Interview With Restaurateur Bryan Dayton

All photos taken at Bryan Dayton's latest restaurant Corrida - A Spanish wood-fired steak and seafood restaurant (on the rooftop of 1023 WALNUT STREET) with one of the only unobstructed views of the Flatirons.


Give us a quick overview of who you are and what you do?
Who am I? That’s a big question to start! I’m a father, a restaurateur, and lover of all things outside - along with booze!

I’ve heard that you’ve won some awards. Care to tell us what they are?
I've won a few for Bartending and also a couple for running. My most famous were 2011 Bombay Sapphires Most Inspired Bartender and was on the cover of GQ for the Man Of the Year issue. I also won two 50K USATF trail championships in ‘06 and ‘07.

How old were you when you first started working in the restaurant industry and what was the job?
I started when I was 15 washing dishes at an Italian restaurant.

And now you own two restaurants?
I own four! Two in Boulder and two in Denver: OAK at fourteenth, Acorn, BriDer and Corrida.

Any plans for more?
I'm in a good holding pattern right now, but yet you never know.

All four come up on every dining shortlist of places to eat, so we can only hope.

What’s the best thing to order right away?
Wine.

In your opinion, what’s the most underrated vegetable?
Carrots.

What’s your favorite cocktail?
Margarita.

What’s your most thoughtful cocktail?
Oaxacan Merigold - A mezcal and tequila drink I created a few years ago!

Can’t wait to try it. Do you always eat awesome food, or do you have a guilty pleasure you’re willing to divulge?
I’m pretty spoiled for sure, yet I do have a knack for bad bar food every once in awhile.

Having worked in kitchens, I feel that they’ve all had their own unique rhythm. Do the kitchens in your restaurants have a specific vibe or personality?
Yes, each one of our kitchens are unique for sure. There are so many diverse personalities; it keeps things fun!

What’s the atmosphere you’ve created for the person walking in your door?
We strive to create a fun and casual vibe while exceeding guests needs and wants.

I’d like to ask you a few questions about style if you’re cool with that…

What role does style play in your daily?
I definitely think about making sure I look well kept and professional at all times. I like to keep things a little conservative while at work, yet a little louder when out.

Have you always had favorites in your wardrobe?
Yes, for sure.

What was the first favorite you remember?
Jeans and boots.

What’s your favorite article of clothing today?
The classic white tee.

Seems to me that there’s a pretty standard uniform in the restaurant industry, black slacks and a white shirt. Any thoughts on the standard uniform? Or do you have your own standard uniform different from restaurant culture or are you a more eclectic wardrobe kinda guy?
With the staff we keep it the same at all restaurants, dark jeans and white button downs. Maybe we will evolve. It’s a tricky one for sure. When I’m on the floor, I am generally in dark jeans and a different button down.

Always a guaranteed handsome choice. I often think of style as an ongoing dialogue - both with yourself and with the world you walk through. What does your style speak to?
I love classic looks with details, textures, and sleek lines.

So do we. You’re speaking our language. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I love what you all do at Canoe Club!!!!

We can’t say enough about both OAK at fourteenth and Corrida here in Boulder - their excellent food, thoughtful cocktails, and intimate character have been a regular excuse to gather the whole Canoe Club crew together.

Looks like we’re overdue for a roadtrip to Denver to check out BriDer and Acorn.