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Colorado University,you-tube

November 4, 2015

Champion’s Corner at Colorado University

Boulder,Colorado University,news and reviews,Pictures

September 14, 2015

Jay Elowsky opens Champions Club restaurant at CU

photo:  Paul Aiken
by:  Jerd Smith

On a bright blue September morning, at the northwest corner of Folsom Street and Colorado Avenue, blaring construction alarms bleep relentlessly as bulldozers dodge cars, electricians, landscapers and drywallers.

Boulder restaurateur Jay Elowsky, founder of the venerable Pearl Street restaurant Pasta Jay’s, stands just outside CU’s newly constructed Champions Center, scanning the chaos, waiting for a visitor.

In a pale yellow Colorado Buffs polo shirt, jeans and cowboy boots, the man who has been feeding CU football players as a sideline for 26 years is almost ready to launch his most ambitious restaurant project to date, the cafe at CU’s new Champions Club.

It will operate from the third floor of the new center, and, in a first, will be open to the public, CU football players and other athletes, and on game day, season ticket holders.

The view from the dining room is a hallmark scene — the brilliant green football field below with the Flatirons etched above along the skyline.

Inside the new restaurant, chairs are still wrapped in plastic, espresso machines are being wired and tested, and then tested again. Massive dishwashers are installed and ready to go, but with just days before the Sept. 21 opening, there is plenty of work to be done before the new eatery is ready for action above the field.

Final menus are still in the works, but Elowsky, 56, has been providing sustenance for the young men who comprise the football team since 1989.

The average football player, he says, eats double the food a normal person would. Adding in the coaches and support staff brings the ratio down to about 1.7 times the amount of food he would plan to use in a normal restaurant.

Executive Chef Adam Merlino, a former cruise ship chef and director of nutrition for a K-12 school district, said he will prepare 100 pounds of eggs each morning for breakfast. For lunch, perhaps 160 pounds of apricot-bourbon chicken, and if roast beef is on the menu as well, he will order in 140 pounds of that for the midday meal.

Because the cafe will also serve visitors to the CU Sports Medicine Center, on the floor below, Merlino is working with medical pros to make sure nutritional needs of patients can be met.

That’s not unlike the work involved in helping individual players meet their goals. A running back needed to gain 25 pounds before the season started, Merlino said, “So we made him smoothies that were packed with peanut butter, avocado and olive oil,” which the player consumed throughout the day in addition to regularly scheduled meals.

Elowsky has won the university’s contract to cook the football team’s meals off and on since the early 1990s. But he first offered to feed the players one free meal in 1989 as thanks for all the business the team helped generate at his then-young downtown restaurant on game days.

The relationship blossomed over the years, and even when Elowsky lost a bid for a contract, he would eventually win a new round. The CU catering contract that he works under typically runs five years, with annual renewals.

This summer, when players were doing two-a-days, the grueling, super-intense morning and evening training sessions that occur each pre-season, Merlino and his crew were feeding 175 people four times a day. Another crew toiled through the night doing prep work.

“It was going all night,” he said.

At the new cafe, Elowsky said he expects to be feeding 300 to 350 athletes each day, with the public welcome to join them from 1 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. He calls it “eat like the athletes.”

The opening of the CU cafe marks the first step in a 24-month period that will bring two additional restaurants into Elowsky’s empire. He’s planning a new steak restaurant in Moab, Utah, where he’s operated a second Pasta Jay’s since 1992. A ground-breaking date hasn’t been set.

In addition, in a partnership with long-time Boulder real estate developer Steve Tebow, Elowsky will open a third Pasta Jay’s in Hays, Kan. next May.

If Elowsky has immersed himself in the inner workings of CU football, he’s spent an equal amount of time cooking for the Fairview and Boulder high school football teams, and time as well out of the limelight feeding the hungry and donating food or providing subsidized meals to local charities.

Through it all, Elowsky has survived in what most would describe as a brutal, highly competitive restaurant scene. Pasta Jay’s is one of the oldest restaurants still operating on Pearl Street, where space is breathtakingly expensive, diners choosy and celebrity chefs troll daily for customers.

Sean Maher, executive director of Downtown Boulder Inc. and a columnist for the Daily Camera, said Elowsky’s staying power rivals that of Old Chicago, the West End Tavern and Sushi Zan Mai.

