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Come for the food, stay for the fun at High Country 

Come for the food, stay for the fun at High Country 


Press releases are provided to Yellow Scene Magazine. In an effort to keep our community informed, we publish some press releases in whole.

For Immediate Release (March 12, 2024) Opening on Pearl Street in April 2024 is High Country, a Colorado craft kitchen brought to life by the Gemini ownership and culinary team. High Country will occupy the former Hapa Sushi space at 1117 Pearl Street. With a prime location and laid-back mountain vibe, High Country will be the solution for a quick lunch, a satisfying dinner, and late-night hangs on the walking mall.

The powerhouse family behind Gemini, Managing Partner Michael Mehiel, Executive Chef Brian Pierce, Pastry Chef, and art curator Catherine Neckes, and jack-of-all-trades Elizabeth Neckes have brought their heads together once again for High Country. After meeting in kitchens and pool halls in New York City, the couples went their separate ways with Elizabeth and Brian moving back to Colorado, Brian’s home state, and Catherine and Michael moving to New Orleans. Looking for a change a few years later, along with Catherine and Michael’s two little ones, all four decided Boulder was the perfect home base to open their first joint venture.

Gemini opened in November 2021. Located on the historic Pearl Street Mall, Gemini is a full-service restaurant focused on contemporary Spanish food and wine and its international influences. The inviting atmosphere and enticing menu quickly catapulted it to a favorite dining spot in Boulder.

When Hapa Sushi moved from its brick location to further down Pearl Street in early 2024, the team knew it was the opportunity they had been looking for to expand into another restaurant. “We love the atmosphere and the energy on Pearl Street and jumped at the chance to build a second restaurant on the bricks,” Mehiel enthused. “We want High Country to build upon this fresh vibe we are witnessing on Pearl and offer an exciting gathering spot for our community.”

Come Hungry!

Dishes made for sharing include:

  • Car Camper Cheese Fries with pepper jack, pickled Fresno chili, black beans, charred corn, avocado crema, and tomatillo salsa.
  • Wings with sauce options of classic buffalo, gold rush BBQ, or zesty ranch rub.
  • Hippie Dip with spicy roasted carrot and sunflower seed hummus and crunchy market veggies.

Larger mains feature:

  • Bonanza Brisket, a slow-smoked brisket glistening in a special recipe red-eye sauce.
  • Fried Trout with Cadillac Ranch.
  • Mile High Burger complete with a double stack of certified Angus beef, pepper jack, bacon, frizzled onions, avocado aioli, lettuce, tomato, and pickled onion.

High Country will surely follow in its sister-restaurant’s footsteps as a must-visit locale as its extensive menu will satisfy a wide variety of diners. Conceived by Executive Chef Brian Pierce, the High Country menu will feature easygoing comfort fare dedicated to seasonal and local ingredients. The extensive Bowls and Salads category is full of options for vegetarians, paleo, and those with dietary preferences and limitations.

Pierce notes, “I’m excited to create a casual, playful concept that upholds the farmer/grower-focused ethos we have at Gemini. High Country is all about embracing the mountain vibes while staying true to our commitment to quality, flavor, and fun.”

Sips & Sweets Galore! 

Behind the bar, Colorado craft beers, approachable wines, and a robust cocktail program promise to slake the thirsts of Pearl Street patrons. Edgy cocktails such as Frozen Dead GuyTuned Up, and Steamboat Slide, will delight drinkers interested in trying something new while whimsical NA options include a Chocolate Malted and Creamsicle Milkshake. Zero-proof beverages are plentiful as well and centered around fresh juices with herbal highlights.

The retro-chic dessert offerings come from the mind of Executive Pastry Chef Catherine Neckes, who honed her skills in classic Americana desserts at Christina Tosi’s award-winning NYC bakery Milk Bar.

High Country desserts will feature classic favorites such as: 

  • Lemon Bars with a pastry crust and macerated seasonal berries.
  • Carrot Cake topped with brown butter cream cheese frosting.
  • Brownie Sundae with vanilla ice cream, rye whisky caramel, and candied pecans.
  • Pineapple Fruit Cup with coconut sorbet, cardamom citrus syrup, and coconut crunchies.

As an entry to the dining scene, High Country will be participating in the rebooted Taste of Pearl on Sunday, April 14 from 2 – 6 pm on the bricks of Pearl Street serving up dishes alongside Boulder Spirits. High Country’s doors will officially open to the public on April 22 at 11:30 am, welcoming diners in for a casual meal with eclectic mountain vibes.

“One of the things I love most about Colorado is the energetic spirit that thrives in mountain towns,” Elizabeth remarked. “We hope to embody that “full send” mentality in our food, service, and atmosphere.”

High Country opens on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado in April 2024. Veteran restaurateurs behind the new concept are the twin-sister duo Executive Pastry Chef Catherine Neckes and Elizabeth Neckes, along with their husbands Michael Mehiel and Executive Chef Brian Pierce. Their inaugural Boulder restaurant Gemini opened in November 2021 and quickly became a fixture in the Boulder dining scene. High Country will bring to life the vision of an approachable and fun restaurant and bar where diners can experience classic Colorado flavors with kitschy Americana throwbacks.

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