Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Element Bistro hits the ground running


August 18, 2016

There is a new place to eat in Gunbarrel, and it’s been busy

Element Bistro, located on 63rd Street right next to the Hampton Inn & Suites, is a restaurant/convention hall, suited to meet the needs of the area.

Eric Lee, managing partner and one of four owners, said that he had done a feasibility study for Hampton about three years ago.

“It started off as a consulting job for me,” Lee said. “The hotel wanted to build a restaurant, so I did a feasibility study for them. That was about two and a half years ago.

“They decided they did not want to do the restaurant. But they said keep your eyes out for anyone who would want to do it.”

That’s when partners Ryan and Tiffanie Gaibler, along with Patrick Tornqvist approached Lee with an opportunity to open a bistro.

Construction started last November, and in almost two weeks of operation, numbers have been good.

They saw well over 700 customers in the first weekend alone, and have had several large groups.

Aside from the restaurant, the location serves as a banquet hall.

There is a rooftop patio facing the mountains which has an area fitted with beanbag chairs to relax. Catered meals can be held up there for large groups, and there is a bar with three televisions.

The other banquet hall can hold and feed 110 people, or 160 if no meal is provided. It features two large screens for presentations.

“It’s just a special place,” Lee said. “Everyone who walks out onto the rooftop patio just sighs because it’s so beautiful.”

The rooftop patio will eventually have an awning and the ground level patio should be done soon. There will also be televisions outside.

And it’s not just the facility or decor of the rustic-modern building that is drawing people in the door.

The cuisine includes a number of dishes, Lee said the most popular so far have been the shrimp and grit cakes, the seafood sliders and the lobster mac & cheese — among others.

People are raving about the food. We’ve had some kinks with the kitchen because we’re new, but we’re working that out. But it’s just the ambiance that is stunning, especially at sunset. And the food is as good as you can find.

“We want to have the efficiency and productivity of a chain with the warmth and friendliness of a family-owned business, which we are.”

The kitchen has two sides, allowing the chef and his staff to work both the restaurant and any events in the banquet hall without slowing down wait times for either.

The reason behind this endeavor stemmed from Hampton being short on space compared to the reservation requests they had.

“They wanted a space for a banquet room to keep more corporate accounts,” Lee said. “All of these businesses around here have a lot of events that there isn’t currently enough space to accommodate.”

Reservations can be made by calling 303-530-5400.


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