“I’ve had restaurateurs say that what might be the best restaurant in another town would just be average here, and you can’t be average and survive. You’ve got to be at the top of your game,” Maher said.

Elowsky has also crafted a powerful network of friends and colleagues, from former CU football coach Bill McCartney, to Boulder developer Tebo, to his ex-uncle Ernesto “Sonny” Genovese, who taught him how to make pizza sauce and run a restaurant in San Clemente, Calif., when Elowsky was 20.

Though Genovese and Elowsky’s aunt divorced long ago, the two men still talk three or four times a week, Elowsky said.

Carly Porter, of Mortenson Construction, makes a phone call from the kitchen of Jay Elowsky’s new restaurant the Champions Club Cafe in Folsom Field on Wednesday. Elowsky is the owner of Pasta Jay’s restaurant in Boulder. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

As electricians test light bulbs in the new dining room at the Champions Club Cafe, football players, administrators and coaches pass Elowsky in the hallway. Head coach Mike MacIntyre, in grey athletic shorts and athletic shoes, strolls past, flashes a smile and ribs the restaurateur about an ancient encounter with former coach McCartney.

Then its back to the serious business of food. The menu at the new cafe is to be peppered with dishes named for some of the famous athletes who’ve come through CU’s program. Alfredo Williams, the classic creamy pasta dish, is named after Alfred Williams, a star line backer who played for CU during its championship years and went on to play for the Denver Broncos.

“We try to give every dish we name after someone an Italian twist,” Elowsky said, grinning.

For the famous and unknown players alike, the most sought-after dish Elowsky serves is chicken parmesan, known by the student athletes as “chik parm.”

In the last minutes of an intense pre-game practice, as dinner is being prepared inside, Elowsky has a habit of standing on the balcony of the stadium and yelling his final words of encouragement to the exhausted players. The cheer — “Do it for the chik parm.”

Jerd Smith: 303-473-1332,



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Boulder,Colorado University

May 10, 2015

Congratulations, Grads!


Boulder,Colorado University,special events

April 13, 2014

CU football: Pasta Jay’s to honor Buffs’ Darian Hagan on Sunday (April 13, 2014)


In October, former University of Colorado quarterback Darian Hagan learned that he would be inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 2014 class. The induction ceremony is April 17.

To celebrate, Pasta Jay’s is holding a reception in Hagan’s honor on Sunday at 3 p.m. CU fans are welcome to stop by at 1001 Pearl Street to congratulate Hagan and enjoy passable appetizers and pizza, “Pasta Jay” Elowsky said Thursday.

Fellow CU greats such as Alfred Williams, Mike Pritchard and Deon Figures are expected to attend.

Hagan came to Colorado in 1988. He quarterbacked the Buffs to their only national championship in 1990.

Hagan went 28-5-2 as a starter for the Buffs, including 20-0-1 in Big Eight Conference play. He finished his career with 3,801 passing yards and 2,007 rushing yards.

Hagan still serves as the Buffs’ Director of Player Development.

Hagan will go into the Hall of Fame with former CU basketball coach Forrest “Frosty” Cox, former Denver Broncos running back Otis Armstrong, former Colorado Rockies slugger Todd Helton, former Colorado College football and hockey great Andy Gambucci and former Denver Post columnist Dorothy Mauk.

The class will be honored at the 50th annual induction banquet at the Denver Marriott City Center.

awards and honors,Boulder,Colorado University

April 10, 2014

Pasta Jay’s Honors CU Great Darian Hagan (April 13, 2014)


BOULDER — Get ready for a CU Buff reunion bash of epic proportion as Pasta Jay’s celebrates the career of Darian Hagan on April 13.

The CU football great, best known for quarterbacking the Buffs to the team’s only national championship in 1990, will be inducted into The Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame on April 17.

Pasta Jay’s will honor Hagan with a reunion party on April 13 starting at 3 p.m.

CU fans past and present are welcome to stop by Pasta Jay’s and congratulate Hagan, as the QB celebrates with old coaches and teammates. CU greats such as Alfred Williams, Mike Pritchard and Deon Figures are expected to attend.

While regarded as one of the greatest players in CU history, Hagan was also the first Golden Buff to ever work at Pasta Jay’s. The restaurant has employed scores of CU athletes since opening for business in 1988.

Hagan’s tenure at Pasta Jay’s was as memorable as his days under center at Folsom Field.

