Delicious neighborhood eatery a new staple for Fort Collins.
The brightly illuminated sign announcing Nick’s is a beacon to the hungry denizens of Fort Collins and beyond who yearn for fresh plates of mouthwatering Italian favorites.
The menu offers delectably updated Italian stars including a sensational chicken parmigiana, fresh-made ricotta gnocchi, creamy butternut squash risotto, and lush mint and bacon bucatini carbonara – as well as an appetizing array of thin crust specialty pizzas and superb salads.
The starters are also a hit with chicken wings lacquered with agrodolce and garlic salt; fried mozzarella, gloriously melting; and a smashing hot dog panini.
With dark wood furniture and leather booths, the vibe is cozy and contemporary. Pale walls feature vivid black and white photos of musicians and scenery. On the outdoor patio, guests savor the last warmth of fall. The bar framed by large flat screens entices sports fans while the back room’s pool table, dart boards, and pinball machine keep parties entertained. Food is served from a sparkling kitchen and the pizza oven is redolent with the constant churn of its fare.
The eponymous Co-Owner and General Manager Nick Doyle and Co-Owners Rich Gribbon and Sam Slattery say that they wanted to open an Italian restaurant because they all grew up eating Italian food and have heartwarming memories of family dinners at local restaurants. Gribbon, who was raised on Long Island, says Nick’s Homestyle recalls the East Coast Italian cuisine he craves, “especially the chicken parmigiana, which I’ll eat any chance I get.” And they knew Fort Collins with its thriving restaurant scene was the perfect town for their vibrant neighborhood establishment.
Long-time friends, the three co-owners were destined to go into business together. Gribbon reports that he met Slattery in college in Vermont and they reconnected in Boulder. They were then introduced to Doyle over 20 years ago through a college friend. Together, the three of them have an impressive track record in the restaurant industry: Doyle spent his entire career in restaurants, most recently as Executive General Manager of The Kitchen restaurants; Gribbon worked in restaurants for 12 years before becoming a REALTOR® at RE/MAX of Boulder; and Slattery has prodigious experience designing and running the business side of restaurants with over 50 restaurant openings under his belt.
Through Slattery, they collaborated with celebrity Chef Conley, who developed the menu with an eye for local and seasonal products and bright flavors. He was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as one of the Best Chefs of the South and opened critically acclaimed restaurants Buccan and Imoto in Palm Beach, Florida. The talented on-site Executive Chef, Brian Shaner, who worked under Chef Conley at Buccan moved to Fort Collins to run the kitchen.
Doyle, who grew up in Illinois and attended Colorado State University, lives in the neighborhood. He manages the restaurant’s day-to-day operations and is impassioned about owning his first restaurant. He is especially excited about the location – it’s across the street from a house where he used to live when he went to college. Even the CSU history department – home to his college major – frequents the restaurant.
Nick’s Homestyle opened in February, but it’s already abuzz with regulars, new patrons, and large parties. “Nick’s Homestyle is a wonderful neighborhood spot for families who love it, college kids who are discovering it – especially our late night happy hour – and our guests who love the staff and food. It’s so much fun to be here every day,” remarks Doyle.
All photos are courtesy images.
For more information, visit: www.nickshomestyle.com