After 6512’ closed in 2016, the space at 128 E. College Drive downtown remained vacant for two years. Now, it has reopened as The Roost.
Owned by Chris and Michele Redding, who also run Cuckoo’s Chicken House and Waterin’ Hole and Animas City Theatre, The Roost is a new mid-range-priced American food restaurant serving, among many other items, prime rib and barbecue ribs, Michele said.
“Since this used to be Randy’s, and we worked with Randy (Burton) for 14 years, we spoke with him prior to opening the restaurant and asked him if we could bring back the prime rib, in a sense because that is what he was known for. And he said, ‘By all means. If you want my recipe, you can use it,’” said Chris. “We looked at his recipe and kind of came up with our own.”
The restaurant will serve prime rib Thursday through Saturday and barbecue ribs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“We wanted to create a menu that is a little more upscale than Cuckoos but by no means fancy,” Chris said.
The Reddings opened Cuckoos in 1999 and took over ACT in 2013. When the former 6512’ space remained vacant, they decided to bring it into the family. In fact, their daughter, Hailey Redding, now rules The Roost’s kitchen.
“When we opened Cuckoos, Hailey was a month old and in a stroller behind the bar, and now she is going to be the kitchen manager up at The Roost,” Chris said.
In a nod to their other restaurant, the owners of The Roost have brought chicken upstairs from Cuckoos, prepared the same way, but as an unbreaded, gluten-free variety.
Another aspect of The Roost that sets it apart from other Durango restaurants is its connection to Durango’s music scene.
“Adding to the effect of us being a casual restaurant for everybody is that we’re themed around music, and music is essentially for everybody,” said Luke Mulligan, The Roost’s front-end and bar manager.
The musical theme extends beyond just the cocktail names and decor (signed flyers for old ACT shows and murals of popular recording artists line the walls). Unlike 6512’ and Randy’s before it, The Roost will soon be connected to the theater through the wall the two businesses share.
“You’ll be able to come in here, and if you have a ticket to the show next door, you’ll be able to go to the show through The Roost. Or come from the theater into The Roost,” Chris said.
“It opens a lot of ... potential for doing VIP access, for doing cocktail service over there and a lot of things that we’d like to do down the road,” Michele said.
In the meantime, the Reddings, who quietly opened the restaurant June 12, say The Roost is a good place to meet a friend for drinks and light fare. The restaurant offers a wide range of unique appetizers and plates to share, such as fried ravioli, Michele said.
“We tried really hard with the food and the drink to keep us at a level where pretty much anyone in town can come and enjoy us – and not just maybe on a special occasion,” said Mulligan.
The Roost is open Tuesday through Saturday, at 4 p.m. for cocktails and appetizers, and dinner at 5 p.m.