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Historic El Rancho Restaurant has new owners and a new-old menu

Historic El Rancho Restaurant, the 63-year-old mountain dining mecca with its own exit sign off I-70, has gone through several incarnations since the family that ran the place for 25 years sold it in 1988. And after more than a year on the block, El Rancho got new owners at the end of June: Jesse Haubert and Jim Hartwell.

"We will be updating the Restaurant, Bar, Conference Room, Store and Website with a new menu and exciting food and drink specials," promises that website. "Feel free to come in and enjoy our NEW 70" Flat Screen TV. Or come and enjoy our new appetizers, specials and entrees while viewing one of several screens throughout the restaurant."

Brant Andrews is now the executive chef, and he's put together a new menu filled with soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas, while still focusing on the game meat and trout entrees that have been mainstays here for decades. And in keeping with those traditions, El Rancho is still featuring prime rib on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

But for now, it sounds like the scenery outside is less important than what's on that big screen.

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