Craftsman Is Moving on Up (Across the Street) in Edwards

The new location of Craftsman is only a stone’s throw from their previous spot in Edwards, but it has expanded and renovated to match its growing business. Craftsman took over the old Gore Range Brewery in November 2021 and opened its new doors this past October. Through this change, it will offer an elevated experience to its customers from new menu items, brews on tap and a lively atmosphere where everyone knows your name.

Chef and owner Chris Schmidt shares his insights on the new space and what it took to finally open. “There are some similarities to the old Craftsman,” he says. “We definitely updated the interior by adding tons of maple, concrete, steel and lots of black and grey features.” The team maintained and built upon the open kitchen concept with a large “chef’s counter,” showcasing a wood fired oven. To brighten up the space, they are adding lots of plants, as well.

Photo by Susi Thurman

Schmidt acknowledges how Craftsman is expanding in multiple areas, but ultimately, they are trying to maintain their identity and what made them so popular. The menu changes will scale back the sandwiches to make way for more small plates, salads, sharables, etc. Look for more large format items to share at the table, as well. “We don’t want to make the menu very large and are more focused on quality and execution … no Cheesecake Factory here,” he jokes.

Schmidt is excited about the massive bar program for bartenders to prepare craft cocktails, pour some great wines and of course beer. The tap system will feature 16 rotating beers with at least half being produced onsite.

Craftsman plans on hosting live music on the patio and hopes to outfit a stage at some point. “The ambiance will be Craftsman elevated,” Schmidt explains. “We are striving for the same sense of community and lively atmosphere with awesome tunes, a bumping kitchen and lots of friends!”

Photo by Donovon Sornig

Like many renovations, the team putting together the new space came across some speed bumps but held their vision for the redesign. Schmidt believes that, despite the headaches, they had some really amazing contractors, subs and designers that pulled through to help them get to the finish line. He shares, “There have been a ton of hiccups, but I feel there are always during these projects.”

Design flaws, equipment delays, value engineering debates and misses from all angles are the usual setbacks with undergoing a project this big. “I’ve had many restless nights debating my life choices, and at the end of the day, it’s very hard to build and open restaurants, but I love it. Craftsman is going to be absolutely amazing,” he adds.

Schmidt finds that cooking and operating restaurants is what he and his team love to do. “It’s what we are good at, and I’m ready to start hosting our community at our new space.”

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