Boulder-based Big Red F Restaurant Group recently announced it’ll open its sixth Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar location in Colorado Springs (as of fall 2019), in the former, longtime Il Vicino space at 11 S. Tejon Street.

Big Red F, a 25-year-old assemblage, also operates Lola Coastal Mexican, The Post Brewing Co., The West End Tavern, Zolo Southwestern Grill and Centro Mexican Kitchen. Jax also has locations in Boulder (the original), Fort Collins, LoDo Denver, Glendale, and Kansas City.

The eatery specializes in sustainably sourced seafood, and boasts of being the first restaurant in Colorado to be certified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. Executive chef, Sheila Lucero, also serves on their Blue Ribbon Task Force, “working with other chefs from around the country to learn and share the very latest information on the state of our global fish stocks as well as the most progressive use of seafood in our restaurants,” according to her bio.COURTESY JAX FISH HOUSE & OYSTER BAR

Jax has repeatedly won Best Seafood Restaurant in publications like 5280 and Westword, and chef/founder, Dave Query, says he’s been waiting for the right Springs location for 20 years.

“The Springs is a natural next progression for Jax,” says Query. “We’re excited to have found a location we think suits the brand and allows us to do something in the way we do it well — which is small.”

By that, he clarifies that this spot has “almost the exact footprint as Jax in Boulder,” meaning room for 72 seats and a tiny open kitchen — “small, functional.”

Jax’s menu is uniform across locations with menu items that include: a raw bar, hot oysters, starters like calamari and mussels, chowder, crab, lobster, caviar, jambalaya, entrées like bass, tuna, salmon and scallops with various alluring sauces, and an award-winning Niman Ranch burger.

“Our commitment to sustainability doesn’t come easy or without added expenses,” he adds. “We do oysters as well as anyone in the country, whether on the coast or not — we take a lot of pride in that. We’re excited about doing an oyster bar in a way that hasn’t been done prior in the Springs.”

As for whether we should expect more Big Red F expansions into the Springs? “It’s too early to say,” says Query, “we’ll start with Jax and see.”

All images courtesy of Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar; Edited content published in the Colorado Springs Independent on June 25, 2019.