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Proud to be a WLRA Member: Lovejoy's Bar & Grill and Altitude Chophouse & Brewery

Laramie staple, Lovejoy’s Bar & Grill celebrates its 20-year anniversary this February and in the ever changing and competitive restaurant industry this is a milestone to be proud of. Owners Greg Smith and Karen Robillard think it has something to do with their business philosophy. “Everything we do is grounded in building quality relationships,” Robillard explains. “From our managers to our line-level employees, we are always working to create lasting friendships with those we have the privilege to serve.”

Beyond relationship building within their four walls, they also believe strongly in supporting and giving back to their community. “We contribute $30,000 each year to various local organizations. We are grateful for the support we receive from our small town and we believe that giving back is a way to express our appreciation.”

As Lovejoy's gained popularity in the late 1990's, Karen and Greg realized they could no longer comfortably accommodate all of their guests, which helped spawn the opening of Altitude Chophouse & Brewery in 1999. “Altitude has a slightly more upscale menu and an on-site microbrewery so we were able to market to a different clientele than Lovejoy’s,” Robillard explains, “and that created a great compliment to our existing concept.”

Still, Robillard always goes back to those fundamental relationships.

“We are very fortunate to see some of our guests every day of the week,” she says. “We know many of them by name and we even celebrate special occasions with them; they truly are a part of our family and we consider it a great honor that our guests trust us to help them create memories.”

Karen, Greg & their daughter Taylor. The desire to focus on building those relationships prompted them to get involved with the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association.

“There are an overwhelming number of details to consider when running a restaurant and as our businesses grew, we recognized that we needed to focus our energy on the details we knew best and to leave the rest to the experts,” Robillard says. “The support we receive through the WLRA helped us to take the guesswork out of successfully managing our operations.”

Robillard’s favorite benefit of membership? “The wealth of knowledge available at our fingertips,” she says. “When I call the WLRA, I get the answers I need – whether it’s about tip pooling, insurance carriers, gratuity guidelines or tip credits. Having that resource saves us time, money and effort so that we can get back to the important business of running our restaurants.”

One of the many spacious dinning rooms at Altitude Chophouse & Brewery. Lovejoy's Bar & Grill on the corner of 1st and Grand in downtown Laramie.



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