Marv Parliament gets a twinkle in his eye when he talks about building his business. It was the challenge that he loved. The mechanics of fitting together the right food, atmosphere and location had him intrigued.
As the marketing director of the Pittsburgh Penguins years ago, he remembered a roadside barbecue restaurant that specialized in grilling chicken and burgers outdoors. He wondered how they attracted so many diners. He also remembered an outdoor burger joint near his hometown in Ontario, Canada. People by the droves would park up and down the road and wait in line for a lousy burger. Marv thought about what would happen if you served a good burger? He watched what would become his current location for a few years, as a variety of businesses opened and closed in the old 7-11 building at the turnoff to Pikes Peak Highway in Cascade, Colorado.
When the opportunity presented itself 15 years ago, Marv’s intrigue into opening a roadside restaurant became a reality. What better location than at the foot of America’s Mountain with constant traffic year round. To further enhance the appeal to stop in, Marv was able to offer complimentary wine tasting and the sale of Colorado Wines.
Friends were skeptical. What if it did not work and subsequently failed? Marv chuckled and thought “If we don’t make it, we will drink wine all winter.”
Knowing that an important part of a successful restaurant is curb appeal, he contacted the Business of Art Center to find a muralist. Alan Burton transformed the plain cinder block building into a work of art. Marv and his wife Francie gathered the necessities, buying only what they could pay for to create a special atmosphere, one that was uniquely their own.
That year they started serving burgers – good ones. Then a man pulled in and asked if they served wine burgers? He said there is a place in Phoenix that serves them and you can not get a seat there. That was all Marv needed to hear. He created his own wine burger with grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms and roasted green chili’s and the menu started to grow.
Marv had always enjoyed cooking so creating new dishes was fun to him. At first, a few sandwiches and appetizers were added to the menu. Next Marv’s homemade Buffalo Chili and the number one selling Buffalo Burger were added. Now it is a full menu with many local favorites like Salmon Caesar Salad, Trout Almondine and a Pulled Pork sandwich. Today the restaurant is the favorite of locals, business owners and visitors alike. They come for the atmosphere, to be in the mountains and to enjoy creekside dining. Once you visit, it will be one of your favorites as well.
“Best Creekside Dining”
– 2011 & 2012 – Gazette
“Best Outdoor Dining”
– 2007 & 2008 – Gazette
“Best Restaurant for Tourists”
“Best Patio Dining”
– Colorado Springs Independent, 2005
“Best Buffalo Burger”
“Best Outdoor Dining”
– 2002, 2003, 2005 – Gazette
Featured in the Wall Street Journal!
“Now, you might not think that an enoteca is unusual for California. Well, how about one in Cascade, Colo., in the foothills at the exit to the Pikes Peak Highway? The Wines of Colorado says it boasts the largest selection of Colorado wines in the state and tasting is free, according to Marvin Parliament, who owns the business and grill-type restaurant…” (click for full article)
Colorado AvidGolfer – July 2007, p.58, “SideBets”
Nesting below Pikes Pike, near Colorado Springs, The Wines of Colorado is an unheralded, romantic oasis in which to picnic along the banks of Fountain Creek. True to its name, the restaurant, gift shop and winery does a brisk sip-and-sup business, but while oenophiles can be found sniffing their way around the tasting counter, epicureans retire to the wooden-planked deck to feast on towering sandwiches and burgers, including the buffalo wine burger, a juice-dribbling, hand-formed patty sky-scraped with roasted green chilies, sauteed forest mushrooms, grilled onions and cheese. If you really want to get away from it all, take your foodstuffs and a bottle of wine down to one of the two coveted picnic tables on the river. Shielded from the sun by wispy willow trees and aromatic pines, it’s the perfect place to ponder your summer vacation. 8045 W. Hwy 24, Cascade; 719-684-0900 or winesofcolorado.com