RIFLE, Colorado (KUSA) – At Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado you can decide whether your freshly made cherry pie comes with ice cream, but you have no choice on who delivers it: An armed waitress.
All nine of the servers at the restaurant pack heat as they shuttle plates of food to diners, from Glock semi-automatics to Ashlee Saenz’s thigh-length Rueger Blackhawk .357 six-shooter. On the wall, posted alongside copies of the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, is a sign declaring that those inside are still “proudly clinging to my guns and Bible.”
Owner Lauren Boebert, 27, says she didn’t start out to make a statement when she began carrying a pistol on her hip a month after opening Shooters a year ago. But through the months, her other waitresses thought it was kind of fun and they, too, started carrying.
“We don’t worship guns. We worship Jesus,” said Boebert, a 27-year-old mother of four whose husband works in the oil industry. “We’re here to serve people.”
Word is getting around about the unusual service at the restaurant, which earlier this year won a series of readers-favorite awards from a local newspaper for its home-cooked food that includes all-day breakfast and prime rib.
A reporter sent to cover that story in late June instead highlighted Boebert, Saenz and the other waitresses. Curious customers started pouring in.
Monday afternoon, Robert Vedrenne ate an early dinner, drawn by that newspaper article in The (Rifle, Colo.) Citizen Telegram. A native Texan, Vedrenne wondered whether Boebert and her staff were just using guns to sell mediocre food.
They weren’t. Menu items include the M16 burrito, the Swiss and Wesson grilled cheese, and “Locked and Loaded nachos.”
“I wanted to see if this was gimmicky, or if it really was good food,” said Vedrenne, who is temporarily living in the area for work. “And it was good. I’ll be back.”
Asked if he was bothered by the gun-carrying waitresses, Vedrenne twisted to the left, showing off the Beretta PX4 Storm .40 caliber pistol holstered at his side.
“I’m from Texas,” he said. “This is normal.”