Worth the Trip: A taste of the Grand Valley with three very different concept eateries
A popular Grand Junction restaurateur gives visitors (and locals) a taste of the Grand Valley with three very different concept eateries
Roaring Fork Valley residents visit Grand Junction for its outdoor recreation, stunning scenery and warmer climate. While road warriors and active types hit the biking and hiking trails, savvy diners head to downtown and, perhaps, stay overnight in order to dine at one of Josh and Jodi Niernberg’s eateries.
The couple opened their first restaurant, Bin 707 Foodbar, in 2011, and it quickly became a favorite for locals and in-the-know visitors in search of locally sourced ingredients (what Josh Niernberg calls “inspired regional and seasonal American cuisine”), Colorado wine and beer and craft cocktails, in a warm, inviting setting.
From cheese and charcuterie plates and irresistible starters like fried artichoke hearts with grilled lemon and aioli to Colorado elk carpaccio with juniper oil and blackberries, Bin 707’s menu covers diverse terrain inspired by the Western Slope’s farms and ranches, including High Country Orchards, La Familia Gardens, Field 2 Fork CSA and Blaine’s Tomatoes & Farm.
“When we opened, farm-to-table wasn’t a catch phrase and, in this region, locavore dining didn’t exist,” says Niernberg. “The Grand Valley was hit hard by the recession, and although we looked statewide for a space for our restaurant, we kept coming back to the realization that Grand Junction was the perfect location for our concept. Our mission has always been to be local—we source from Colorado and domestically for both economic and environmental responsibility.”
This past March, the Niernberg’s opened Taco Party down the street from Bin 707. “In opening new concepts, we’re hoping to both create new opportunities for our staff to learn and grow, and to expand the dining community in the Grand Valley to attract talent to our team,” says Niernberg.
The bright, airy, hardwood-floored space is colorful and casual, dominated by an L-shaped bar where patrons can order Colorado wines and craft beer, tequila, mezcal or rotating cocktails on tap.
The emphasis is on creative tacos and other Latin-inspired street food: Think empanadas with Moon Hill Dairy’s Alpenbert, preserved plums and crema, or Alamosa striped bass ceviche with watermelon radish, red kuri squash and carrot pico de gallo. The relaxed vibe encourages lingering, with a roll-up garage door entrance providing views of Colorado National Monument to the west.
This summer will see the debut of Dinner Party—what Niernberg describes as an “outlet for creativity, a space to host events and push the culinary landscape of the region, as well as provide us with a larger-scale kitchen for some of our larger [produce] preservation projects during the growing season.
The starkly attractive 50-seat space will offer pop-up, collaboration and winemaker dinners showcasing Colorado chefs, farmers, ranchers and beverage producers, with the goal of “promoting the Grand Valley as an agritourism destination. Consider us sold.
GO FIND IT!
Bin 707 Foodbar
225 N. 5th St. #105, Grand Junction
126 S. 5th St., Grand Junction
Visit Bin707.com for Dinner Party event calendar.