Bird & Jim celebrates four years of success at Estes Park – Estes Park Trail-Gazette
This week, Bird & Jim of Estes Park is celebrating its fourth anniversary and already has plans for expansion. The restaurant is a favorite with locals and guests alike, and will celebrate its big day a bit late by appreciation from its employees.
“We are celebrating our fourth anniversary on Tuesday October 5th,” said owner Melissa Strong. “In fact, we had our provisional opening on October 2 and 3, 2017, and opened to the public on October 4. After the busy weekend we just spent, we decided to take a break in our kitchen and celebrate Tuesday.
It was a different world in 2017 when Bird and Jim first opened. Outside of the pre-pandemic luxury of the time, Strong remembers one thing above all, stress. Not only is the stress of seeing your long-held dreams come true and hoping that all the hard work, time, and money you’ve invested pays off, but also the stress of recovering from a serious injury.
“It was wonderful to see the pieces of the puzzle come together after the renovation, but I have to say it was an incredibly stressful time. Our first restaurant, our first staff, all trained and learning to run a restaurant from scratch, ”said Strong. “I was also recovering from a serious electrical injury where I lost parts of my fingers, thumbs and palms. I was recently out of bandages after one of the many surgeries when we opened. I couldn’t function at a normal level adding more stress. And then just the stress in general of putting in tons of money and all your hopes and dreams and hoping people like us.
People liked them. The restaurant became a favorite with locals and guests alike shortly after that first week in October 2017.
Strong has worked in the restaurant industry at Estes Park since 1996. She paid her dues and learned the ropes, all the while imagining how she would do it herself if and when she had the chance.
“By working for others, I saw and shaped my dream of what I wanted to do and the restaurant I wanted to bring to Estes Park,” Strong said. “It’s not easy to follow your dreams, to roll the big dice, to put everything you have on the line, to invest yourself fully, to submit all your dreams to public scrutiny and judgment. , but I felt that our city, our community deserves new and fun things, and it was worth the blood, sweat, fear and tears.
After all of the hard work and years of planning, the coronavirus pandemic hit American shores in 2020 and called the future of all restaurants into question. With many restaurants in Estes Park, Bird and Jim have adapted and survived.
“I think almost anyone can agree that 2020 has been an incredibly difficult and traumatic year on so many levels,” said Strong. “I’m so happy that we survived and that most of the restaurants in Estes Park also survived. A wonderful icing on the cake is to have such a great 2021 and see the whole city thrive. “
Now Strong and his dream stretch across the street with a new location that will serve as a restaurant and event venue.
“We’re spreading our wings and creating The Bird’s Nest — right across from Bird & Jim’s High Drive,” Strong said. “Downstairs is a take-out / take-out concept, a bakery, a pizzeria with a cafe. The floor will be dedicated to events, major parties and weddings.
Strong is aiming for a Spring 2022 opening of The Bird’s Nest, but for this week, she’s happy to celebrate four years of success at Estes Park.
“We will have a group of five musicians with snacks and samples to give back to the community to say thank you for supporting our dreams,” Strong said.