Popular Events and Special Nights Return to Historic Hangout
With all the new eateries and hangout spots popping up in the high country lately, it becomes easy for people to forget some of the mainstays that have been in the area for years.
And along with the new spots to enjoy food or a beverage, some of the old historic eateries have experienced a recent change of ownership that has provided the area some well-needed changes.
The Crystola Roadhouse building was first built in 1884, and since the end of World War II it has become locally famous as a place to hang out and enjoy music, food, and adult beverages. Through the years, it has changed ownership a number of times, including when Michael Sturdevant, who also owned the Donut Mill, purchased the building and the business in 2019.
As soon as Sturdevant and his wife Stacey purchased the Roadhouse, they decided to revamp the building and give it a new look while keeping most of the features of an old time roadhouse. Unfortunately when the renovations got completed, the business was forced to shutter and offer only takeout options due to the mandated shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
And then at the start of 2023, it was announced that the Sturdevants would be selling the business and turning it over to new ownership. New Year’s Eve was Sturdevant’s last evening running the popular roadhouse and the bar was packed full of locals to give the old owners a farewell and welcome in the new leadership.
Since the beginning of the year, Colorado Springs residents Julieta and David Cos have been in charge of the roadhouse. The father/daughter team did not come right in and make vast changes, but some new things may be on the horizon for the famous roadhouse.
Last week, the new change in ownership became even more official as the Teller County commissioners unanimously granted a transfer of a liquor license to the new Crystola Steakhouse ownership group. This is standard procedure for a change in ownership and management at area eateries, bars and establishments.
At the same time, a few of the commissioners touted the historic roots of the establishment and wished the new owners the best of luck.
“The purchase was an opportunity that came up and we were ready for it and we were able to just say ‘yes’ so we jumped right into it,” Crystola co-owner Julieta Cos said. “The decision was made just a few months before the purchase actually happened. We were fortunate enough to be financially stable enough to be ready for it.”
She said that people have been keeping their eye out for a different menu, but the new operators have decided not to make drastic changes yet. For now, the two owners are focusing on preparing for the busy summer season.
Cos said that they do plan on adding a few items to the menu in the near future. Also, the new owners have brought breakfast back to the food lineup.
The roadhouse is now open for breakfast every day except Tuesday from 7 to 11 a.m. The breakfast menu features delicious items like breakfast burritos, different kinds of omelets, chile rellenos, and more.
“We are very much breakfast people, I just really love breakfast,” Cos said. “I’m a morning person I like the sunrise more than the sunset. It is a very convenient location to stop by real quick on the way to work, or if people work the night shift they can stop by on their way home.”
Some of the popular tradition, which fell by the wayside due to the COVID epidemic, are returning in full force.
The eatery has brought back burger night on Mondays during which customers can get a burger and fries for a reasonable price. The roadhouse also decided to bring back live music on every Friday night and karaoke on Saturdays.
“I have been trying to get as many local bands as possible, some from Colorado Springs and some from Denver,” Cos said. “But, I am always open to recommendations for bands.”
The roadhouse will also now offer a special traditional Argentinean dish every Wednesday. Along with their usual specials during the week, the new owners of Crystola plan on keeping popular events like the annual pig roast and they plan on adding more events down the road.
The restaurant also features free line dancing lessons every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Everyone is welcome to come in and practice their line dancing moves with different skill level classes available.
The new owners also plan to update the outdoor patio attached to the building. “We want to expand the deck eventually and add some shade,” the new owner said. “We just want to make it a really beautiful place to be outside. And hopefully sometime soon we can get live music outside.”
Cos said that she is new to the restaurant industry, but she is excited to give the well-known roadhouse a new flair. “We definitely want it to be a more welcoming environment,” Cos said. “We want to be more geared towards events and we want it to be a family establishment. We just want it to be a lot more welcoming. A lot of the locals have had great suggestions and everyone has been super helpful.”