Rex’s American Grill & Bar closes its doors.
When Rex Brice closed the doors of Rex’s American Grill & Bar on January 3, 2023 for the last time, it was a bittersweet moment. The namesake venue was the second location for Rex’s Family of Restaurants, which has grown to include seven eateries in the last two decades.
Rex’s Grill has been a neighborhood favorite for 16 years, surmounting a recession and a pandemic. Located within the Holiday Inn on the east side of Steamboat Springs, it began as a partnership between the hotel owner Scott Marr, and the restaurant group. When Marr opted to sell in 2022, it was decided Rex’s Grill would close with it, but the restaurant will continue under new ownership.
When Rex's Grill opened, Rex was the head chef and remembered feeling a sense of “running by the seat of our pants.” His initial fears of not filling tables went unwarranted and it became a longtime favorite for locals of all ages. “I remember during construction having concerns that the bar was far too big, and it would never be filled,” he said. “It became a running joke over the years with Scott regularly sending images of the packed bar, commenting that he couldn’t find a seat at his own bar.” The bar is only one aspect of what locals – some of whom were daily guests, will miss.
Rex believes the tight-knit staff made the restaurant what it is. When head chef Casey Havens lost his life after the pandemic, it shook the group so deeply, it spurred a commitment to offer mental health support for all staff, should they want it. That innate sense of family at Rex’s was not only limited to the staff, but the guests, many of whom would walk or ride bikes to dine inside, or on the infamous patio. “It was never just a place to eat inside a hotel, but a neighborhood diner and watering hole.
Locals seeking the outright menu favorite, chicken fried chicken, or the lip-smacking mac n’ cheese, will have to find new favorites among Rex’s Family of Restaurants. Many members of the team will remain with the group at other venues, while some chose to remain under the new ownership. “There are definitely a lot of mixed emotions, but we’ve had a great run and it will allow new doors of opportunity to open.” Rex said with a nod.