Passion and experience.
Owners Kurtis and Krista Murphy's mission is to provide Durango's locals and visitors alike with a delicious, quality meal at competitive prices. Hard work, passion, and love for the community makes them tick!
Owners Krista and Kurtis Murphy have been in the restaurant business for over 25 years. While working at Sweeny's Steakhouse in Durango, Kurtis met his future wife and Durango native, Krista Mahlum. They've been together ever since, involved with restaurants in one way or another. In 2022 they bought Ken & Sue's, preserving original food mainstays while introducing new ones. They have two boys, Riley, 15, and Charlie, 13 years old. They built a home near Krista's parents in the beautiful Pine River Valley. They credit the success of their first year to the community and their staff: "We could not have done it without you. Kudos as well to our amazing staff!"
Kurtis Murphy has over 25 years of restaurant experience. In 1997, he moved to Durango and began working at the iconic Sweeny's Steakhouse where he was quickly promoted to management positions.
In 2003, Kurtis graduated from Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, and began his Externship at Allred's restaurant, in Telluride. At Allred's, Kurtis spent two years working under the guidance of the area's top chefs. In Telluride, Kurtis later became the General Manger of the mid-mountain ski venue, Gorrono Ranch. For five years, Kurtis hosted over 250 high-end weddings, many large events, and big-name concerts, including the epic 2017 String Cheese Incident show.
After returning to Durango, Kurtis spent time as head chef at Ken & Sue's restaurant while Krista served, hosted, and bartended. For many years, Kurtis enjoyed working alongside Ken and Sue, and became very familiar with their approach, style, and high standards for running their restaurant. Fans of Ken & Sue's will recognize the restaurant that fed happy customers for decades, but will also see some fresh takes on the classics, and an invigorated team taking the new restaurant into the future.
The Durango Wine Experience marked Michael's one year anniversary as the Executive Chef of 636 Main Avenue. Michael has over 25 years of culinary experience, which all started at the Culinary Art Institute of Chicago. After graduating he continued his career in Downtown Chicago for many years working in fine dining restaurants like Bin 36 and Amano. He also cooked at Dolce H Hotel in Midland, MI and was Sous chef at Vin 48 in Avon, CO.
Kurtis and Michael met in the summer of 2021 at the Glacier Club where Michael was the Sous Chef for three years.
Chef David Selig was born and raised in South Florida where he has worked as a Pastry Chef at several exclusive clubs in Palm Beach including The Beach Club, Mar-a-Lago, and as Executive Pastry Chef of Mirasol. Chef David is a Certified Pastry Culinarian through the American Chef Federation (ACF) and also Certified Baker through the Retail Bakers Association. He has received medals from ACF Culinary Competitions and is always pushing the boundaries in his pastries which are highlighted by a combination of his imagination, creativity and experience.
Looking for a cool change, in 2016 he moved to SW Colorado with his partner Linda of over 20 years and their 2 doggies. Chef David was Executive Pastry Chef at the Strater, and then in March, after Ken & Sue's changed hands, he joined Chef Kurtis to become Pastry Chef at 636 Main. Since, he has helped to bring back Parker house rolls, added new desserts such as house-made tiramisu, and added his own personal touch to the cheesecake. Look for new and exciting desserts and specials coming this summer!
Chef David maintains a side business creating cakes and pastries for special occasions and strives to bring the best to the table.