Long-time Crested Butte restaurateurs Hermanson and Falzone join forces

Long-time established Crested Butte restaurateurs, Jeff Hermanson and Kyleena Falzone this week announced a partnership they hope will bring long-term creativity, stability and vitality to some Elk Ave. restaurant spaces.

Hermanson and Falzone will focus on developing two adjacent properties at 208 and 212 Elk Ave. The Last Steep restaurant — currently located at 208 Elk Ave. — will remain a “faster casual” eatery as the duo refreshes the space and menu. A major renovation will transform 212 Elk Ave. (the former Montanya’s space) into what is being described as an elevated dining experience around a wood-burning hearth. Current plans target the opening of 212 Elk Ave. by the start of the 2023 summer season. 

“We’ve known each other for a long time and have teased each other about joining forces for more than a decade,” Hermanson said of the new partnership. “Kyleena’s greatest strength is taking care of her staff and her commitment to the community. She recognizes that the better her employees do, the more successful the enterprise will be for the people who live here.”

Hermanson’s philanthropy has long emphasized shifting the food paradigm and addressing food insecurity. Falzone and her partners, Carson West and Scott Brawner, share Hermanson’s dedication and passion.

“We’re a lot more than restaurants,” said Falzone, who first donned an apron in her grandfather’s Italian deli at age five. “With this project, we’re going to continue to invest in locals and strive to keep our community thriving.” 

Falzone, who owns Secret Stash Pizza and Bonez, will blend her 30 years of restaurant operations expertise with Hermanson’s 45 years of real estate development and restaurant curation. Hermanson is known as a place maker in the Colorado hospitality space. He opened his first restaurant in Crested Butte in 1976, played a pivotal role in the adaptive re-use development of Denver Union Station as an iconic gathering place featuring dining, transportation and a hotel, and served as the owner, curator and steward of Larimer Square for 27 years. Currently, he is a strategic partner with Urban Villages, the Denver-based real estate development firm specializing in unique, sustainability-focused projects.

Hermanson and Falzone believe their new projects will provide more opportunities for pioneering alliances with local farms and non-profits that enhance the dining experience and strengthen the feeling of close community in the place they both call home. They look forward to sharing more as they solidify the details of their plans. 

Together, they want to provide steady employment for more people, as well as connect residents and visitors around a shared sense of community. 

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