Innovative, gluten-free Montrose restaurant returns with new breads and pastries, coffees, and hours
A staple Montrose restaurant has reopened its doors after a yearlong closure. Vibrant has resumed service with a number of changes designed to give people more of what they love about the restaurant.
First opened in 2018 by owner Kelly Barnhart, Vibrant serves food that is designed to be both nutritious and eye-catching. All of its dishes are gluten-free, dairy-free, white sugar-free, and non-GMO. The restaurant closed for renovations last year to upgrade its kitchen and create a retail section for grab-and-go items.
“The way we had our kitchen designed originally ended up not being efficient enough for the way our operation ended up evolving and the volume we ended up putting out,” Barnhart tells CultureMap. “Now we have the perfect kitchen for our offerings. We’re able to expand on our mission more broadly as far as what we wanted to offer.”
The biggest change is an expanded selection of breads and pastries that are available for both dine-in and to-go. Working with a nutritionist, Barnhart, general manager Angel Atherley, and executive chef Patti Delgado created a new line of breads that are both gluten-free and vegan, as they do not use eggs.
“I would say we’ve doubled the offering of baked goods,” Barnhart says. “That’s something we’re really excited to lean into. Chef Patty found a passion with our criteria of food in a baked goods format.”
Those new breads will be available as loaves for to-go. Vibrant will also sell other staples such as nut cheese, cookie dough, and mole. A retail section will offer totes, candles, t-shirts, and wellness items like supplements.
As for the rest of the menu, new items include Sorghum Waffles with Coconut Yogurt Probiotic Cream and Elderberry Syrup, Braised Beef Tacos on a Sweet Potato Cassava Tortilla, and Activated Pecan Amaranth Granola with Blue Spirulina Milk. The kitchen upgrade allows Vibrant to make all of each dish's components in house. While adding new dishes means that some old favorites have rotated off the menu, the team feels confident that diners will embrace the changes.
“Angel, Patty and I would be at my house every day. We had so much fun experimenting and figuring out who we are now,” Barnhart says. “We weren’t trying to accomplish anything other than what excites us the most and what is the most nutritionally beneficial things we could put in the most exciting ways possible.”
In addition to the kitchen upgrades and menu changes, Vibrant has also made some additions to its coffee program. The restaurant still brews organic beans from Panther Coffee but has added an all new, housemade cashew-pecan milk and a line of adaptogenic lattes.
Finally, the restaurant has new hours of operation, 8 am-4 pm daily. Previously, Vibrant had been open for dinner, but the change reflects the way most diners used the restaurant. Customers can still pick up items to eat for dinner at home. Not serving dinner also opens up the possibility of special evening events such as guest chef dinners or lectures.
“We’re just so excited,” Barnhart says. “We’ve been incubating this for so long. We’re ready to birth this out into the world and see what people think.”