Big Red F Restaurant Group Partners With Local Farms, Continues Sustainable Seafood Advocacy

Jax Oyster Month (Courtesy of Jax)

From Colorado-Grown Produce to Sustainable, Responsibly Harvested
Boutique Seafood, Big Red F’s Culinary Talent Continues a Legacy of

DENVER, Colo. – June 25, 2024 – Since its inception 30 years ago,
sustainable and local sourcing has been a priority for Big Red F
Restaurant Group, the independently owned and operated Boulder-based
group behind Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, The Post Chicken & Beer,
Centro Mexican Kitchen, West End Tavern and Velvet Elk Lounge. In the
1990s, founder Dave Query cultivated longstanding relationships with
local farmers, such as Boulder’s Fresh Herb Company, to supply his
restaurants – a practice that the group continues and expands upon

For Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar’s five Colorado locations, culinary
director Sheila Lucero recently partnered with Hotchkiss-based Thistle
Whistle Farm for a restaurant-supported agriculture (RSA) program,
akin to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Lucero consulted with
Thistle Whistle before the growing season on what types of products
would work for Jax kitchens, provided the farm with seed money and
committed to the amount of product she would purchase from Thistle
Whistle this season.

Those specialty items – including green garlic, pearl onions, new
potatoes, Chimayo and Melrose peppers and green daikon – will grace
Jax menus throughout the growing season from June through October.
Guests can currently find Thistle Whistle green garlic making its way
into Jax specials and sauces, including mignonette, chimichurri and

“Working with Thistle Whistle is a mutually beneficial arrangement,”
Lucero says. “Our chefs get to work with unique and exceptionally
fresh and flavorful Colorado products and we are helping set the farm
up for a successful and profitable growing season.”

Thistle Whistle’s local Colorado produce complements Jax’s sustainably
sourced seafood. The first restaurants in Colorado to be certified by
the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, all Jax locations serve
sustainably sourced seafood –working with suppliers who avoid
overfishing and harvest in ways that have minimal – or in many cases,
positive – impacts on marine environments. Jax partners include
Greenhead Lobster, a family run operation in Maine, Rappahannock
Oyster Co. in Virginia and Acadia Crawfish out of Louisiana.

Jax is also the first restaurant in Colorado to begin offering Little
Honey oysters, a woman-grown oyster from Jody Houk and the Cypress
Point Oyster Company in Spring Creek, Florida. These bivalves hit the
Jax menu in May and are best eaten naked to appreciate their light
brine, subtle minerality and buttery finish. They are currently
available at Jax LoDo, Glendale and Colorado Springs.

Lucero has also been actively involved in the Monterey Bay Aquarium
Seafood Watch’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, a group of 52 chefs and
culinary figures involved in sustainable seafood advocacy, since 2013.
Lucero recently met with members of the group – their first in-person
meeting since pre-pandemic in 2019 – to catch up on the state of
global fisheries, including pressing challenges such as bycatch
utilization. The group is currently focused on changing consumer
perceptions of aquaculture in the U.S, advocating for responsible
aquaculture outfits, supporting fisheries in utilizing bycatch so that
it isn’t wasted and sustainable tuna sourcing.

“It’s incredibly energizing to be back with this group,” Lucero says.
“I always walk away super jazzed on our advocacy work and the impact
we can make as chefs, with our sourcing choices and by using our
voices, on preserving the health of our oceans.”

Lucero plans to focus on cooking for solutions and promoting the
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch’s new super green list – a list of
recommended products that are incredibly nutritious and sustainable,
including seaweeds and shellfish like mussels and oysters.

About Big Red F Restaurant Group

Independently owned and operated, Big Red F Restaurant Group
encompasses 15 award-winning restaurants along the Front Range of
Colorado, including Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, The Post Chicken &
Beer, Centro Mexican Kitchen, West End Tavern and Velvet Elk Lounge.
Founded in 1994, in Boulder, Colorado, Big Red F’s central mission is
to foster a company culture that provides a fun, safe and nurturing
work environment for every team member. Big Red F is also deeply
committed to giving back to its communities, directing its robust
philanthropic efforts to impactful local charities. For more
information, visit

Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

BONUS - Donors get a link in their receipt to sign up for our once-per-week instant text messaging alert. Get your e-copy of North Forty News the moment it is released!

Click to Donate