Popular Westside restaurant in 20th year
In 1990, Bill Borders started Western Omelette on a bet.
The family-run, 265-seat restaurant at 16 S. Walnut St. is enjoying its 20-year-anniversary this year.
Bill's wife Brenda, who also works there, describes a simple formula for the eatery's success: “Good service, good food and a comfortable place to be.”
It's also a fundraising hotspot. Western Omelette has worked for years with motorcyle groups, schools, Girl Scouts, the mililtary, firefighters and police officers on various types of charity efforts. On the average, his business' generosity totals about $20,000 a year, he said, adding candidly, “I can't say no.”
Showing its gratitude, the Rocky Mountain Motorycle Museum recently inducted him into its Hall of Fame.
The restaurant gets some tourists and people from around town, but Brenda estimated 60 to 70 percent of the diners are Westsiders. “We get lots of regulars,” said Brenda, who had been a customer herself long before she and Bill got married six years ago. “There are quite a few people who come in and we put the order up, because they order the same thing every day.”
Other family members who are involved in the business are his son Russell and daughter Gaylene.
The location just north of West Colorado Avenue has been a restaurant for at least a half-century in all. Old-timers will remember it being a Wade's Pancake House for about 30 years. However, that business closed in 1989, so when Bill decided to open his own restaurant a year later, he took over an empty shell, not a thriving location.
The friendly bet was with his former co-workers. Bill had just retired from the city, where he had been a water crew foreman. “They bet I couldn't do it,” Bill laughed. “I said, 'You're on.'”
It wasn't as if he were a total newcomer to the restaurant business. While still with the city, he had invested in, then wound up buying and running an eastside place called the Lunch Box. His profit from selling it helped cover the start-up costs for Western Omelette, he said.
If Bill felt positive about his new restaurant, it was because he thought he was in the right place. The specific location appealed to him, and “I've always liked the Westside,” he said. “It's my home.”
He said he also appreciated the support he's received over the years from several Westside businesses, including Benny's, Hayes Motor Company (next door), Goodwin Auto, Bloom's Mill Hill Saloon, Pikes Peak National Bank and Bon Ton's.
For a while, Bill almost was too successful for his own good. He had the idea of making Western Omelette into a chain of restaurants. At one point there were five in all - four in the Springs and another in Casper, Wyo. But he didn't like the way it “began to turn into a commercial thing. It got to be way too much.”
Bill closed the last of the chain eateries a year and a half ago. Now, with he and his family devoting all their attention to the original locale, an outdoor eating area was recently installed in back. Plans call for adding a dinner menu to the current breakfast-lunch format and obtaining a liquor license.
Westside Pioneer article