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Interstate Kitchen & Bar

Mark Manger
Brothers Andre and Aaron Lobato got an early start in the restaurant business, helping their parents run the 14th Street Bar and Grill, which had a 22-year run in Boulder. Just before that restaurant finally closed, the siblings took a cross-country trip and, along with their friend Joey Newman, decided to open their own place, a hip take on a classic highway roadhouse. In 2009, the partners picked up the lease on the corner spot in the Santa Fe Art District that once held the Santa Fe Tequila Company, a new building in the middle of old storefronts that today hold galleries, shops and other restaurants. They redesigned the space with tables that recall the round booths in diners, an old wood bar, artwork depicting old gas stations, and actual automotive fixtures, including the back of a car in the bar. The decor is a tribute to all the romantic symbols of roadside Americana: Norman Rockwell meets a heavy dose of rock and roll meets a mechanic with cigarettes rolled into his sleeve. The menu of American classics is similarly tricked out, and it's paired to a whiskey-heavy back bar. The food is good, and it's even better at the restaurant's two happy hours -- one late-afternoon, the other late-night -- where you can score a full meal for a cheap price.

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