“He never lifted a dish in his life and he still made more tips than the waitresses,” Pasta Jay observed. “He was Hagan and everyone loved him.”

The bond started between Pasta Jay and Hagen in 1989 has only grown stronger over the decades.

“I am proud to honor my brother Darian with a reunion party,” Pasta Jay said. “He is one of my closest friends and one of my worst employees!”

For more information about the Darian Hagan Party:
Contact Pasta Jay’s at 303.444.5800
1001 Pearl St. in Boulder.


Colorado University

November 9, 2013

Shoulder, to Shoulder, we will fight! fight! fight! fight! fight!


Emily models the new waitstaff game day shirts

Colorado University,Family

November 30, 2011

Josie and her friends rush the field after Colorado win over Utah State


Shhh, don’t tell her dad. I don’t think he knows.


Eddie Radatz and his boys celebrate the win.

Colorado University

October 24, 2011

Pasta Jay and Colorado’s First Ever Heisman Trophy Winner Rashaan Salaam


Heisman Trophy Winner Rashaan Salaam was at Pasta Jay’s after the Oregon game, last Friday night.

In 1994, Salaam joined fellow Heisman Trophy winners: Marcus Allen, Mike Rozier and Barry Sanders as the only Division I players to gain more than 2,000 rushing yards in a season. Some of Salaam’s accomplishments include rushing for 165 yards against Michigan in Michigan Stadium before in action. The following week, against the Texas Longhorns, Salaam ran for 312 yards. Salaam led the Buffaloes to an 11-1 season, which was capped by a three-touchdown performance in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame, 41-24.

Always humble and never egotistical, Salaam would always acknowledge the importance of his teammates, especially his offensive line. “Without my offensive lineman,” he says, “I would not have been honored with the greatest award in amateur athletics.” As a junior, Salaam was a unanimous All-America selection and led the nation in rushing (186.8 yards per game). Salaam was selected by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1995 NFL draft with the 21st overall pick.



Colorado University

October 5, 2011

PAC 12 Conference


photo by:  Josephina Elowsky

Colorado University

Food: College Football’s final frontier

A Nebraska player chooses his meal from various options at the training table.
by Kevin Clark

This season, dozens of top college-football teams are making the same expensive bet on one aspect of football that old coaches from the leather-helmet days never gave much thought to: sushi rolls, crab legs and hand-blended smoothies.

As college programs struggle to maintain their dominance in the face of increasing parity, the issue of how much the players eat during the season—and what they’re eating—has been elevated from a running joke to a serious matter that includes teams of chefs, dietitians and volunteers, and that’s becoming part of the way some teams prepare for games.

At Washington, four full-time chefs cook meals for the school’s athletes year-round, including the occasional feast of New York strip. Nebraska says it devotes around $1 million a year to feeding scholarship athletes—a process that starts with a breakfast spread at its training facility every morning at 5. As part of its beefed-up nutrition plan, Alabama says it instructs flight attendants on long trips to ply the players with Gatorade.

Before it takes on Stanford in November, Oregon says it will prepare for that team’s punishing running attack by trying to bulk up its defensive linemen. On the menu: chicken-noodle soup and grilled-cheese sandwiches.

Florida, which started its program in 2003, may have taken the idea the furthest of all: It spends $58,000 each year just on pre- and post-practice snacks for the football team. Florida also provides five types of smoothies on demand and employs two full-time dietitians, a pair of interns and up to a dozen volunteers, with some staffers texting the players to remind them to eat lunch. To make sure they know what to buy, the school’s diet specialists take players on guided informational tours of the grocery store.

“It’s the last remaining edge,” said Chelsea Zenner, one of Florida’s nutritionists. “Every team at the top has a coach who deserves to be there and every team has great weight rooms and strength programs. The last edge is nutrition.”

NCAA rules restrict players to just one athlete-exclusive meal a day while campus dining halls are open. In the interim, all they’re allowed to do, besides provide fluids, is to offer fruit, nuts and bagels at any time.


Colorado University,fans and friends

October 4, 2011

Colorado Football (10/1/2011)








Colorado University,fans and friends

Raditz family at the game



Colorado University

Pasta Jay’s is on the field


photo by Josephina Elowsky

Colorado University

Go CU!

photo by Josephina Elowsky

Colorado University

Game Day, CU v WSU (10/1/2011)