Monday, November 9, 2009

New Foodie Hangout

Ed’s 1859 Cafe 
       Ed's 1859 Café opened a few weeks ago in Georgetown and the question on everyone's tongue is, "Who is Ed?" The owners are Jeff McGlothin, (not Ed) and Kerry Ann McHugh. Who is the mysterious “Ed?” A decade ago, Ed Tharp was the mayor of Georgetown, and it’s not him. Ed was a talking horse in the 60s TV show, Mister Ed. That’s not it either. Georgetown has had its share of celebrities that have lived here, some for only a short time while filming. John Denver, Peter O’Toole, Ben Affleck, no Ed’s there.
     Early in Georgetown history, a cantankerous man got into a fight and shot his opponent over a game of cards with a can of oysters at stake. Locals tired of this troublemaker, promptly took him out to a tall tree and hung him for murder, although the man he shot later recovered. He was Ed Bainbridge. Every now and then someone claims to see his ghost around town, but it definitely is not him.
     Maybe it's named for Edward Scissorhands? Stop laughing. Okay, as long as you're laughing, here's the last one, Ed the Hyena in “The Lion King.” Now that's a stretch, but it's close if you consider the hyena has the appearance of a far away relative of the canids family. The hyena is not a canid; they are from the mammalian family and more closely related to the family of mongooses and meerkats.
      Let’s talk about the canine or dog. There have been so many good books written about a favorite dog and how much they mean to us. Movies, TV shows have featured dogs. Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Benji, and more recently Marley and Me are just a few. Dogs appear in articles on every possible aspect of dogs and our love for them. We’ll get back to the dogs later.
        Jeff McGlothin was 16 when he started working at the Disneyworld kitchens and at 17, he became the youngest manager in the park. He worked at Chile's, Columbia Harbor House, and various Italian restaurants including honing his skills at the prestigious Strollos. 
      As the years went by McGlothin met Kerry Ann McHugh and they decided it was time to get out of Central Florida. The two hit the road in a used RV traveling the country from the east coast, through the mid-west and on to Colorado.
      After eight months of travel, they started to have trouble with their RV’s brakes and money was running out. With only $7 in their pocket and seven hot dogs in their refrigerator, they put a finger on the map and ended up in Black Hawk. This was June 1992; the town was just a mess of dusty construction, not where they wanted to live. They migrated further on, landing in Idaho Springs.
      A few years later, they found the perfect lot on the creek in Georgetown, built a big purple house and moved in with their Lab/German Shepherd mix, Edwina, that they adopted from the Denver Dumb Friends League. She was there to greet the two children when they were born, Dylan in 1997 and Sam Ann in 1999.
     McGlothin worked construction jobs in Denver and eventually ran his own Clear Creek Construction company. Meanwhile, Kerry Ann McHugh was hired by the Georgetown Loop/Royal Gorge Railroads as Director of Passenger Services. When the Royal Gorge Railroad in Cañon City needed a temporary chef for their dinner train, McHugh suggested Jeff and he was hired on the spot. Not only was the chef back doing what he loved but the Railroad owners loved him too. They offered him a permanent job as Executive Chef and the two-year run, in an almost impossible job - cooking on a moving train, began. During this time, Chef McGlothin was written up in magazines, newspapers and featured on TV for his elegant eight-course dinner train menu and received accolades from their many diners.
       It was the call of the high mountains and a job offer for McHugh with Clear Creek Power that led McGlothin and his family back in August 2007. Back to their purple house in Georgetown and to his new job as Executive Chef at Copper Mountain ski area’s, JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern.
       Another two years commuting with a nagging thought that wouldn't go away. McGlothin kept saying, "Georgetown needs a café with a quick, good and well-priced menu." When McHugh was laid off, the timing was perfect to start their café. With the gift  of a commercial grill stove out of the historic Old Georgetown Station, their café became a reality. The menu came easily. Good reasonably priced hamburgers, skinny fries, the perfect seasoned fajitas, a jalapeno seasoned meatloaf, absolutly delicious soups and all types of organic free-trade tea, coffee and espresso. Bring your computer for they have free Wi-Fi. Plenty of seating inside during the colder months and enjoy the sunshine on their patio this summer.
        But, what to call this new café? That elusive name just wasn’t materializing. Remember their dog, Edwina? She was called Ed, and would sneak out at night to make friends with the cook at the Silver Queen and sometimes wander downstairs to the bar, where everyone knew her name. She lapped up affection and gave it out double. 
         Every night at home, up the stairs she’d run to kiss each child good night. Every morning she’d be right there licking their face to wake them up and hustle them downstairs for breakfast. Patiently she’d wait by the front door until the family was home again.
       Last year at age 16, Ed died peacefully in her sleep. “Let’s name the café after Ed.” It was a family decision even though their daughter, thinking about how much she missed her furry best friend, said, “It’ll be too sad.” And so it was named, a truly glowing tribute to their old friend.
        How many people can say they named a café after their beloved dog? Now you know, the McHugh-McGlothin family did and Ed’s 1859 Café is simply Dog Gone Good Food