All Local, All The Time

1914 House reopens

There's good news for anyone looking for more variety when they eat locally in Niwot. As of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27 , the 1914 House (121 2nd Ave.) is reopening for limited dine-in seating and takeout.

According to owner Nick Mastronardi, now felt like a good time to step back into service. With spring coming soon, the beginning of a vaccine distribution plan, and improvement in the COVID-19 cases tracking curve, he was optimistic that reopening now is the right thing to do.

"We'll start at 25 percent capacity and get the whole team working," he said. "My kitchen team has been away from a commercial kitchen, I think, for as long as they want to be. Cooks need to cook."

It was important to Mastronardi that he was able to open with a structure that could support all of his staff, rather than selecting a few that could come to work. "This was the right time to get the whole team back, not just ten or fifteen percent of us trying to do takeout," he said. "As I look at things, we're all in this together."

That philosophy explains some of why Mastronardi chose to close his restaurant on Nov. 20 rather than pivot to a takeout model as other restaurants have done. The decision wasn't easy.

"It's kind of funny but it's true, this is our third opening in five years," he explained. "We had our original opening, a mandated closure in March last year, and then this latest one when we closed to take a break and wait for the world to be in a little bit of a better place."

Once the restaurant does reopen, diners should expect to see a menu similar to what was available last fall. However, along with this change, there will be a new emphasis on vegetarian dishes.

"We'll have our usual items, but then about a third of the menu will be things like our well-loved salads, sweet potato and poblano enchiladas, and a decadent stuffed portobello mushroom cap," he explained.

"We'll be putting the same sort of focus on our vegetarian dishes that we have always had on our wider menu. We're going to make sure they taste great and we plate them beautifully. This isn't just going to be steamed broccoli."

In the end, Mastronardi and his team are looking forward to being able to serve diners again and play a role in supporting Niwot. He believes this is a role that restaurants are well-suited to filling.

"Independent restaurants are so important to the community," he said. "I can't tell you how many times in the months before the pandemic, folks would come to the restaurant, and it would take a full five minutes for hosts to seat them at the back of the restaurant because they had to stop and talk to friends at four tables of their friends."

Then, after a pause, Mastronardi finished his thought, "It's that neat feeling that I think, everyone is longing for and anxious to get back to."


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