The Mishawaka Amphitheatre is a legendary music venue, restaurant and bar located just a short drive up the stunning Cache la Poudre River Canyon. The Mishawaka has served as a memorable gathering spot for locals and visitors alike, providing music, food, libations and incredible natural scenery over the past century. Although ownership has changed here and there over its 100-year-run, one person came in and restored the historical venue back to its roots. The Mishawaka was reinvigorated in 2010 by Dani Grant, an entrepreneurial music lover from Fort Collins who remains focused on maintaining the authenticity and character of the venue and surrounding lands that have engaged crowds and performing artists. In this week's installment of Community Connections we spoke with Dani Grant, Owner and General Manager of the Mish.
What do you love about Fort Collins?
Bikes, beers and bands in the most beautiful outdoor adventure settings. We live in beautiful and cultural place, we are so fortunate.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Fort Collins?
I go hiking in the Poudre Canyon and cycling up Rist Canyon and through Masonville with my family and we enjoy dinners in Old Town weekly. Our favorite restaurants are Rare and Illegal Pete's. Some days my daughters and I spend the afternoon shopping - we love Blue Harvest and Rag Stock, and sipping chai teas from The Bean Cycle right before we meet my husband for dinner. We live on a lake so our summers are excellent! During the winter time, I love bringing out of town family into Old Town to see the lights and have appetizers and cocktails at Social.
What makes The Mishawaka so unique?
The Mish is extraordinary. The venue is 100-years-old and offers river-side dining, fire-side dining and music in a canyon in a national forest. There is nothing else like it - anywhere. People travel from all over the country to visit the Mishawaka. You can sit for a dining experience year round or you can use the grab-n-go grill in the summer.
What made you revive the Mish?
This is a long story...The short version is we saw that the venue needed to be resurrected from its poor physical state and its reputation in the community. We were able to make a deal that worked and narrowly escaped the venue being taken over by the Feds and turned into a boat ramp. Then we proceeded to pour love and money into the Mish until she began to shine again.
What can people expect to experience at Mishawaka?
Beauty, wildlife, savory meals, amazing and intimate concert experiences and relaxation.
Any fun memories to share?
Musicians come from all over the world and consistently share their amazement with the beautiful unique experience. We have had bands do photo shoots there like the Hard Working Americans (a Dave Schools from Widespread Panic and Todd Snider side project) who did their shoot barefoot in the Poudre River. Joan Baez remarked that is was one of her top 3 venues in the world. I recall at Nathaniel Rateliff's last performance at Mish he said he would try to get back but...the stories go on forever.
The Mishawaka Amphitheatre
Address: 13714 Poudre Canyon Highway, Bellvue CO 80512
Phone: 1 (888) THE - MISH
Hours of Operation: Open until 2 am for concerts
Restaurant - Oct 1 - April 30: Thu - Mon: 10am - 10pm / May 1 - September 30: Mon - Thu: 10am - 10pm, Fri: 10am - 11pm, Sat: 8am - 11pm Sun: 8am - 10pm (serving lunch and dinner)