FlipSide Burger opens on Main Street in Breckenridge
IF YOU GO
What: FlipSide Burger
Where: 320 S. Main St., Breckenridge
When: Open and serving food from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Contact: (970) 771-3085; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Walking into the new FlipSide Burger on Main Street, it’s hard to imagine the space as its predecessor, the three20south music venue. Taking over the entire basement nightclub plus a neighboring shop, the completely remodeled tri-level restaurant is already drawing in a crowd.
FlipSide is the first Colorado location of a small chain owner Terry Barbu helped open in Cleveland, Ohio, with Michael Schwartz. Barbu, who also owns Blue Stag Saloon across the street, scooped up the Main Street property almost a year after three20 closed, finalizing the purchase on Feb. 12, 2015. The Summit resident specializes in failing properties and has opened more than 70 restaurants across the U.S. Renovations for the gourmet burger joint started last May, and after spending more than $1 million in the remodel, FlipSide opened on Jan. 22.
The Breckenridge restaurant shares the FlipSide name, along with a similar menu to the Ohio locations, but the eatery is all Colorado.
“We are locally-owned and totally independent from the franchise. … We are not a chain,” said Jason Payne, general manager of FlipSide. “Everything about this restaurant is Colorado.”
Executive chef Tyler Daley runs the FlipSide kitchen, with a focus on all-natural or organic ingredients from Colorado. All of the proteins are sourced in the state, with Aspen Ridge out of Greeley as its grass-fed beef provider. The pork, turkey, lamb, chicken, cheese, produce — everything that can be purchased in Colorado is, Payne said. Although the fish cannot be purchased in state, it is flown in fresh every day and never frozen.
“Tyler and myself were very adamant about everything being Colorado,” said sous chef Mitchell Slaughter.
Even the ketchup sitting on the table is organic and made in Denver. Sauces and dressings are all made in-house — and, except for the sweet potato fries, everything on the menu is made from scratch, Slaughter said.
The sous chef is all about catering to any dietary needs, from vegans to gluten-free diets. They offer gluten-free bun substitutions and designate one of the fryers on site for those with celiac disease, ensuring that items with gluten are never used in the same oil.
They offer daily specials and soups of the day along with a different burger of the month. From-scratch shakes are made with locally sourced vanilla bean ice cream — and they are currently offering shakes made with Samoas or Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies purchased from a local group of girls.
Payne said they are looking to expand into offering a high-end brunch menu on the weekends. He hopes to get that off the ground in about a month or so.
Even the liquor cabinet boasts a rotating cast of Colorado spirits and beer, with simple syrups and bitters made in-house. FlipSide offers 16 draft beers, a variety of bottles, wines by the glass and bottle and an extensive craft cocktail list that changes with the seasonality of ingredients.
FROM BASEMENT VENUE TO UPSCALE BURGER JOINT
The space on Main Street was available after three20south closed in May 2014. Payne said other restaurant owners had looked into the space, but until Barbu, no one else wanted to take on the project. Once the space next door to the music venue — formerly The Shirt Mine — became available, Barbu did what he’s done many times before — envisioned what could be.
“Terry had a vision that no one else saw, which was combining these two spaces,” Payne said.
Knocking out the wall between the former shop and music venue, Barbu designed a tri-level restaurant, creating a family-friendly space downstairs away from the bar area.
“As far as restaurant design is concerned, the guy has an absolute knack for it,” Payne said. “You can come in and get a perfect ambiance downstairs or upstairs that excludes you from the bar scene. … It allows people to really enjoy the experience based upon our tri-level setting.”
Barbu brought in Payne, who was running Park & Main in the La Cima Mall, along with chef Daley and Slaughter, who were running the kitchen at Barbu’s Blue Stag restaurant. The three helped with the remodel, custom-making everything from tables and chairs to handrails and doors. Slaughter even earned the name “metal-working Mitch Slaughter” for his contributions to the remodel.
“Everything in this place is custom-made by the people that work here, which gives us pride,” Payne said. “It’s a beautiful space.”
The restaurant’s soft opening brought out around 450 people in two and a half hours, Payne said, while they were expecting maybe 100. Before opening at 5 p.m., there was a line out the door and around the corner. Without doing any marketing, Payne attributes their early success to word of mouth from locals. Payne himself has lived in the county for 11 years, with Slaughter logging eight years and Daley seven. They have already seen a few people that they now consider regulars, and Payne said the feedback from the local community has been very positive.
“People are just loving it,” Payne said. “That’s what makes us feel good — if you win the locals over then you win the town over,” because the locals are the ones recommending food spots to guests.
“We have been packed since day one,” he said. “I don’t think that any business in Breckenridge from their opening day has seen the amount of volume (we have).”
FlipSide has seen so much early success, it even won a “One Breckenridge” Service Champion award during the month of January from the Breckenridge Tourism Office.
“You’re not going to find a place like us in Breckenridge, that’s for sure, let alone maybe the state of Colorado,” Payne said.
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