Open door quality applies to more than the name

The bar inside Vernon's Open Door in the old Stumbling Steer space.
The bar inside Vernon’s Open Door in the old Stumbling Steer space.

It was a sad time for the west side earlier this year when the Stumbling Steer stumbled off into the sunset. Recently we learned that the new owners (the people behind Vernon’s and Wise Pies) opened a restaurant and bar in a portion of the building. What better time to make our first visit to Vernon’s Open Door than during an all-day NFL Sunday happy hour?

My other half and I sat down at the bar (now located on the south side of the building where you actually see the nice view of the mountains) and surveyed the two dozen beers on tap. I was craving red chile and wanted something to go with it that was a tad on the sweeter side, but light in body. Given the record-breaking heat of that day, I opted for an Avery White Rascal (Belgian wheat) because it reminded me of a softer version of Marble’s Double White. It fit the bill perfectly at a reasonable 5.6-percent ABV; light enough, yet retaining some subtle spice and orange peel flavors. It was a good compliment to the happy hour red chile cheese fries.

Being very curious about the operations and the future plans, I peppered the bartender with questions. She was very obliging and didn’t seem to think it was at all strange that I was taking pictures and asking questions. I never felt the need to explain my affiliation with the Crew. The open, honest, and friendly nature of the bartender, as well as one of the managers we casually chatted with is refreshing, and we felt very welcome.

I asked the bartender what she feels is their most popular tap. Without hesitation she replied, “La Cumbre Elevated. After that, anything from Bosque.” So then I inquired if the local beers in general sold better than the other craft beers. The response was a resounding yes.

The fairly impressive tap list, plus other alcoholic beverages.
The fairly impressive tap list.

Future plans include brewing operations, adding a Wise Pies to occupy a portion of the building, and also leasing out part of the space. I asked about the acquisition of the never-used-at-the-Steer brewing equipment and when they might start brewing on site. She said the owners are excited about the brewery side, but they have not yet hired the brewery staff. When they do have their own beer, they will not add taps for now but will evaluate which taps to replace. She said the first to go will probably be the Bacchus Old Brown sour because it’s just too unusual for most people despite the current sour trend.

Welcome to the west side, Vernon’s! We are glad your door is open.


— AmyO

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