Roosters chicken restaurant

Roosters on 1135 E. Main St.

The Roosters location in Montrose released a statement announcing it will no longer be able to continue its operations.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that we are closing this Roosters location indefinitely. It has been our great pleasure to provide the City of Montrose with a great atmosphere to watch sports and eat the best wings around and we thank you all for your support,” the eatery said in a statement.

“Times are changing and we are doing our best to change with them. We wish the community the very best and will miss seeing your amazing faces. We hope to see you all at our Grand Junction locations and who knows, maybe one day we will return.”

Roosters joins Little Flower Hemp Company, The Ginger Cat, Intrinzik and Alpine Floral as downtown businesses on Main Street that have had to adjust or shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The restaurant opened in June 2019.

A blend of factors played a part in shutting down operations indefinitely, and as a family-owned restaurant, a chance to do some reevaluating, Co-owner John Steed said.

Steed, and his brother, Jason Steed, decided to reevaluate the company’s approach with the Montrose location — Montrose acted as the company’s third location as there are two Roosters locations in Grand Junction.

“It’s been really slower down there during the tourist season than we had counted on,” Steed said.

The location was doing “OK,” he said, and was doing enough to get by, not experiencing any sort of significant loss. He said the store could have remained open, but with the restrictions in the county, an uncertain next several months, difficulty maintaining staff and potential liability reasons due to COVID-19 concerns, it was decided best “to scale back operations of the company.”

“It made most sense to relieve liability from an ownership standpoint and rethink some different things as the way we operate in the area,” he said.

Having to shut down the location for nearly three months during the early stages of the pandemic, and Montrose taking much longer than Mesa County to begin reopening procedures, played a part in the decision-making process. Traffic was steady after reopening for to-go orders, but hasn’t picked up like it has in Grand Junction.

Additionally, the Steeds aren’t convinced Gov. Jared Polis won’t impose additional restrictions in the ensuing months that would further restrict the community in Montrose County, which has put a damper on people going out to eat, Steed said. Rather than wait for a potential executive order from Polis, the duo figured taking action now would save them from any potential ramifications.

Also, as a sports-themed restaurant, the return of professional sports didn’t help increase traffic, especially with limitations at the bar, which Steed called “a real hindrance on business.”

Although the store made a small profit, it wasn’t enough reason for one or the other to commute to the location every other day.

There’s some hope for residents interested in returning to eat at Roosters in Montrose as Steed and his brother aren’t looking to rid the location from their plans. The two are fans of the area and are “putting things on hold for now” and plan to continue to pay for the building. In the meantime, there’s been talk to convert the store into a prep and sauce factory for the Grand Junction locations, though not for retail. Also, there’s a chance the location could reopen with a limited menu, Steed said.

For now, the two will focus on the restaurants in Grand Junction, which are both “doing really, really great,” Steed said.

Steed anticipates the store could reopen at full operations, or in a modified capacity, at some point once hospitality restrictions ease.

“We’re not giving up on Montrose by any means,” he said.

Josue Perez is a staff writer for the Montrose Daily Press

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