Ned Brown: Owner of The Blue Lion
“I left California after high school to attend college in Colorado, strictly for the skiing. I worked in restaurants during that time period and decided I wanted to open a restaurant in a ski town. It was going to be either Aspen or Vail. Then, during my senior year of college I came to Jackson to visit and ski. That was all it took and here I am.
When I arrived in the summer of ’78 I began looking around for a possible restaurant location. The Blue Lion just went on the market. After purchasing it I was planning on serving BBQ or Mexican food. After talking with the seller and her chef I decided to stay with her French menu.
The first 10 years The Blue lion served lunch and dinner. After 10 years the dinner business picked up so much and due to the limited space, we decided to just concentrate on dinner.
The Blue Lion has evolved a lot since those early days mostly due to the head chef, Tim Libassi who was with me for over 25 years. To our benefit, we brought on Tony Duren in 2016, who with his diversified background in cooking all over the country, has kept many favorite dishes on the menu and added some amazing flavors and sauces that customers have enjoyed immensely. We continue to add and change dishes semi-annually. The lamb, elk and fresh fish are our biggest sellers. There was a restaurant in southern California where I grew up that served mud pie. My mother made a homemade hot fudge sauce which we incorporated into our own version.
The Blue Lion was built as a residential home in the late 1930’s. There was a gentleman from Logan, Utah who dined with us in the summer of 2012 who said he was born and raised in the house. In 1974 Maury Holmes bought the house and turned it into a fondue restaurant called The Tourist Trap. Karen Scott bought it from Maury in 1976 and started The Blue Lion. Karen learned to cook at a school in France and this being her first job, she was sad and blue that she finally had to go to work and her birth sign was a Leo thus, The Blue Lion.
The restaurant has been enlarged several times, the upstairs dining, the kitchen, the waiting area and the outdoor deck. In the winter The Blue Lion can accommodate 60 diners at one time. In the summer we open the deck enabling us to accommodate 80 diners. At times the upstairs is used for small private parties.
The Blue Lion serves dinner year-round at 5:30 pm with outdoor dining in the summer and life acoustic guitar music most nights to compliment your dinner.”