Eat, play, club
New group mixes West Slope's foodie, social scenes
Candles illuminated the space. Jazz music created the scene. Patrons drank gin gimlets and highball cocktails as the vacant second floor of a downtown Fair Building turned into a 1920s speakeasy.
The small, invitation-only February party was the first of many parties to come from the West Slope Supper Club.
The club is the vision of Josh Niernberg, owner/executive chef of Bin 707 Foodbar, his wife, Jodi Niernberg of CO Real Estate Professionals LLC, and Robin Brown, event planner with Robin Brown Events.
Created nearly two months ago, the West Slope Supper Club was formed “to promote the Grand Valley as an agricultural oasis in the desert” and “to showcase our creative chefs, farmers, distillers, winemakers, and our collective vision to make Western Colorado a celebrated destination,” according to its mission statement at westslopesupperclub.com.
The founders want to channel an enthusiasm for local product into cocktail parties and sit-down dinners to give people who may not otherwise meet the opportunity to congregate with a unifying passion for West Slope food and drink.
Admittedly, the trio said, the concept is in its infancy. In fact, they are still finalizing plans for their next event. What they learned from the first invitation-only cocktail party last month, however, is that interest in building a social community around the area’s food scene exists.
“We want to become a food destination,” Brown said.
Scott and Theresa High, owners of High Country Orchards & Vineyards, which produces a variety of fruit and vegetables as well as Colterris wine, attended February’s inaugural cocktail party and are optimistic the West Slope Supper Club’s vision will work.
Scott High has seen similar clubs in Denver, but “the best place in the state to do this, really, is Mesa County,” he said.
From Theresa High’s standpoint, a social club offering entertainment focused on the area’s food scene creates “a chic factor” that not only raises awareness about talented chefs, winemakers and others who live in the region, but will attract more up-and-coming talent in the food industry to the area.
“As Grand Junction gets a name, it all goes together,” Theresa High said.
“Plus, it’s fun,” Jodi Niernberg said with a smile.
For the February cocktail party, Brown sent on invitations in the format of a Western Union telegram. Those invited still couldn’t get into the party unless they had the password, and 1920s attire was encouraged.
“It raises the cool factor of our community,” Brown said.
The Niernbergs and Brown want to plan events at different locations and using various themes to keep events and the passion for locally sourced food and drink fresh.
Learn about the West Slope Supper Club at westslopesupperclub.com or find the club on Facebook as “West Slope Supper Club.”