Ridgways very own "Taco Del Gnar" is opening up a restaurant in Telluride on S. Oak St. Great addition to Telluride's vibrant restaurant and real estate scene.
Taco del Gnar comes to Telluride
Popular taco shop opens Tuesday
Taco del Gnar
Taco del Gnar owner Curtis Blanton, right, works on some last-minute details with staff at the restaurant’s new Telluride location before opening. (Photo by Jessica Kutz)
Posted: Friday, September 9, 2016 4:41 pm
Jessica Kutz, Planet Contributor
The popular Ridgway establishment Taco del Gnar will officially be opening its doors in Telluride on Tuesday, Sept. 13.
Curtis Blanton, the executive chef and owner, and his wife Chas Blanton said that it took them about two years to find an affordable spot that would work in Telluride. With the help of a friend who purchased the building, they were able to rent out the first level and make their second location a reality. Prior to the restaurant, the building was home to Deer Consignment.
The new spot is located at 123 S. Oak St. directly behind Elks Park. “The park is part of our dining room,” Chas Blanton said.
The first location in Ridgway was opened almost three years ago and has gained a reputation amongst Telluride locals.
“We have had so many Telluride clientele come into the Ridgway spot and probably 20 times a week we got asked when are we going to come to Telluride,” she added.
The taco shop held a soft opening on Saturday but will officially be open on Tuesday. It will be operating during the same hours as the Ridgway location, from 11-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The menu also will be the same.
Taco del Gnar serves tacos with a twist, with fillings that include ahi tuna, tempura fried avocado and Alaskan pollock.
“We wanted to incorporate the same ideas and flavors you would see in a really nice fine dining establishment and incorporate that into tacos,” Curtis Blanton said.
In the long term, the couple plans on expanding Taco del Gnar to other parts of Colorado with a focus on mountain towns.
“We have a good expandable concrete concept that we can take anywhere,” the executive chef and owner added. “We want to do them in and just outside mountain towns because these are places where we want to spend time.”
Curtis Blanton also mentioned the potential to expand into college towns but emphasized that Taco del Gnar would not be run as a franchise. He added, “we will have multiple locations but we are overseeing it first-hand…we will do as many as we can handle and that’s kind of the idea.”
The restaurant plans on defining itself as a local joint.
“We consider ourselves a locals spot and we love all the tourists that come to see us but we are one of those businesses that are not seasonal,” Chas Blanton said.
“We are only going to close for two weeks out of the year — one in the spring and one in the fall — and other than that we want to be here for our local community,” she said.
The couple says they are excited to finally become a part of the community, and for their sous-chef Joe Ouellette it will be a return. Ouellette is a Telluride local and graduate of Telluride High School.
Chas Blanton mentioned that Telluride has been welcoming thus far and the couple is ready for the opening.
“We are finally here and will be super excited to open the doors and officially be a part of Telluride,” the co-owner said.
“Everyone wants to know, ‘Are you going to have Ridgway prices or Telluride prices?’ We are just going to stick with Gnar prices,” she added.