Dave Query has a long history with food and cooking in Boulder, Colorado. It started at the palace of all things good grub, Mustard’s Last Stand, where at a young age he learned the very gratifying return of making someone something to eat and having them really enjoy it. After attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and a stint as the chef aboard Malcolm Forbes’ yacht, Dave worked and staged in some of the best and busiest kitchens of New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, and New Orleans, all the while eating out at every dive that would take him. In 1988, he returned home to Colorado and earned some incredible press, first as chef/owner of the Lick Skillet Cafe, a funky mountain cabin in Gold Hill, then as Executive Chef of Cliff Young’s, Denver’s bastion for fine dining, and finally as chef/owner at Q’s Restaurant in the Hotel Boulderado.
In March 1994, he opened the first of what would become The Big Red F Restaurant Group: Zolo Southwestern Grill. Dubbed “the hottest restaurant in town,” Zolo offered fine, soulful southwestern cuisine in an easy-going environment. Nine months later, Dave opened Jax Fish House on Pearl Street. The center oyster bar was an immediate success, and Jax has been thumping ever since.
With Zolo and Jax dialed in, Dave proceeded to open more restaurants in the Big Red F family, each a stronghold of fine food, unmatched ambiance, and expert hospitality: Jax Denver, in November 1996, in a building that Jack Kerouac used to live in and Tom Waits wrote a song about; Rhumba, on the same block as Jax in Boulder, which nine years later transformed into Centro Latin Kitchen & Refreshment Palace; in the summer of 2002, Lola Mexican Fish House; in 2004, BRF bought The West End Tavern, which was a Boulder institution for 18 years before the death of its visionary founder and mentor to many, Steve “Beaver” Goren; Happy Noodle and the Bitter Bar in 2009, offering a slight taste of the burgeoning mixology craze; JaxFort Collins in 2011; Jax Glendale in 2013; and in 2014 The Post Brewing Company in Lafayette; followed by Jax Kansas City in later that year. the Post Longmont opened in 2016, Post Rosedale and Post Boulder in 2018.
With the singular goal of bringing friends and family together at the dinner table, Big Red F has been throwing great parties every night since 1994. It is crewed by some of the hardest-working, visionary chefs and hospitalitarians around, whose innovation and integrity continue to push the boundaries of both good eats and good business.
BRF also knows that service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth, and tries to give back to the people and the communities directly responsible for its success through a series of local charities and non-profits. Each restaurant also makes its best effort to be mindful of how it conducts its business, trying in all areas to limit the footprint it leaves behind.
As people keep coming back, night after night, and as the industry changes in cooler and increasingly creative ways, Dave hopes that the Big Red F continues to grow into something everyone can be proud of.