Crepes a la Cart’s second location eases pressure on one of Breckenridge’s longest, most prohibitive lines | SummitDaily.com

Crepes a la Cart’s second location eases pressure on one of Breckenridge’s longest, most prohibitive lines

If there's a line on the sidewalks of Main Street Breckenridge, odds are it's for Crepes a la Cart.

Waiting up to 30 minutes or more for the sweet or savory creations prepared by one of the town's most popular and longest-running food carts, even people who've only been to Breckenridge twice in their lives know just how bad — and good — it all can get.

"It does get to be a bit tough," company president Alex La Marca admitted last week as he talked about Crepes a la Cart's long lines, capacity for turning out crepes and what's being done to relieve some of the pressure from the Crepe Cart on Main Street.

"We're working on four tops — two crepe grills down there — that allow us to put out about 40-50 crepes an hour," he said while acknowledging it's not nearly enough to keep up with demand.

As a result, Crepes a la Cart has opened its second location at 309 S. Ridge St. Alley, which they're affectionately calling the "Crepes Kitchen."

In truth, the kitchen has been in use for food prep about 10 years now, but it didn't have a sales counter until last March.

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The Crepes Kitchen is certainly off the beaten path, tucked way in an alleyway behind Breckenridge Market.

Needless to say, it's somewhat hard to find. However, it more than doubles the number of crepes the business can turn out during their busiest times, La Marca said, and the second location has been offloading pressure on the Main Street Crepe Cart for months now.

Many people — or at least those who know about it — see this as a good thing.

"I'm glad we know about this," said Sterling Webb, a teenager from Texas who vividly remembers visiting Breckenridge with his family about three years ago.

At the time, he recalled, everybody was raving about Crepes a la Cart. After hearing so much about it, he and his family decided they had to find out what all the fuss was about, even though it meant braving a notoriously long line.

But Webb waited patiently, he said, long enough, in fact, that his mother had enough time to get a full facial before he got his crepes. Still, the teen said he's glad he did.

"It was really good," Webb recalled, adding that the crepes "were worth the line."

Three years later, Webb, his mother and his sister were going back for an encore eating. Only this time they knew about a second place to pick up the crepes.

The family had to ask for directions to find it, but once inside, they had their orders in within minutes, and their crepes were soon to follow.

Most of Crepes a la Cart's business still comes from the Main Street location, La Marca said, but when the line builds up there, his employees will try to cut it down by offering to lead people on a group walk one-tenth of a mile, around the block, to the Crepes Kitchen.

"That's definitely one of our tactics here," La Marca said. "When there's too long of a line, we'll have one of our chefs go out and lead the people all the way up through the alleyway."

La Marca has seen some nice results since opening the second location too, and he said business is up about 15 percent since last March.

Because it's not a terribly prominent location, however, he thinks they can boost business even further as he tries to get word out about the Crepes Kitchen doing things like advertising and putting up fliers, just so people know that it exists.

"So our lines do move a lot faster now, but this is still kind of the 'secret location,'" he said.

Indoor seating is limited at the kitchen, and parking remains tricky without any dedicated parking spaces for the business.

At peak times, even the kitchen can get a little busy, but it's certainly helped reduce what La Marca agrees has become one of the most consistently long lines in Breckenridge.

And the Crepes Kitchen takes call-ins too, he added, which allows people to phone in orders ahead of time and bypass the line when they come to pick them up.

"Usually, everybody leaves pretty happy," La Marca said of his customers.

"We do get a few people who get a little upset over the wait, the line and everything. Definitely, it's difficult, but the location at the cart is a bit small, and that's the reason we got the second location here. Hopefully we can get some of those people who are a little less apt to wait, make them a little happier."

Crepes A la cart

The two locations for Crepes a la Cart in Breckenridge are:

Crepe Cart — 307 S. Main St.

Crepe Kitchen — 309 S. Ridge St. Alley