new taco joint

The team behind Borracho’s BBQ & Tacos, which opened recently at Poachers Pub in Mountain Village, is from left, Seany Mac, owner Cody Yates, Dillon Yates and Fernanda Yates. (Courtesy photo)

Telluride’s dining scene is pretty glamorous. Its restaurants get write-ups in swanky publications like the New York Times and Vogue, win prestigious awards and have fans from around the world.

The flip side is that the local dining industry is a close-knit community, one that generously nurtures fresh talent, so that when one of their own has a really good business idea, he or she has the know-how and necessary support to bring that idea from concept to reality.

So it goes with Cody Yates, who recently opened Borracho’s BBQ & Tacos at Poachers Pub in Mountain Village.

Yates explained that in the eight years he has lived here, he has worked as a chef at pretty much every eatery on the Telluride Ski Resort, gathering up experience and expertise with each new role.

“After being trained by some of the best chefs that Telluride has to offer, it definitely boosted my confidence to dive in fully,” Yates said.

Yates added that a particular influence was Adam Pace, the head chef at Tomboy Tavern.

“Adam taught me how to be a chef,” Yates said simply.

Even Yates’ appreciation for barbecue is the result of a mentor-like relationship from his very first restaurant job, when he was just a teenager.

“Charlie Costigan of Jack’s Barbecue, in Florida where I grew up, was the first person to give me a job and teach me how to take ownership,” Yates explained, adding that Borracho’s house Golden Carolina sauce was inspired by a classic recipe of Costigan’s.

Yates continued, “Borracho’s came about after I purchased my own smoker and began doing smoked dinners for friends during holiday weekends like Fourth of July, and using other recipes inspired by working at Jack’s.”

Last year, friends of Yates who work at Poachers let him know that owner Adam Singer was interested in leasing the pub’s kitchen and connected the pair with positive results.

Said Singer, “With the employee housing crisis, we were struggling to just open the kitchen regularly and I felt I needed to think outside the box. Cody came to our first meeting very prepared. He already had his own unique menu planned and I felt it could be a great fit for Poachers. Most importantly, we had similar ideas to make both businesses successful.”

“I can’t thank Adam enough for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity,” Yates remarked. “Since I moved to Colorado, it’s been a dream to open a restaurant and have complete creative freedom. I feel so blessed to be able to do this in the town that I fell in love with.”

Hungry diners will feel pretty blessed, too.

The menu — which is decorated with the Borracho’s logo created by artist Devon D’Ambrosio — is small but mouth-watering, with nachos, tacos, empanadas and sliders, sides like tots, tostones with mojo sauce and smoked beans.

There are also rotating smoked specials, such as this week’s rib dinner with coleslaw, smoked beans and jalapeño cornbread.

“It is dine-in, however, you can definitely take food to go,” Yates said. “I also have an option on the menu called ‘Food for the Crew,’ where you can order a large amount of meat and sides, and sort of do your own style at home for families and groups.”

According to Yates, early favorites include the Gringo Tacos (shredded chicken and chorizo tacos with pineapple, pico, queso fresco, tots and a signature sauce) and the Smoked Sliders, which are mixed smoked pork and turkey topped with slaw and that Golden Carolina sauce.

Borracho’s soft opening was Jan. 3.

How’s it been going so far?

“The best thing about my business has definitely been the local support,” Yates said. “There's no way I could do any of this without my friends and the locals that believed in me and have been loving what I can bring. And I want to shout out to my family, who really believed that I could do this and supported me every day to help make this happen.

“This was a team effort from family, friends and the local crowd that constantly hyped me up and believed I could bring good barbecue to Mountain Village.”

For more, check out @borrachostelluride on Instagram or stop by Poachers Pub on Sunshine Plaza in Mountain Village.