VegDining Restaurant Profile:
(Denver, CO, USA)
by D.J. Bayomi, VegDining.com
We're delighted to be featuring WaterCourse in Denver CO, one of the best known vegan restaurants in North America.
Tell us a little about how WaterCourse came to be?
WaterCourse Foods started in 1998 to supply the demand for an all-vegetarian restaurant in Denver.
The fact that WaterCourse made it through its first year of business was the greatest milestone.
We were underfunded, lacked business acumen, but were so filled with passion and support that we thrived.
What are some of the things that make WaterCourse special, if not unique?
WaterCourse Foods operates and succeeds because we adhere to a basic concept "we assume that our guests are all extremely intelligent and we do everything
in our power not to insult their intelligence."
This may seem obvious but many businesses insult their guests' intelligence by serving them crappy food and drinks in a contrived and unoriginal setting.
WaterCourse Foods' ambiance is lovingly crafted by local artists who procured the building materials from sustainable sources.
Our guests enjoy vegan comfort food in a beautiful and tranquil environment.
What are some of your most popular dishes and what do you suppose make them so appealing to your guests?
There are some dishes on WaterCourse's menu that have been staples for quite some time.
Our Monti Pasta and Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos have satisfied vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike for years.
They're accessible dishes with quality ingredients made with lots of love from scratch in our kitchen.
We are also quite excited about some of our newer dishes; and watching those become the staple of the next generation of WaterCourse guests.
Our Southern Plate featuring a fried "chicken" cauliflower paired with mashed potatoes and gravy is definitely gaining a following.
You leave WaterCourse feeling full but not heavy; the beauty of plant-based comfort food.
Are there dishes that you offer that seem to appeal more to non-vegetarians as opposed to vegetarians?
Our menu offers a little something for everyone.
Some vegans aren't that fond of mock meat type dishes and may opt for our Ruk Kora salad or Mu Shu Wraps;
where as those "meatier" items like our Seitan Sirloin or Cuban sandwich appeal more to our omnivorous guests.
It's all personal preference, and our menu is well rounded enough to offer something for everyone.
What are some of the things the WaterCourse team works hard doing to ensure a lasting impression with your guests?
Before a single plate of food arrives in front of our guest 10,000 variables have been attended to.
From lighting, room temperature, music selection and volume, seating, flatware, menu design, water filtration system, beer/wine/food selections.
The list goes on and on and on.
What our team does to ensure we leave a positive and lasting impression on our guests is to attend to all the details
so our guests can be swept away with our hospitality.
The restaurant business is extremely challenging. What were some of the major challenges WaterCourse has faced?
Major Challenges? Oh yes we’ve had a few (just today)!
The challenges of running a restaurant in the USA are endless.
Staffing, taxes, finances, online reviews, finding and keeping good management, avoiding burnout, maintaining quality of food and service, maintaining relevance.
Argh! The list goes on and on.
We run handling our challenges with the following motto: "The problem is the not the issue. The issue is how we handle the problem."
What are some of the memorable moments or events you’ve had at your restaurant? Any celebrity visits?
We have had some incredible celebrity moments at WaterCourse.
A personal favorite was when Mike D and MCA (R.I.P.) from the Beastie Boys came in.
Or when Ted Nugent came in and ordered coffee.
He thought it was hilarious to be in a vegetarian restaurant.
We have fed so many celebrities over the years it is really hard to pick out the most memorable.
The most incredible events I have witnessed over the past 17 years is watching the children grow up in the restaurant.
We are now hiring the once little babies that left messes under their highchairs to clean the messes off the floor of new little ones.
Watching a community grow and thrive through the lens of a restaurant is about the most special thing you can possibly imagine.
You must have some incredibly loyal guests. Any stand out?
I am constantly humbled by the stories of love and loss that happen in WaterCourse Foods.
We have had multiple marriage proposals, first encounters, break-ups, family reunions, birthday celebrations, anniversaries, etc.
WaterCourse has become the extended living room of hundreds of thousands of people.
We honor our position as host to these special occasions for people we love.
There are many, many loyal guests who drive straight from the airport to WaterCourse when they are visiting or returning from a trip.
Are there people, issues or ideas that inspire your team to do what you do?
There are many issues that inspire our team.
The one idea that we constantly talk about is the art of providing service.
Providing service to others is one of the most powerful things you can do as a human.
We really believe in the art of service and are inspired by providing it and when the opportunity comes receiving it.
WaterCourse is located at 837 E. 17th Avenue, Denver, CO.
VegDining proudly shares WaterCourse's mission.
Learn more about WaterCourse from their Full Listing on our site.
Photos courtesy of WaterCourse.
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