Nora’s switches to good coffee

By Jim Stanford on January 17, 2014

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Nora’s is creating a bigger buzz.

In one of the most noteworthy developments to occur in Wilson in years, Nora’s Fish Creek Inn has begun serving customers a real cup of coffee.

The landmark eatery switched this week from its longstanding brand, Farmer Brothers, to the local java by Snake River Roasting Co.

Given the refined palates of West Bankers, I’ve often wondered why Nora’s stuck with Farmer Bros. for so long. While sampling a cup of the new coffee with a plate of huevos Thursday, I asked owner Kathryn Tygum Taylor if people ever complained.

“They’ve been complaining about it for 32 years,” she said.

The family-run, James Beard Award-winning restaurant is serving Kirby’s First Tram, a flavor named for ski patrolman Kirby Williams, but Tygum said she plans to experiment and come up with her own blend.

Wilsonites are advised to watch out for Denny Emory, a Nora’s regular who because of the switch is at risk of being overcaffeinated.

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Shades Cafe to close

By Jenni Lake on December 11, 2013

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Located in a cozy, historic cabin on King Street, Shades is known for its warm atmosphere, shaded deck and dishes like eggs tomavo.

Another sad evolution for the town of Jackson: The iconic Shades Cafe will be closing its doors at the end of December.

Owner Lisa Miller said the cafe has been losing money for about two years, and neither she nor other investors have the resources to continue putting money into the business. Competition from big chains like Starbucks and other coffee shops with deeper pockets has impacted Shades’ business.

An emotional Miller said the loss of Shades might serve as an example to people in town that it does matter where you spend your money — even if it’s just for a cup of coffee and muffin.

Jim Mitchell opened the cafe in 1986. Miller worked for him, then bought the cafe in 1992 and has run it as a family business. Customers nearly always see Miller or her daughter, Abbie, at the counter, and the duo also makes the cafe’s signature baked goods like wheat bran muffins and gourmet coffee cakes.

Shades was the first cafe to start serving espresso in town.

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not the buzz Starbucks hoped to generate

By Jim Stanford on June 10, 2013

Comments: 16 Comments

Coming soon to Square.

Back in April, a News&Guide report that Starbucks planned to open a store on the Town Square brewed up a venti-sized dose of dismay.

Java junkies were jittery at the prospect of the megachain draining business from local coffee shops. Critics appealed to the town government for help. One friend wrote on Facebook:

“WTF? Jackson Town Planners?!?! Seriously. Walgreens and now Starbucks. B/c we really need those chains right… They just fit right in with the LOCAL folks who already serve up great coffee.”

The town government has little regulatory authority to keep out chain businesses, other than issuing building permits to ensure codes are met. In this case, the building inspector rejected Starbucks’ initial application because the store would have exceeded capacity (49 people) and had entrance problems (being inside another business, Lee’s Tees). As of last week, the company had resolved those issues, and the town was set to issue a building permit.

Read More…

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party tonight at Betty Rock

By Jim Stanford on November 6, 2012

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Betty Rock is offering an $8 special for burger, fries and drink all off-season.

Teton Dems are gathering tonight at Betty Rock to watch the election results and congratulate candidates on a race well run.

There will be food and drink specials, and Betty Rock will stay open late on what could be a late night for the presidential decision. The party will start soon after polls close at 7 p.m.

I expect we’ll have local results around 9. Betty Rock has a TV for national coverage and wifi for the latest updates.

Come by for a burger and beer. I plan to be there at some point. On such a momentous night, the pull of home is strong.

Let’s hope we have a lot to celebrate, locally and nationally.

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Posted under County Government, Democratic Party, Food, Politics, Town Government, Wyoming Legislature

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cheers to local brewers

By Jim Stanford on October 23, 2012

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Bottoms up for TMU.

As widely reported last week, Thai Me Up won a surprising two gold medals and one silver to lead Wyoming breweries at the Great American Beer Festival on Oct. 10-12 in Denver. Snake River Brewing Co. added to its hardware collection with one silver and one bronze.

The Casper Star-Tribune sent a correspondent to cover the festival (tough gig, eh?) who has written a nice feature about the evolution of craft beers in Wyoming, starting with the opening of the Brew Pub in 1994. (Otto Brothers in Wilson actually started first; the company now is Grand Teton Brewing in Victor, Idaho.)

For Thai Me Up, a self-described “nanobrewery” (for producing small quantities of beer), the achievement is particularly sweet. Owner Jeremy Tofte is a third-generation brewer, the Star-Tribune reports. The restaurant garnered gold for its Melvin IPA and 2×4 Double IPA and silver for its Cherry Freak fruit beer.

Fret not, cheap drinkers: The preferred mead of Jackson skids, PBR, also won gold in the American-style lager competition.

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