Flying into a new era

Fly’n B Café gets an aviation-themed update, reopens soon

Created date

August 23rd, 2018
This rendering of the updated Fly’n B Café shows metal and natural wood accents to reflect an aviation theme.

The Fly’n B Café, a casual, station-style restaurant at Wind Crest, will reopen soon with a new, aviation-inspired look; more efficient traffic flow; upgraded equipment; and other updates.

“Our café was 11 years old, and it was time for a lifecycle renovation, which is based on material and equipment wear and tear, and enhancement of the Erickson Living brand updates,” says Wind Crest Project Manager Rachel Hendrickson, who oversaw the project at the Erickson Living community in Highlands Ranch.

“We’re trying to reinvent our community space, making them more attractive to current and prospective residents by adding more contemporary décor and keeping up with trends,” she says.

Wind Crest community member Janet Bradbury, dining committee chairperson on the Resident Advisory Committee, says, “I look forward to the new look as the B was beginning to have a dated feel. I definitely look forward to a better flow, which will be easier for residents to manage. It will probably mean faster service also.”

Design steeped in history

Though the former café space gave a nod to aviation in its centerpiece model airplane that hung from the ceiling, the redesign embraces the history and theme of the Fly’n B Ranch, a property steeped in history that Erickson Living eventually bought to build Wind Crest.

Dating back to the mid-1800s, the property, which eventually became the Flying B Ranch (several spellings exist), was host to prospectors, a horticulturist and landscaper, gamblers, ranchers, and dairy farmers.

The most recent owners, the John Bowen family, also owned property with an airstrip and hanger.

“The Bowens began a 37-year ownership of their beloved Flying B Ranch, so named for the family’s connection with flying, which was not their only source of livelihood, but a committed pastime as well,” writes Susan K. Appleby in History of the Flying B Ranch.

Studio Six 5, the award-winning senior living interior design firm out of Austin, Tex., that redesigned the space, describes the look as “fresh, textural, bright, and natural.”

Wind Crest community members can expect lots of wood and metal, with aviation accents like the Fly’n B Café sign shaped like a propeller and metal straps accenting the top of the banquet booth.

The model airplane, built and donated by a community member, will resume flight as the room’s centerpiece.

In addition to the décor, the seating will change slightly as well. The terrace room will feature two long banquet seating areas. A farmhouse table will sit in front of the fireplace, and two- and four-top tables will make up the remaining seating.

With décor and seating making up the majority of the changes, Dining Director Tom Carlson says, “The menu will change slightly, but since this is a remodel of a traditional café, the service model and culinary concepts won’t change much. The residents will still be able to enjoy their favorites with a few new and exciting menu options.”

Pleasant process

Janet says communication about the renovation has been excellent. “The renovation is updated at every community meeting, which happen at least four times a month. There is usually an update included in our monthly publication with photos, notices about progress, and a mural posted on the construction wall for residents to see. So there are several ways for us to be informed.”

During construction, Wind Crest erected a temporary café in its private dining room, located in the Town Center Neighborhood. Community members can get many of the same menu items that were available in the café before it closed for renovations.

“Our dining staff has worked very hard to accommodate resident dining needs during this time of construction,” Janet says.

They also have a plethora of dining choices across the community (six dining venues to be exact). Mile High Café, a casual eatery in Longs Ridge, serves breakfast and lunch.

Burton’s, an Asian-fusion restaurant located in The High Line Overlook neighborhood, and Windows in McHenry’s Crossing, which serves American fare, are the two premier dinner restaurants.   

The Fireside in Town Center, is open for dinner, and Timberline Tavern in Parry Landing serves both lunch and dinner.

“I frequent all six of them as I think variety is the spice of life,” says Janet, “but my personal favorite is Burton’s.”