‘New’ Feedlot inspires memories of folks’ former favorite eatery
Like many Grand Junction residents, Russ and Tami Parker have fond memories of a restaurant called the Feedlot Restaurant and Lounge, which served juicy steaks and fresh salads to locals for nearly 20 years.
That restaurant at 118 Main St. was opened in 1977 by Terri Hanna. Prior to her ownership, the building housed a restaurant called The Dream, which some may remember featured the Cloud Nine Lounge.
“It was one of the first places we dated and our favorite place to eat before we had children,” Russ Parker said.
Later, the Parkers took their children to the family-friendly restaurant.
The Feedlot was a popular destination in the 1980s for young couples who would cross the street to dance at a tavern called the Cafe Caravan and the Jungle Bar, or enjoy the nightlife of the Cork n’ Embers.
“It was an icon in the valley,” Russ Parker said. “There’s just so many people who remember it and have good memories about it.”
Many, including the Parkers, were disappointed when the restaurant closed in January 1996. At the time, Hanna cited the slowing economy and tough restaurant competition as her reason for closing, according to a report in The Daily Sentinel.
Back then, the young Parkers were just starting their first business venture, Parker Catering, and were able to purchase affordable pans and other restaurant supplies from the Feedlot’s inventory.
“I knew one of the chefs there, and he asked me if I wanted anything else,” Russ Parker recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah, the recipes,’ and he gave them to me.”
The Parkers have been using those recipes to offer tender prime rib, succulent steaks and homemade soups and stews via their catering business for the past 13 years.
“We’ve always wanted to have a restaurant and now is just the time,” Tami Parker said of the brand new, but nostalgically named, Feedlot Restaurant, now located at 456 Kokopelli Blvd. in Fruita.
After years of anticipation and hard work, the Parkers placed their first dinner plates on the fine white tablecloths in their new restaurant last Friday night.
As for the modern version of the Feedlot, the Parkers are reintroducing a menagerie of original recipes from the former restaurant to today’s diners.
“These recipes were and are so good, so light, and we’ve perfected them over the past 25 years,” Russ said.
The new Feedlot’s recipes remain true to the spice combinations, ounce sizes and preparation temperatures of the original Feedlot’s steaks.
The Parkers hope the thick slices of slow-cooked prime rib, 12-ounce T-bone steaks, tender rib-eyes and bowls of the prime rib stew will bring back fond memories of days gone by for local diners.
“It was a place well-known for its home cooking,” Tami Parker said, adding the new Feedlot also will serve some of her own grandmother’s recipes as well as the former Feedlot favorites.
“Other than that, the only change we’ve made is to add breakfast,” Tami said.
The Parkers were able to find the original Feedlot sign, kept in storage all these years, and they plan to put it up soon as a focal point inside the new restaurant.
They are asking for the public’s help in finding other items, such as menus or matchbooks, from the original restaurant.
The new Feedlot is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for breakfast and lunch. It reopens from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to serve dinner. For information about catering or party events, call 858-9899.