We had the good fortune of connecting with TW “Chief” & Angela Winston and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi TW “Chief” & Angela, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
We had been wanting to open our own restaurant/bar for a while, and had been scoping out locations in Salida, and even made a couple offers. Opportunities kept presenting themselves, but then kept falling through, and just as we started to lose hope, the best location on the Arkansas River happened to become available, and we jumped on the opportunity. We know it’s the middle of a pandemic, but there was still a huge need in Salida for more restaurants, so we decided to go for it. Having the best patio in town and the largest outdoor space of any restaurant, we knew we had a shot, even during a pandemic. We only had 30 days to get everything done before opening our doors, and only 6 physical days to move into the space. It was going to be a very tight schedule, but we knew we could do it. It was this personal challenge we placed on ourselves, and we pulled it off by utilizing every resource possible. At times, we tend to fly by the seat of our pants and follow our instincts with certain decisions, even if other people think we’re crazy, and some of our biggest accomplishments in our lives, together, have been made this way. This happens to be one of them. 

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our business, High Side! Bar & Grill, opened on August 6, 2020. We are a bar & grill located on the beautiful Arkansas River in the town of Salida, CO. We have one of the best riverside patios in the entire state, and are proud to serve our community, as well as the may tourists that frequent our mountain town. We are very proud that we were able to open in a 30 day timespan with a 6 day move in time frame, and have quickly become one of the more popular restaurants in town, and have only been open 5 months. We got to where we are today, business-wise, due to a lot of the support we have from friends, the community, and family. It took a lot of work, efficient planning, and collaboration with people that knew more than us. We soaked in as much information as possible, and managed opening our restaurant like any well organized project. We had challenges that threatened our opening time frame, but we were able to overcome those challenges, by being creative, as well as keeping all lines of communication open with anyone we were working with. We’ve learned that if you put in a lot of effort, planning, and organization, you can accomplish anything. If you are willing to work hard for what you want, you’ll get there. If you do it, you can. If you don’t, you can’t. We would like people to know that we are two of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet. We have no shame in our game, and are willing to do anything from run the business, to work on the plumbing, to shovel snow, to get on the roof and fix the HVAC system. Not only are we working for ourselves, but we are working for our employees and their livelihoods, as well as for the community of Salida, CO. We truly care about taking care of each of our employees like they are our family, and for creating a great place for our community to enjoy.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This really depends on the season. Summer: We would start off by going on a morning hike with the dogs. We’d drive up Monarch Pass and go on a 5-8 mile hike, then head into town, stopping at Elevation Brewery to have a beer. We’d then grab our duckies and head to Stonebridge put in, where we would head down the Arkansas River toward town. We would stop at Independent Whitewater’s Drift In, where we’d grab some lunch and drinks, and then get back on the river and head to town, where we would get out right at the High Side! Bar & Grill, of course, to soak up the rest of the day’s sun on the riverside patio, watching boaters in the surf park. Winter: We would head to Monarch Mountain to go snowboarding all day, while also hitting up the Sidewinder at the base for a spicy Bloody Mary. After a full day at Monarch, we’d head back into town, and head down to Joyful Journey hot springs or Hooper Hot Springs to soak. That night, we’d head out to the High Side! to see the locals and hang out for a few drinks.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We have so many shout outs, it’s going to be hard to list them all. In no particular order, we want to give a shout out to: Shawn Allison, Small Business Consultant – Central Mountain Region, for his time, advice, and guidance with starting a small business; Erin Kelley, City Clerk – City of Salida, for helping us with our liquor license; Katie Kelly & Staci Coberly, great friends, for helping us out with our crazy dogs we had no time for, for a couple months; Corey Folks, great friend, for helping us out with technical setup at the restaurant; J Bone & Ethan, great friends, for helping us out with technical setup at the restaurant; Jefferey Dunaway, former US Foods rep, for helping us get setup with our food distribution; Bob Gomez, great friend, for helping us out with the restaurant setup; Walke & Associates, our accountant, for helping us with every financial detail we need to know along the way; The entire Salida Community for welcoming us with open arms and supporting and encouraging us as we opened; Our family and friends for supporting and encouraging us; All of our previous places of employment for teaching us the skills we needed to start a venture like this. I’ve learned so much from each job I’ve ever had in my life.

Website: https://highsidesalida.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/high_side_bar_and_grill/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighSideSalida/

Image Credits
Kevin Lee Kirchner

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