November 9, 2012, by Lynn Brewer
First Bite Boulder kicks off today, and many local restaurants are offering diners a prix fixe three-course dinner, including Q’s Restaurant. (Click here to see the menu they are offering.) To celebrate First Bite, I thought I’d share some interesting tidbits of the history behind the Boulderado dining room, where Q’s now calls home.
Upon our opening on New Year’s Day of 1909, a newspaper article in the Daily Camera touted all the luxuries the Hotel Boulderado had to offer. In addition to the guestrooms and the building, the reporter commented on the dining room and kitchen as well:
“The spacious dining room, with its snowy linen, polished silver, and delicate bouquets, gave promise of the tempting delicacies and huge banquets that are to come. The kitchen, with its massive ranges and variety of modern conveniences, appeared equal to the tasks of furnishing the best and the most that could be demanded of it. The handsome electric chandeliers, the exquisitely patterned rugs, the profuse decoration of palms, ferns, and flowers, the beautiful music of the orchestra, all added to the sum to make a perfect total.”
The above photo is how the dining room looked; it was so formal that there were no waitresses on the staff, only waiters, who wore white gloves while serving, and tables were set with small bowls of water so guests could wash their fingers between courses.
Over the past century, the dining room at the Hotel Boulderado has undergone a multitude of changes and renovations, as has most of the original building. We’ve done our best to keep anything original intact, even if it has to be moved somewhere else. Case in point: the photo below may look to you like an empty hallway. But the three light fixtures you see in it date back to the hotel’s opening and were originally located in the dining room.
On the same floor on the other side of the building, you’ll find a chair sitting in a corner (below photo), which is the most recent addition to the living history museum on the west side of the third floor at the Hotel Boulderado. The story is that we’ve had this chair in storage for many years, but it was only recently that we sent it out to have the cane seat replaced by a skilled tradesman who specializes in antique pieces.
If you happen to stop by Q’s Restaurant during First Bite Boulder, be sure to take the Otis elevator up to the third floor to explore the antiques and learn more about what it was like to live like the Victorians would.