Gone but not forgotten-remembering the Foss Carriage Room

Restaurants come and go on a regular basis, but some survive and become local favorites. While the redesigned Touch Gallery will pay homage to the Holland House, the Foss Carriage Room (later renamed the Golden Ram) is worth remembering too.

Foss Carriage Room

Foss Drug postcard with the Carriage Room visible upstairs on the second floor, 1974

When the Foss Carriage Room opened in 1961, the Colorado Transcript had lots to say about the grand opening of the expanded Foss Drug General Store that included this new second floor restaurant with its own entrance at 822 13th Street.
Golden’s newest restaurant, the Carriage Room, was the first section to open in the new Foss Drug General store. This dining area was designed to present two distinct advantages.
Major meals, such as those you would expect to receive in famous restaurants, are available at moderate prices. Then too, the friendly atmosphere makes the Carriage Room a natural place for meeting friends for coffee, snacks or conversation.
The location, decor and design was considered for a long time before the semi-secluded second story area was chosen.
The adjoining food preparation stations—which are open for customer inspection—are outfitted with the newest in stainless steel equipment. A sparkling presentation is achieved through the use of ceramic wall tile.
There are actually three food preparation areas. The interior kitchen has a spacious walk-in refrigerator to accommodate the many large meat orders. Wall shelving and pantry space is provided for canned foods. An elevator services the area.
Grills, ovens, fryers and dishwashers are located just off the seating area so that customers are able to see meals being prepared. A curtain wall and a bank of powerful exhaust fans protect the eating area from odors. A new thermostatically controlled grid and charbroil have been added, along with many smaller pieces of equipment, all designed to provide faster and more efficient service.
The third food preparation location is the 12-seat split fountain. It serves beverages from an automatic solanoid panel.
The Carriage Room is appointed with furniture of fine Woodward wrought iron, and a picture window wall gives patrons a panorama of the foothills, especially Mount Zion and Lookout Mountain. The same scene is reflected by the wall mirrors of the fountain’s back bar.
Since customers have many seating preferences, Foss has installed table, booth and fountain seating. Versatile in arrangement, the Carriage Room has a single-serving capacity of approximately 112.
The museum has several menus in the collection. One dinner special during the 1970s was a dish called the Baron of Beef, which was only available Wednesday-Friday nights. It came in several options, including the “Golden” plate, described as a jumbo ranch portion of beef served with choice of soup or salad, choice of potato, hot roll & butter or Texas toast.
This local favorite closed in 2000 after 39 years in operation. A press release from the time noted a general decline in business. It also didn’t help that costly repairs and expensive equipment replacement were needed to address code issues.
The building’s owner, Mesa Meadows Land Co., renovated the space for offices. Today, it’s home to Miner’s Alley Playhouse.

Mark Dodge, Curator