In this installment of Meet the Merchant, we speak to Terri Grady, co-owner of 511 Rose, a restaurant and bar whose eclectic blend of fine dining, live music, and unique home decor has made it a community hub in Georgetown, Colorado.
Our Meet the Merchant series features Q&As with real-world Clover merchants. Read our full catalog for innovative ideas and real-life stories of small businesses in action.
Clover: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today! So, can you start by telling us the story behind 511 Rose?
Terri: Well, the story is a little bizarre–it’s been quite the ride. In August 2020, my husband and I had the opportunity to buy a building in historic downtown Georgetown, Colorado. My husband, Ron, loved the thought of owning a historic building in this unique town. Georgetown is a great place to stop on your way to or from skiing in the beautiful Colorado Rockies or any time you are heading “up the hill” from Denver. We bought the building without a plan, just a passion.
We decided to fix it up, lease it out, and maybe make some money. As Ron began cleaning out the basement in the building he discovered many treasures, including paperwork from the late 1800’s and the early 1900’s. He quickly fell in love with the building and its history, and he actually repurposed everything he found in the building. Even though we didn’t have a plan, a plan formed as the renovation progressed.
Clover: That’s fantastic! From your website we saw that there is a connection to your grandmother that’s important to you and your business story. Can you tell us a little bit more about that and why her?
Terri: We had thought of naming the building a variety of things without even taking into consideration the address (511 Rose Street) when Ron just started calling it Rose. When I mentioned to him that my grandmother’s name was Rose everything just fell into place. There are several items in the building that belonged to my grandmother so it’s a bit of a tribute to this special woman.
Clover: So how did you guys end up deciding to turn the building into a restaurant?
The building had housed a variety of businesses, and the last one was a restaurant so we had the kitchen space. We decided to fully renovate and ordered all new kitchen equipment (again, thinking we would lease it out).
A friend of ours painted a watercolor of what Ron expected the building to look like when it was done and we ventured out to an antique mall to find the perfect frame. We found the frame but we also found an incredibly unique bar front for the existing bar, and that’s all she wrote.
As Ron began the renovation, people would walk by and see him working inside the building so they would stop and visit. Before long, they would join in and help him with the renovation. Many wonderful people contributed their time and helped make 511 Rose what she is today. It reminded me of when a guy is working in his garage and other guys pop their heads in to see what is going on–it was a wonderfully refreshing experience. We had so many people help us along this journey that we dedicated a page of thank-you’s to them on our website.
Eric, who designed the bar front and unique bar top introduced us to his friend Tony. Tony was incredibly helpful and we then purchased our furniture from him. Then Tony introduced us to Lynn and she helped us with some of the wall decor. Everything just happened and we became a Saloon/Restaurant with home decor and live music.
A few months before we opened, we didn’t have a chef. A friend recommended an award-winning chef, Travis Smith, and before you know it we have a business with a top chef just in time for opening.
We opened on 5-11–that is, May 11, 2021. We have done amazingly well for two people who never even discussed being self employed, owning a bar, owning a restaurant, etc. Yet, here we are with this wonderful venue that we are eternally grateful to own. A building built in 1893 is now a part of our entire family.
Clover: Wow, all these community connections. It’s wonderful to see the way you’ve been able to bring different people from the community together to work on the business and add their unique skills and strengths. So, how did you decide to use Clover for your POS system? Another connection?
Terri: Yes! Travis brought Clover when he joined us. We took over his contract.
Clover: What kind of set-up do you use?
I’m not involved in all aspects of it, but I haven’t heard a single complaint. The Virtual Terminal is great. That’s what I use the most since I’m not always at the business.
Clover: Right, so that lets you keep track of things when you’re away?
Terri: Absolutely, I use it every single day. We track item sales, we track deposits, we track shifts. I can go in and see what the sales were and what the sales tax amount is. That helps because I can put that amount in savings for when the sales tax comes due.
I felt like a kindergartner going to rocket science school during all this, and obviously there was a learning curve. But I’m impressed with Clover. I like it. It gives me the information that I need. It’s quick. It’s easy.
Clover: I understand from the website that you also sell home furnishings?
Terri: We sell everything–all of our furniture, all of our wall decor, and some items that are on consignment. When you walk in the door, almost everything you see is for sale. We also offer apparel, unique motor oil bottles, and of course gift cards. Our theme is a bit of planes, trains, and automobiles.
Clover: So, if you come into the restaurant and have a meal and then you could say, “I really like this table,” and…?
Terri: Absolutely–it’s yours!
Clover: Wow! Very cool. So do you do takeout? I know a lot of restaurants have added that to their offerings during the pandemic.
Terri: We do. But we learned that we sometimes have to say, “We can’t do it.” If the restaurant is full and people call in with takeout orders, then people in the restaurant have to sit and wait while we’re preparing the orders to go out, which is unfair to our restaurant customers.
We also don’t take reservations. People have embraced it. They don’t mind the wait, it’s worth the wait. The town of Georgetown has many great shops, so we all promote one another giving it a great community feel.
Clover: That’s great. Do you have good relationships with the other businesses in town?
Terri: We do. It’s my goal to promote other businesses in town. If you’re going to come up and see us, you should also shop for jerky at the Jerky Emporium next door, check out the clothes at the Buckskin Trading Co. The candy store is a step back in time, and don’t forget to visit Kneisel and Anderson, Georgetown’s oldest business. Of course you don’t want to miss the Grizzly Creek Gallery or Opehlia’s Antiques.
Georgetown, like everywhere, got hurt with the pandemic but it’s starting to come into its own now. Ron wanted 511 Rose to be a place where people reconnect, so we have no TV’s or WiFi.
Visit, enjoy the decor, listen to the live music performed by local celebrity, Rob Solomon. Just relax and enjoy.
Clover: It sounds like, in a way, not having a plan kind of brought you into it with an open mind. So you were able to do all these different things.
Terri: Exactly! Ron just kept saying, “the building will tell us what it wants to be”. Ron had a vision of what he wanted it to become but along the way, it became so much more.
This amazing building that was built in 1872 and opened its doors in 1873 has housed a wide variety of businesses, but it has always been “511 Rose.”