CHRIS MANNARA

Alley House Grille: Expanding to enhance Pagosa’s growing fine-dining desires

By Chris Mannara

Locals and visitors love Pagosa’s premier dining destination — the Alley House Grille, which offers an elegant but casual atmosphere featuring New American cuisine. 

“We consistently provide a world-class dining experience while never forgetting our small town hospitality. Nothing can compare to a summertime dinner on our deck, on a perfect Colorado evening,” reads the establishment’s website.

You’ll find a refined and friendly atmosphere in a restored 1912 residence located at 214 Pagosa St.

The building was originally built as a family home, proprietor Martin Rose noted, with the Alley family residing there until at least the mid ‘90s.

Opening in 2007, the Alley House Grille’s previous owners set out to establish a fine-dining establishment in Pagosa Springs.

Rose and his wife, Joan, purchased the building in 2011, while in 2017 Rose bought the restaurant operation.

“We needed covered space so we could seat people when the weather is not good,” he said.

From there, tents were put in with skylights, but more improvements were needed, he explained.

They saw the need for the deck of the restaurant to be redone, and after meeting with architects, the Alley House Grille redesign process began, he explained.

The expansion and redesign will feature a larger bar, fireplace and dining area.

Coming on June 1, will be, as Rose describes, a marriage of the outdoor feel and experience of Pagosa Springs, with the ability to have a four-seasons facility.

“And leave the Alley House as pristine as it is,” he said. “The goal is, the Alley House itself is the Alley House Grille room. It’s going to be the same, except we’re going to have white tablecloths and we’re doing some other improvements to it.”

Fewer seats and bigger tables and even more of a fine-dining experience will be expected with these renovations, Rose explained.

The Alley House Lounge, the new building next to the Alley House Grille, is going to be an “open-air, all seasons, four seasons experience,” according to Rose.

The design of the new lounge will feature the front of the lounge opening up on rolling doors of all glass that stack into a corner.

“The entire front and about halfway down the east side. That completely opens up in good weather,” he said. “We have a glass ceiling going like an atrium.”

This will allow for more natural light; there will also be a new patio at the front of the restaurant that will be a true outdoor patio, he described.

Fireplace seating will also be available within the lounge to encapsulate a “contemporary, mountain feel,” Rose explained.

Live sports will also be available for patrons to watch, Rose noted.

“To us, it’s critical that we expand,” he said.

Since taking over the restaurant operations, Rose explained that the most important constituents are the locals of Pagosa Springs, leading to interviews being conducted with locals and seeing what they wanted out of the restaurant.

One prevailing theme that was discussed was the Alley House Grille expanding its menu, Rose explained.

“You can buy a great pizza here and have a beer and be out the door for almost nothing. Or you can come in here and have lobster if you want,” he said.

When asked what drink and food combinations he would recommend, Rose simply responded with “Everything.”

 Specifically, Rose highlighted the restaurant’s beef carpaccio, salmon and steaks. They will also be offering Colorado lamb chops.

“We try to have a really varied menu,” he said. “We do everything from scratch, in-house.”

If you need catering for a special occasion, they are happy to staff your event, drop off at your site or have it ready for pick up. From a fabulous wedding to a casual get together, the Alley House Grille has a menu to fit any need.