The Craftsman, a new restaurant and beer palace, is now open in the mountain town of Edwards, very close to Vail, in a space that used to house Taco Rico (56 Edwards Village Blvd). Created by industry veterans Chris and Janelle Schmidt, the Craftsman is about comfort food, new renditions of classics, a convivial atmosphere, all in a casual mountain-inspired space.
“It really is a dream come true for Chris and myself,” Janelle Schmidt shared. “The Craftsman's concept started as a kind of joke because all we wanted was great food, craft beer, and rock and roll and the more we started thinking about this, the more we realized how fun this would be, so we decided to go for it!
Chris Schmidt served as the chef at Sweet Basil in Vail for the last four years and worked with the Squeaky Bean team in Denver prior to that. Janelle was assistant manager on the opening team at Beast + Bottle before moving to the mountain town and serving as full time mom to two young boys and as bartender at Zino Ristorante. Matt Morgan, a partner of Sweet Basil, joined the husband and wife team as a partner as well. Matt’s “years of experience have helped us to develop our concept and make it a reality,” Janelle said. “Chris’s menu reflects the highest quality ingredients in an elevated counter service concept with an open kitchen, as well as an awesome craft beer and whiskey list.”
That menu includes dishes like a BLT with smoked pork belly and avocado aioli served on sourdough bread; a lamb Reuben with house sauerkraut, green harissa, and Gruyere on rye; chicken liver paté with beer mustard and house pickles; and a carrot coconut bisque with yuzu, cilantro, and toasted cashews.
The Schmidts have been driving down to Denver to pick up kegs from breweries that don’t use a distributor because they want to support the local craft beer community and to ensure that their beer list is like no other in Edwards. The opening list includes brews from Weldworks, Odd13, Cerebral Brewing, and Hogshead, among others.
And because good times are better with some tunes, all of the music is played on a record player (and hooked up to speakers around the restaurant) playing classic rock of all sorts. A 12 foot regulation shuffleboard is also part of the new venue.
The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. ⠀