beverage cart for golfers who frequent the course and will cater several upcoming golf tournaments. She said the golf course is beginning to look great and folks are beginning to hit the links.

“It’s starting to green up,” Smith said. “We do have a lot of people out now.”

Then there’s 518 Wine Bar who secured approval for their liquor license last week at the Craig City Council meeting.

The wine bar is the brainchild of Charlotte Wuestewald, Nattiel Griggs, and Kirstie McPherson — owner of The Find in Hayden — who plan to have a multi-use space at 518 Yampa Ave. — a special retail space in the front and a wine bar in the back.

“The wine bar won’t be open until August, but The Find will hopefully be open June 1,” Wuestewald said.

Both spaces will be pretty classy, according to Wuestewald.

“It’s not going to have the bar feel, more high-end,” she said.

The three also have plans to revamp the outer façade and the inside retail and wine bar area. The space will offer small appetizers or you can order from your favorite downtown Craig restaurant, or you can enjoy some wine for your birthday, engagement, or wedding party once the group has secured their liquor license from the state.

“We’re hoping we get that mid-August,” Wuestewald said.

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