Bright teal accent walls, chrome chairs and vibrant artwork dominate the interior space at Blue River Bistro in Breckenridge. Gone are the dark mustard walls and black seating of old. Hints of chocolate and pops of red highlight the new, clean look.
The Blue River Bistro recently completed a remodel before reopening for the winter season. The restaurant was closed for 12 days to complete construction. The makeover included new flooring, paint and art, as well as a brand-new layout and a different menu.
Jay Beckerman has owned the bistro for 13 years, and said the menu always changes seasonally. This winter, he wanted to focus on fresh, in-season produce and proteins.
One new menu item is the blackened rib eye, a 16-ounce cut seasoned with tarragon and chili flake, white balsamic caramelized onion, chive-gorgonzola risotto and sautéed spinach.
“We’ve never offered rib eye before,” Beckerman said.
Another hearty winter dish Beckerman is offering this season is burgundy braised short ribs. He said the layout change makes the restaurant more spacious. The bistro is also sporting lower-backed seating and a large booth along the wall, conducive to large parties.
“We don’t try to be everything to everyone,” Beckerman said. “We want to cater to people interested in being in this kind of environment.”
Beckerman decided two years ago he would do the remodel this fall. With all new lighting, different flooring and new barstools, chairs and more, it was a lot to take on in such a short time.
“I’m not a huge fan of step by step, it was going to be all or nothing,” Beckerman said. “It really gave the place a brand-new look. I’ve been watching guests come in and I just see their jaw drop.”
Beckerman worked with a Frisco design company to select the odds and ends for the design details.
“I’m a restaurant owner, I have trouble dressing myself in the mornings,” he said. “The design brought a new feeling of light, airiness — not stuffy.”
After demolition on the first day, construction was completed in 10 days, and then the restaurant remained closed one extra day for the staff to have menu tastings. The bistro went through two facelifts, one in 2003 and one in 2007, but nothing to this extent, Beckerman said.
“It looks like a new restaurant but it still has the same feel of the Bistro,” he said. “It still has that essence of the reputation and niche we’ve built. But now there’s a clean, minimalist appeal.”