May 29, 2024

Longtime Eaton bar gets new life to become a family-friendly sports grill

EATON — If you were a fan of Steven’s Grill in downtown Eaton for the last four decades, you may turn into an even bigger one this month as it morphs into Route 85 Grill.

Owner Jim Anderson is working to remodel the old Steven’s Grill at 131 First St. into a grill where families can come after a game and have a meal, or watch college football or the Broncos on Sundays with a beer. Eventually, he would like to serve breakfast, but that’s down the road. 

Anderson is rather busy. As the owner of Eaton Pizza and Subs just three doors down from his new endeavor, he’s tackling that while remodeling the grill. He’s also a baseball coach for a 14-and-under travel team.


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“We’ll soon find out if I bit off more than I can chew, but we just love serving the community,” said Anderson, a real estate agent by trade. He said he took on the second business to leave something to his kids when he retires. 

Remodeling is ongoing on the 40+-year-old bar. Anderson took out the dartboard and the pool table hoping to capitalize on all the space he can to give customers some elbow room. He plans to have a few screens on the wall for customers to watch the games, and he will have Wi-Fi.

“It’s not going to be the same as it was when it was Steven’s,” he said. “It was a bar that served hamburgers. We want it to be a restaurant that serves drinks. He said he’ll keep the burgers and the green chili, and gladly operate as a place where people can come to enjoy a drink or two while watching the game.  

For loyal customers, and even former workers at the grill, the end is bittersweet. Camy Sabo lamented the loss of his father-in-law Steve Fidar’s longtime bar on an Eaton community Facebook page.

“I met so many members of the community here, whose orders I can still remember to this day. I made countless memories with friends here,” Sabo wrote. “..We were spoiled with the best burgers our tastebuds will ever know. The end of an era is incredibly sad. I will miss walking into the only place where everyone knew my name.”

The revamp comes as Eaton officials work to revamp the downtown core with a pedestrian-friendly plaza and other street and capital upgrades to attract residents and businesses. The town recently received a $250,000 grant from the Revitalizing Main Street Program, a $1.5 million grant from the Main Street Live Initiative, and a $1.5 million grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation to make those civic dreams come true.

“The town is doing some revitalization, which will work hand in hand. It’s a nice area to go down to,” Anderson said. “There’s now a martial-arts studio across the street. Hopefully, things are coming in that will draw people down there.”

He’s adamant about Route 85 Grill being family-friendly. He plans to open the grill seven days a week and accommodate sports fans and their families. 

“We just want to give it a different branding and atmosphere,” he said. At some point in time, he said he wants to add breakfast and delivery. “But we have to crawl before we walk.”

He plans to open on June 24.

Now, don’t bug him about the name. He said he knows there’s no Route 85. Rather, U.S. 85 traverses the town north and south. “I’ve had a couple people comment, ‘It’s Highway 85…’ I didn’t like the way it sounded. I was doing a play on words, like with Route 66. There’s no Route 85, but there is a Route 85 Grill.”

If you were a fan of Steven’s Grill in downtown Eaton for the last four decades, you may turn into an even bigger one this month as it morphs into Route 85 Grill.

Sharon Dunn
Sharon Dunn is an award-winning journalist covering business, banking, real estate, energy, local government and crime in Northern Colorado since 1994. She began her journalism career in Alaska after graduating Metropolitan State College in Denver in 1992. She found her way back to Colorado, where she worked at the Greeley Tribune for 25 years. She has a master's degree in communications management from the University of Denver. She is married and has one grown daughter — and a beloved English pointer at her side while she writes. When not writing, you may find her enjoying embroidery and crochet projects, watching football, or kayaking and birdwatching on a high-mountain lake.
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