Kannah Creek brings its craft beer and food to a third location in Fruita

Tosha Dixon, regional director of restaurant operations, stands on a new roll of carpeting in front of the newest Kannah Creek brewery in Fruita. The brewery is renovating the old Feedlot Restaurant, 456 Kokopelli Drive, as it gets ready to open a third location, which will be called Kannah Creek West.

People who spend the day riding their bikes across the Colorado National Monument, photographing bighorn sheep, or hiking where dinosaurs once tread usually work up a powerful hunger and thirst.

It’s a growing demand among Fruita residents and the tourists who love to visit them, according to Tosha Dixon, 35, regional development director for Kannah Creek Brewing Company.

The demand for more food and drink options in the burgeoning mountain bike mecca caught the craft brewer’s attention years ago, but the right opportunity didn’t present itself until the Feedlot Restaurant decided to relocate earlier this year, Dixon said.

Seizing the chance to enter the Fruita market, Kannah Creek plans to open its third craft brewery and restaurant sometime this week. Finishing touches were still being made to the space on Thursday, however, so call ahead before you go. 

Work crews were rolling out and securing new carpet to the floor when Dixon paused Thursday to reflect on the three months of renovations that are now nearly complete.

“There’s a growing demand for craft beer and craft food in Fruita, across the state and around the nation,” Dixon said. “We’ve had our eye on Fruita for quite a while. We love Fruita. We love the locals and we love the tourism business. We’re not going to make ourselves millionaires out here, but we are going to provide great service, craft beer and craft food that appeals to both the sensational local crowd and also tourists.”

The new location is called Kannah Creek Brewing Company West and is located at 456 Kokopelli Blvd. It will feature a modern fusion menu, different from the menus at the brewer’s two other locations, though there will be some overlap, she said.

Kannah Creek West aims to satisfy meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans with its new, innovative menu, Dixon said.

“Instead of chips and salsa or bread on the table, we’re going to do chicharrón,” also known as fried pork cracklings, “with Dad’s Jalapeno Sauces” from Palisade. “What’s better than beer and pork rinds? We make them in house and they’re going to be fantastic.”

Parsnip french fries and Cuban pork butt sandwiches are other new menu items to look forward to.

Of course, all 14 Kannah Creek Brewing Company beers will be available on tap, along with a full-service bar. Table service will be available inside and also outside the restaurant on the west-facing patio. 

Bench seating similar to Kannah Creek’s 12th Street location, which allows tables to be quickly joined for families and big parties, will be available.

“We can watch sports too, but it’s not a sports bar, really. It will be a place where you can bring your family to have fun and also your buddies.”

“We try to inform all of our servers, so they’re able to educate their customers. You don’t have to learn from a brewer one on one. Whether you’re a craft beer virgin or somebody who already loves it, our servers will teach you about our beer, and the differences between ours and other people’s.”

The hours of operation will be Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

“Everyone has already been so welcoming that we can’t wait to get our doors open to meet more of the Fruita community,” said Kannah Creek Brewing Company operations manager Shane Dixon.

Lea Balzer, 50, Fruita, a waiter at Camilla’s Kaffe for the past eight years, couldn’t agree more. “I think it’s awesome. It means we’ll have more great restaurants to choose from.”

Kannah Creek Brewing Company opened its original brew pub at 12th Street and Orchard Avenue in Grand Junction in October 2005. 

In 2012 they broke ground on Edgewater Brewery located at Ninth Street and Riverside Parkway in south downtown. The restaurant opened its doors in May 2013. Edgewater Brewery is also home to Kannah Creek’s bottling and production brewery.

Kannah Creek West expects to hire around 50 employees to work at the Fruita location.


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