It’s Saturday and the doors are open on The String Bean Café and Indian Peaks String Works in Rollinsville, Colorado. As music floats out onto the street, the sun is shining and there is a crisp coolness in the air that comes in late August when the nights start dropping below 50 degrees. In this small mountain café on Highway 119 about 45 minutes west of Boulder, people are chatting away, making new friends and renewing acquaintances, drinking cappuccinos and eating delicious pastries. The wall behind the stage is decorated with guitars and the overall décor is western rock ‘n roll.
The open mic venue attracts musicians from all over Colorado and, today, there are bands from Arvada, Westminster, Denver and Nederland. One of the musicians on stage is Jeff Rumer, owner of Indian Peaks String Works. As a master luthier (“maker of stringed instruments”), Jeff is testing one of the guitars recently built in his shop by luthier Ted Zychlinski. With turquoise inlay, it’s a beautiful OM style 6-string acoustic with Brazilian Rosewood back and sides. Rumer has worked on instruments for some well-known Artists, including Clarence “gatemouth” Brown, Jorma Kaukonen, Vince Herman (Leftover Salmon), Dan “Dango” Rose (Elephant Revival), Jason Edwards (Ring of Fire), Doug Kershaw, Victor Wooten and others. These days, the shop caters to both professional musicians as well as back porch pickers.
Zychlinski and his daughter, Kristen, also play at the venue from time to time, sometimes with fellow band member Tom Pratt in Revelation 19. Rev 19 also performs in places you might not expect, like nursing homes and homeless shelters, because they want to bring their music to people who might not otherwise have a chance to enjoy live entertainment. All of their music is inspired by their Christian faith and they have donated their time to numerous fundraisers, weddings, memorial services and lively parties. Recently, the group drove to the middle of Arizona to play on the Hopi Third Mesa for the memorial service of a friend. But, today, they are singing an upbeat tune that has people on their feet dancing in the café area, which extends to the outdoors.
The String Bean Cafe is a place where people can enjoy friends and music in an alcohol-free environment and watch the changing colors of the Rocky Mountains. Or, they can choose to watch the luthiers at work in the workshop area next to the stage. The people are friendly, the air is clean and you just never know who might show up to play. The café is open most Saturdays through the Fall with a winter schedule to be announced. If you’re planning a drive to Rollinsville, it’s best to first check out their FB page under Indian Peaks String Works.