The Beat, the newest addition to Carbondale’s thriving local food scene, has some real magic in it. This little gem resides in a small house on the end of Carbondale’s main drag. I first stumbled upon the Beat when wandering into their side patio – an idyllic summer spot to sip on their home brewed kombucha or chomp on a thyme and garlic toast with hummus and feta. Vibrant succulents are on each table, leading into a garden, complete with raised beds and a hand painted wooden doorframe. It all feels hand crafted, carefully put together by loving hands and creative minds.

Inside Lucy was behind the stainless steel countertops in a miniature and well-loved kitchen making a hibiscus margarita – her experiment of the day. “This space is a growing experiment, we try it all, and if it doesn’t work we throw it out and move on,” says Tobyn, Lucy’s husband and co-owner of the Beat. The duo moved in above the Beat after their wedding in May – a wedding that took place twelve days after they met. As Lucy and Tobyn build their budding life together, the Beat is living and breathing along with them, and the Carbondale community. “You have to let the community build you,” explains Lucy, “Starting with a specific vision doesn’t leave space for a process of mutual creation – the Beat growing into Carbondale and Carbondale growing into the Beat.” Their plan is to cultivate a porous, changing vision to fit their clientele, their friends, their town.

Part of being embedded in a place, is not just being conscious of its people, but also its environment. The Beat sources its produce from farms in the Roaring Fork Valley, all local and family run. Lucy isn’t new to working with local farms. She got her start in food in Telluride, CO, making salads out of a tent from the produce being sold at the farmers market. When I asked her about her relationship with local Carbondale farms, she said it like it was nothing. “You put your name out there, and the farms give you what you need.” The problem, according to Lucy, is dealing with the unpredictable misfortunes of small organic farms. It’s not always predictable, meaning menus often get jostled around. Despite the trials, working with local food sources is key to the ideals of their community space. Says Tobyn, “We want to have a relationship with the place we’re in – you know, be a part of the cycles of our environment, eating and making with a knowledge of where our stuff comes from.”

The Beat has had nothing but positive reviews – a packed grand opening night, and some serious Carbondale buzz. “We’re starting small,” says Lucy, “adding things on one by one, until we figure out exactly how we want it to be.” Up next they’re thinking Garden Cinema nights, screening films on their patio. In the winter, they might convert their summer tastes into a noodle shop – a warm cozy nook to find solace from the cold. This husband and wife duo is committed to their “growing experiment,” and so far it’s working damn well.




Kate WeinerComment