We know the fried chicken at the Post Brewing Co. is scary good, but the chicken-and-beer joint is about to get really spooky. Founder Dave Query just signed a lease to take over an old carriage house on the grounds of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park with hopes of being open and serving "good old American fried chicken in time for the Fourth of July."
Query, whose Big Red F restaurant group includes four Post Brewing Co. locations as well as the Jax Fish House chain, Lola Coastal Mexican, Zolo Grill, Centro Mexican Kitchen and West End Tavern, says he's been in talks with the Stanley's owner, John Cullen, on and off for several years. "The hotel was originally opened by the inventor of the Stanley Steam Engine," Query explains, "and there's a building where he used to park the steamers; it's always been sort of a utility building."
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The new Post will take up 4,400 square feet of that building, making it a little over half the size of the flagship restaurant, which opened in Lafayette in January 2014. "There will also be a huge patio in the summer, with crazy good views of the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park," the restaurateur adds.
The Hotel has seen a number of upgrades in recent years, and the carriage house is the last of the buildings on the property to be renovated. Query is working with longtime Stanley architect Jack Mousseau to maintain the historic integrity of the structure while creating the familiar Post Brewing Co. ambience.
The new Post will be similar to the locations at 2200 South Broadway in Denver and 1258 South Hover Road in Longmont, which serve the same menu from chef/partner Bret Smith as the original but do not have on-site breweries. In 2017, Query opened its fourth Post Brewing Company, and the second with a brewhouse, at 2027 13th Street in Boulder. He's also planning on putting one of his beer-and-chicken restaurants inside Denver International Airport, which seems more of a reality now that a new contractor has been named to restart the behind-schedule Great Hall project.
Ghost tours are a big part of the Stanley's allure, and now Front Range residents will have a tasty reason to visit the historic hotel — unless you're chicken.