By Shari Valenta
For Daya and Dwight Colborn, owners of Runway Grill, it’s all about the view. The back of their take-home menu boasts several times of “Free Sunsets.” If you’ve ever been to Jefferson County Airport, you know they’re right. The view is spectacular.
Planes take off against a backdrop of mountains, uncluttered by buildings. If you step onto the eatery’s patio, you can even see the downtown Denver skyline. But it’s not all about the view. It’s really about the food.
“I’d say that about 95 percent of our food is made on-site,” said Dwight Colborn, who’s also head chef. “There’s very little of adding can ‘A’ to can ‘B’ around here. We also make our soups from scratch.”
Colborn creates award-winning salsas. His house and fruit salsas won awards at the Boulder County Fair during 1997 and 1998.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and they have a full bar. Lunch is reasonably priced from $5.99 to $7.99, and customers can expect speedy service.
“At lunchtime, we definitely try to get the food out within 10 minutes,” Colborn said.
The Runway Grill often runs nightly specials on salmon or shrimp. According to Colborn, a popular dinner choice is the broiled, boneless pork loin, with a peach glaze. Another good choice is the 747 steak, which is a broiled 10-ounce rib eye steak. The Runway Grill also hosts parties.
“We’ll do anything from the Red Hat Society to a wedding reception, up to 100 people,” he said. “This year we did a lot of Christmas parties. We also do a lot of things with retirement homes and bridge clubs.”
The couple has 50 years combined experience in the restaurant business.
I’ve always enjoyed the hospitality business,” Dwight Colborn said wholeheartedly.
When Colborn was 15, he worked at an all-night restaurant in the small town of Momence, Ill. Later, he moved to Denver, where he eventually became a cook at the former Bluebird Café in Cherry Creek.
In 1976, he met Daya, a city girl, originally from New York City, who was working at the Bluebird as a waitress. They fell in love with each other and the restaurant business.
They opened their first restaurant in 1977. They’ve owned four restaurants, including the Santa Fe Grill, which was voted best restaurant in Longmont three years out of the four years they ran it.
On April 6, 2005, the couple took ownership of the Runway Grill, soon after Ross Aviation, LLC purchased Denver Air, the FBO in which the restaurant is located at Jeffco. The eatery is located on the second floor of the Denver Air complex.
“Our second day here, a small plane crashed just three blocks east down the runway,” said Dwight Colborn. “I’m not making light of this, but I was asking everybody, ‘Does this happen very often around here?'” (Since they’ve been there, no airplanes have crashed into the restaurant.)
Be sure to fly by the Runway Grill for a free appetizer with the purchase of any two entrees for $15.99 (limit one per couple, valid in March only).
The Runway Grill is located at 11705 Airport Way in Broomfield. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m.-9:00 p.m., Tues.-Sat., and 7:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Sun.-Mon. Happy hour is 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Tues.-Sat. For more information, call 720-887-1004.