Openings and Closings

New Niwot Restaurant Farow Is Committed to Supporting Local Farmers

Husband and wife Lisa and Patrick Balcom opened Farow in September.
Husband and wife Lisa and Patrick Balcom opened Farow in September. Courtesy of Farow
Niwot, a small town between Longmont and Boulder, may seem like an unlikely location for a farm-to-table fine-dining restaurant. But that's where husband-and-wife team Patrick and Lisa Balcom found the perfect location for their first eatery, Farow, which opened in September at 7916 Niwot Road.

The Balcoms have been in the restaurant industry for two decades, and moved to Longmont from South Carolina a few years ago. Before opening Farow, they both worked at Blackbelly in Boulder — Lisa as the pastry chef and Patrick as the sous chef. That's where they began developing relationships with local farmers.

They had always thought about the possibility of opening a restaurant, and in 2020, the Balcoms finally began planning: "When the pandemic happened, we found ourselves with our schedules aligning again, so it gave us time to start thinking about our futures," Lisa says.

Originally, they wanted to open a small cafe, but when they found a location they loved in Niwot, Lisa knew right away that they needed to alter their original idea to fit the space. "We came across this, and I was like, 'Oh, no, this definitely needs to be dinner,'" she notes. They saw an unfilled niche in Niwot for a restaurant that serves small plates and began adjusting their business plan accordingly, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients.

Colterra used to be the go-to fine-dining option in Niwot, but since it closed in 2017, Lisa says, the community missed having a place to gather with friends. She also mentions that Longmont doesn't have any fine dining and that "people get tired of Boulder," so they hope to draw business from those areas as well, along with Lafayette and Louisville. The restaurant has also seen visitors from Denver, who come to spend the weekend in Niwot.
click to enlarge Farow serves seasonal small plates sourced largely from within ten miles of Niwot. - ELLIE HARRIS
Farow serves seasonal small plates sourced largely from within ten miles of Niwot.
Ellie Harris
Guests at Farow have the opportunity to try various items instead of having to commit to one large plate. The menu changes weekly, if not more, with items like steak tartare, oxtail tortelloni and dishes highlighting seasonal produce like squash. The offerings depend on what is available from local farmers. In fact, almost all of the ingredients at Farow are sourced from within ten miles of the restaurant. Farow also offers happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. daily in the bar and lounge, a handful of breakfast options like its egg and cheese on housemade sourdough English muffins, a dessert menu featuring Lisa's handmade pastries, and a sommelier-curated wine and beverage menu.

The farm-to-table approach and the relationships the Balcoms have built with local farmers have become the cornerstone of the business and is reflective of the closeness of the Niwot community. It was important to Patrick and Lisa from the very beginning to support the community in any way they could. "It has to do with keeping money in the area, reducing carbon footprint. ... It goes across the board, you know, just a better way to do business," says Patrick.

Lisa recalls meeting Clint and MaryKay Buckner of Buckner Family Farm and instantly hitting it off with them. The whole staff toured the farm, which allowed everyone to establish a personal connection with the farmers and the food.

Patrick and Lisa also credit the growing success of the restaurant to their one-step-at-a-time approach. When they opened Farow, they offered dinner service five nights a week, then gradually added breakfast, and just recently started opening seven days a week. "I just want to make sure that whatever we're doing, we're doing it well," Lisa notes. She knows from her experience in the industry that restauranteurs often do too much too quickly, and that a slower, more methodical approach prevents chaos and ensures a better experience for the guests and staff.

A smooth opening and support from the community has the Balcoms feeling optimistic about Farow's future. "You know, as the seasons change, our ingredients change, and it's ever-evolving," Lisa says.

Farow is located at 7916 Niwot Road in Niwot and serves breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner service is from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit farowrestaurant.com.
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Sean Mulcahy is a Westword reporting intern and student at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She loves all things in the Colorado mountains and is always looking for the best places to eat, drink, and dance in the Mile High City.
Contact: Sean Mulcahy