On 20 December 2020, I purchased the buildings at 615 East Mesa Avenue that were known in Pueblo for having housed the Grand Prix, a restaurant that was widely considered to serve the best Mexican food in town, but that had been closed for about a decade.
After the purchase, my two business partners, Sam Derosier and Emily Gradisar, and I embarked on what we naively thought would be a three months —maybe five months, ok, six months at the most – project to prepare the building for opening. But we decided, quite rightly, that while lovely old buildings should be preserved, old bathrooms are not lovely, are not ADA compliant, and should not be preserved. We had the bathrooms completely reconstructed
So 17 months later, on 25 May 2023, we opened The Ethos: sober bar, makerspaces, classroom, community hall, and commercial kitchen.
The Ethos is awesome and I am very proud of what we have accomplished.
The old Grand Prix sign now says: “The Ethos creative community.” The words “creative community” describe our mission (more about that in my next post).
The old bar is the same; we only refinished the wooden edge of the bar, replaced some missing glass shelves, and updated plumbing and equipment behind the bar. With the help of designer extraordinaire Selbe Watts, we created an eclectic wall of art opposite the bar; it literally makes people gasp. We cleaned the carpet, replaced the coffee station with arcade games and a juke box, replaced more plumbing and equipment, and installed Internet connectivity. We did a lot of cleaning.
The bathrooms are beautiful and ADA compliant.
The CREEPi ceramic collective is our first maker tenant: they rent the space to the right of the bar, most recently used to sell baked goods. They will have a grand opening in that space on Friday, 7 July. On Tuesday, 11 July, an open house will showcase the other makerspaces that are available in the old pool hall.
We have accomplished much and we have more we are working on to support the many communities of Pueblo.
I’m starting this new blog to write about The Ethos but also to write about the history of the buildings that make up The Ethos. I’m also writing to ask you to help us to learn about the history.
We know that the building was built in 1920, that it has housed Anzick’s Steakhouse (owned by the Anzicks), Strilich’s Lounge (owned by the Striliches), and the Grand Prix (owned by the Montoyas). We think that one basement was used to make bootleg wine; we know that the other basement had a bowling alley. We have some match books from Anzicks and some menus from the Grand Prix.
What do you know about the history of these places and about these families? I’m looking forward to hearing your stories.