After sun-soaked mornings on the New Jersey shore as a kid, Peter Waters and his extended family would be called into the family beach house for lunch. They were greeted with warm grilled cheese sandwiches and a simple, meaningful question, “Who loves you?” The answer was always his grandmother, Ruthie.
“Ruthie was the ultimate hospitalitarian. For a few weeks every summer, my whole family would gather at my grandparents’ beach house in New Jersey. It was a free-for-all - every kid’s dream. And every day, my grandmother prepared lunch, happy hour and dinner. The feeling of nostalgia I hold for those childhood days really inspired the vision for Ruthies Boardwalk Social,” said Peter.
In October of 2018, Peter’s vision came to life when the space for Ruthies opened up. “We wanted to create an establishment that could fit inside 500 square feet. This also meant delivering 45 minutes of hospitality in 45 seconds. We really focused on building an authentic and accommodating staff to provide the same hospitality I felt from my grandmother. Now, we get just as many compliments on our staff as we do the food!”
The simplicity of the restaurant is part of what makes it such a success. “I want to make people feel the best parts of being at the beach when they are at Ruthies - kind people, quick service and good food. Someone can come in and get the same sandwich and outstanding service every time.”
Being in Boulder instead of a beach town has its benefits, though. “The support of the downtown community is amazing. Since the pandemic, it’s astonishing how many people have remained committed to supporting us. One of the best ways people have shown their support has been by donating grilled cheese sandwiches to first responders and community members. So many people have stepped up to support both our business and the general public - it’s really something to be proud of.”
Peter encourages people to come downtown and grab lunch to continue to support local businesses. “We have to be sure to protect the small businesses that make Boulder such a unique place to live and visit. If there is a restaurant you want to stick around - eat there!”
Be sure to stop by Ruthies for great hospitality and sandwiches worth leaving the beach for, and follow them on social media (@ruthiesboardwalksocial) for the latest news.
Peter also helps manage T/aco - check out that story here.
Ruthies Boardwalk Social
The support of the downtown community is amazing. Since the pandemic, it’s astonishing how many people have remained committed to supporting us.