By Cory Warden
Chefs and restaurateurs Todd and Kellie Stevens have added a new venue to their downtown dynasty. The BackRoom Wine Bar will appeal to locals and tourists alike who wish to relax in a cozy, upscale environment while enjoying wines from around the world.
Remodeled almost entirely by the couple themselves, the wine bar was a hands-on endeavor. They have put many hours of sweat equity into it- from fabricating the bar and the interior rolling barn-style doors, to the colors and textures they chose to paint it. All of their efforts created a space that is warm and inviting. There is a cavernous feeling to it reminiscent of a cask room or wine cellar.
“We had this space available and wanted a place where people felt they could relax and hang out without pressure to leave and make room for the next customer. We also thought it would be great in the winter for people to wait and have a glass of wine and a snack until there was a table available for them at The Alley House Grille. We never want to turn people away and now we won’t have to. We can call over to the BackRoom when their table is ready.”
The Stevens’ are excited for the opportunity to explore different wine regions from around the world. At The Alley House, they serve strictly a domestic wine list, while at the BackRoom they will feature small, boutique wines from Australia, California, France, Italy, New Zealand, Spain and Washington State.
Cameron Thompson, manager of The BackRoom Wine Bar, is no stranger to the energy and enthusiasm the owners put into all of their establishments. She has been working with Todd and Kellie for almost three years, and was excited to learn about their newest venture.“They were up to something next door, but no one knew what it was. After about a month, they told me what they were doing and asked if I would be the manager. I was thrilled! I have been in the service industry for many years, and I’m interested in learning more about the back of the house and the details of running a restaurant business. I feel fortunate to have two of the best mentors in this industry. They are passionate about their restaurants and good to their staff.”
“The Wine Bar is an amazing gift to the town of Pagosa Springs- there is nothing like it here. Since Todd and Kellie are doing most of the work themselves and still running two other businesses and their family, they are taking it one step at a time. One improvement that I am looking forward to is the renovation of the courtyard into a beer garden with an outdoor fire pit and comfortable furniture. It will be another cool place to hang out downtown.”
The other feature of The BackRoom is an olive oil tasting room where customers can sample infused olive oils from all over California. It will also serve as a retail space to purchase the olive oils that have been sampled, as well as infused vinegars and other culinary items. Tasting room will be open from 10am-5pm. After 5pm, the retail space will convert back to a relaxing wine bar atmosphere, where customers can enjoy a glass of wine, microbrew or a creative wine cocktail such as a Sake Bloody Mary, as well as choose from six assorted tapas. The tasting room/retail space will also be available for private parties.
Escape to The BacksRoom Wine Bar in Downtown Pagosa Springs.