The Fort is an award-winning Denver western restaurant southwest of Denver, Colorado featuring fine beef, buffalo, game and seafood. We had a chance to talk to the proprietress, Holly Arnold Kinney, who shared with us a few tidbits about the restaurant, their food, concept, and business philosophy. Here’s what we learned:
FE: Tell us a little something about your restaurant.
Holly Arnold Kinney: Located in Southwest Denver’s Red Rocks Territory, The Fort is an award winning and nationally acclaimed “truly Colorado” restaurant. The Fort’s creation of “New Foods of the Old West,” brings back popular recipes from the 19th century, prepared with a twist and specializes in regional game, including: bison; elk; quail; as well as seasonal fish and hearty vegetarian fare influenced by American Indian and Mountain Man cuisine. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, The Fort is a full-scale and authentic adobe replica of Bent’s Fort, a fur-trading fort on the Santa Fe Trail, originally in Southeastern Colorado and operable from 1833-1849.
FE: Are there any Awards you have received? Any you’re particularly proud of?
Kinney: Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 10 consecutive years; 2014 OpenTable Diner’s Choice; 2014 Meeting Professionals International Rocky Mountain Chapter (MPIRMC) Level II Meeting & Hospitality Award of Excellence; 2015 OpenTable Diner’s Choice; 2016 TripExpert Experts’ Choice Award; 2016 Zagat Top Rated Restaurant in Denver; 2016 Trip Advisor Best Service Award
FE: What is your restaurant philosophy? Is there something that everyone strives for with each action taken at your restaurant?
Kinney: It is our philosophy that everyone should have “Shinin’ Times” at The Fort. That comes in the form of excellent service, the highest quality food and a welcoming, comfortable experience, from the moment a guest walks through the gates. I grew up in The Fort; it was my family home, as well as a restaurant. I’ve helped my mother and father in the kitchen since we opened our doors in 1963. We celebrate all families at the Fort, not just mine. Because we welcome all families, large and small, many of our customers choose the restaurant for birthdays, anniversaries, and other happy occasions. I always refer to our customers as “guests” since I consider each one a guest in my home.
FE: What is your most popular dish? Why do people love it?
Kinney: The Game Plate is the most popular entree served at The Fort, because a guest gets a little taste of various game meats. The Game Plate features a bone-in elk chop smothered in wild Montana huckleberry preserves, a grilled, teriyaki-marinated quail, and a buffalo sirloin medallion. Each plate is served with seasonal vegetables and Fort potatoes. It’s fantastic!
FE: And what is the one cocktail your bartender loves to make?
Kinney: Doug, who has been our bartender for more than 30 years, loves to make several of our historic cocktails, but his favorite is Trader’s Whiskey. It features two tablespoons of cut Virginia Burley tobacco, crushed red peppers, bourbon whiskey and old-fashioned black gunpowder.
FE: What makes you stand out above the rest?
Kinney: Everything we do at The Fort is authentic to the 1830s trapper and fur trade era. What’s old is new again at The Fort!
The Fort is located at 19192 Highway 8, Morrison, CO 80465
Nearby Landmarks: Willow Ridge Manor
Phone Number: (303) 697-4771
Hours of Operation:
- Mon – Fri 05:30PM to close
- Sat & Sun 05:00PM to close
Dining Style: Casual – Fine Dining
Cuisine Type: New Foods of the Old West
Dress Code: Business Casual
Price Range: $31 – $50
Payment Options: AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa