By Claudia Carbone, Examiner.com
Have you ever wondered how the restaurant got its name?
It was named after Frank Bienkowski. This now famous man didn’t win an Olympic medal. There are no inventions or discoveries credited to his name. He simply was a guy who staked out a homestead in a remote meadow that 61 years later would become part of Beaver Creek Resort.
Bienkowski came to the valley in 1919. The locals welcomed him but had trouble pronouncing his Polish name. So they nicknamed him “Beano.” And it stuck.
Beano built a modest log cabin deep the mountain high above Avon, a pioneering settlement along the confluence of the Eagle River and Beaver Creek in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. He farmed his land and worked in the mines, an occupation that eventually claimed his life. Beano died young from miner’s lung back in the Midwest after selling his Colorado property in 1931 to another rancher.
Beano’s original cabin with remnants of benches, a stove and bed frame rests today under the arms of a huge evergreen tree in the meadow near the bottom of Larkspur bowl at the ski area. An inscription tacked onto the old logs reads: This homestead cabin was built in 1919 by Frank Bienkowski, known to his neighbors as “Beano” who had come west from Chicago to do some mining and farming. He raised hay and lettuce, traveling to the store at Avon by wagon, sleigh or snowshoe – a quaint, kindly man who could spin good yarns.
Not far from the old homestead stands the magnificent new Beano’s Cabin – hardly a “cabin.” Its lodge pole pine frame was built in Montana in 1985, and after the logs “settled,” was disassembled and brought to Beaver Creek a year later. It is a superbly crafted post-and-beam construction with a massive stone fireplace separating the lounge and dining room. Sunlight streams through French-pane floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating its rustic elegant decor.
Inside, gourmet five-course dinners are graciously served in Beaver Creek’s distinctive style.
During winter ski season, the only way to reach Beano’s is on a sleigh pulled by a snow cat. The experience of riding through the snow-covered forest under the brilliant stars is a magical one you won’t forget!
In summer (from June 1 though late September), you can arrive for dinner by horseback, on a tractor-pulled wagon or via a short shuttle ride from the village. Reservations are a must both seasons. Book early for this popular venue. Click here to reserve your space.
It’s nice to know that Beaver Creek Resort has honored this simple man by not tearing down his home and by lending his name to one of their signature restaurants.
And Beano’s spirit? Well, there’s this little porcupine who lives under the old cabin. . .