by Rhett Sifford
Ben and Crystal Breedlove say they love Monticello and want to help it flourish. They put their money where their mouth is.
Their investment and gift to the community is a revitalized Grist Mill Inn, which they say they “brought back from the dead” in 2011, and which now houses the newly-opened Granary Bar and Grill.
The Breedloves want people to think of the Granary as a locally-owned Applebee’s. Ben explained, “We’re tired of losing tourism, and we’re tired of bad reviews for things that people want here.
“People want a good place to eat that’s open when they’re here,” he said. “Winter time is impossible. Sunday winter time is non existent. Anything after nine is pretty much impossible too.”
The Breedloves point out that the Monticello City Council was very supportive of their endeavor to open the bar and grill. According to Ben, the Breedloves have “worked very closely with the city and law enforcement to make sure we keep this a community-friendly facility.”
In addition to the Granary, the Grist Mill Inn also boasts a family-friendly, alcohol-free dining room. Ben explained that the bar serves a huge selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails and beverages.
He said Chef Rob Lundelt’s food is amazing, and the menu will be ever-changing.
The Breedloves say they plan to stay open all winter, seven days a week until 11 p.m. for food. The bar will be open on weekends until at least 1 a.m.
Crystal said, “The big thing that the [San Juan] Chamber of Commerce has said is that there’s no nightlife [in San Juan County], so we’re trying to fill the gap where there’s a need.”
The Breedloves say they want to make the Grist Mill Inn a place for families to enjoy fun activities and give couples a place for date nights.
Ben said, “We really wanted to create a unique place – a fun atmosphere that’s friendly to everybody.”
Many people have already enjoyed murder mysteries and haunted houses at the Grist Mill. The Breedloves have plans to add an escape room and secret lounges in the rooms to give patrons a mental challenge. They’ve also recently opened up eight new rooms in the inn that are still to be restored.
The Breedloves say Monticello needs restaurant variety to attract locals and tourists alike, and they are excited to be part of that movement.
Ben said, “Everybody in the community seems to have the same goal of not becoming Moab. We can be tourism-friendly and local-friendly at the same time. We just have to bond together and get it done.”
Visit the Granary Bar and Grill at the Grist Mill Inn to check out the Breedloves’ version of “getting it done.”