Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

Diners, Drive-ins and Dives features restaurants with Niwot connections


February 1, 2018

Photo by Citizen Pictures Pictured with host and chef, Guy Fieri, Carmen and Mark Sample, owner of Samples World Bistro in Longmont. Fieri featured the restaurant on his show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.

Gonzo chef and television personality Guy Fieri is best known for uncovering cool, honest-to-goodness grub created by down-to-earth chefs served up in no-nonsense, welcoming eateries. Recently two restaurants with ties to Niwot with exactly that M.O. have had the honor of being featured on Fieri’s show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD).

SAMPLES Restaurant (370 Main Street) and The Post Brewery Company (1258 S. Hover Rd) were notified six months ago by DDD scouts that they were in the running to be profiled. In a flurry of activity last September with only days to prepare for the onslaught of the television crew and the bleached, spiked-haired man himself, both restaurants received word they had made the final cut.

SAMPLES Restaurant

Carmen (Dudley) Sample, a 2001 Niwot High School graduate, is co-owner of SAMPLES Restaurant, along with her husband Mark Sample. Aside from offering local brews, creative adult beverages and serving up comfort food, Fieri was moved by their mission to employ individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Sample earned her master’s degree in social work at the University of Colorado-Denver and almost 10 years ago established Sample Supports. The Longmont-based agency provides adolescents and adults who have disabilities with an array of resources that coach, assist with employment, arrange for essential services and ultimately find a place in the community for each individual.

In addition to working with nearly 50 other companies, clients of Sample Supports are employed at SAMPLES Restaurant. Their highly-effective framework, including a side-by-side peer format and competitive wages, demonstrates how successful and gratifying a partnership of this kind can be.

Samples hit the high notes for the DDD selection team by having award-winning food (their Poutine Burger piled high with cheese curds, fries and gravy, for instance) and also because Fieri’s association and support of an international program titled Best Buddies, closely aligns with Sample Supports mission.

The connection between food and the Samples’ operation made Fieri’s visit all the more meaningful.

“When he came in, it was definitely a focal point for him,” Sample said. “He spent most of his time with the clients.”

The Samples’ segment aired on Jan. 5, and since that time restaurant business has been extremely brisk to say the least.

“We’ve seen a 250 percent increase in business,” Sample said. “Brunch, the day after the segment aired was our biggest ever. People came in from across the state.”

In addition — on the advice of Fieri — Samples’ website now allows customers to shop for “Eat More Beer” t-shirts and branded beer glasses.

The Post Brewing Company

General Manager Dillon Boveri of The Post Brewing Company restaurant in south Longmont has been informed that following the airing of their DDD segment, a dramatic increase in customers would possibly be their establishment’s fate also. And reruns are likely to bring another uptick in sales.

Boveri, a 2004 Niwot High School graduate, has managed the Longmont location of The Post since December 2016.

A long-time fan of the Food Network and its chefs and shows — Chopped, Bobby Flay and, of course, DDD with Guy Fieri, Boveri has worked in the food industry since he was a senior in high school. He’s a graduate of UNC-Greeley with a teaching degree.

The Post was also given very short notice of the show’s production team heading their way. A date three days out, a long list of instructions, and requests to keep the taping on the down-low led into two days of working on what will end up being a seven to eight-minute segment within the 30-minute show.

The first day of production was nine hours with just the DDD crew in attendance. The restaurant was essentially closed aside from a few regular customers involved in the filming, and a smaller than usual staff.

Fieri’s portion of the taping was the following day and consisted of another five hours, primarily focused on working with the chef. A 30-minute hang out session with Fieri followed the formal filming, along with a photo session.

“Guy is super-likable” Boveri said. “He’s genuinely interested in how everything is cooked, why we chose the fryer and flour we use. He’s seen it all and has a vast knowledge of food and how to prepare it.“

Fieri also recommended the restaurant offer Post-branded t-shirts and hats, and that they sell their signature seasoning online to make the most of their new-found celebrity status as a featured restaurant.

The Post’s segment will air on Friday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. (MST), and all four locations (the original Post Brewery in Lafayette, along with Denver, Boulder and Longmont) will hold viewing parties.

Photo by Citizen Pictures Longmont restaurant, The Post Brewing Company, will be featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. on the Food Network. Taken after the taping of the show, from left to right: Caeley Colgan, Dillon Boveri (Post General Manager), show host Guy Fieri, Brett Smith (Post Chef), Mike Nirenburg.

“We already have reservations for more than half the seats in the restaurant” Boveri said of the Longmont restaurant.

A third Longmont restaurant, The Roost, was also featured on DDD in November of last year.

While none of the Longmont restaurants are a diner, drive-in or a dive, the show’s focus is on “non-chain restaurants doing something really well,” according to Boveri. When asked why The Post rose to the top of the selection process, Boveri said, ”In addition to great beer, we have stupid-great chicken.”

To learn more about The Post Brewery Company and their viewing parties on Friday, Feb. 2, go to www.PostBrewing.com.

To find out more about Sample Supports and the programs they offer, visit www.SampleSupports.com and to learn more about Samples World Bistro, go to www.SamplesLongmont.com.


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