HIDDEN GEMS, WYOMING’S BEST EATS: Cheyenne Restaurant Serves French Food, But Avoids Being Fussy

Beef Burgundy Stew is one of the most popular items on the menu at Paris West in downtown Cheyenne. The restaurant has a French theme, but owner Corey Loghry says it is still a casual dining experience. (Courtesy photo from Paris West)

By Elizabeth Sampson

Special to the Wyoming Truth

Don’t let the name Paris West fool you. While French-inspired food is on the menu, this is not a snooty, dress-code-required establishment. In fact, owner Corey Loghry jokes that when people have called to ask about a dress code, she has one reply: “Please wear pants, but other than that, there is absolutely no dress code.”

“There’s this perception that we are this fancy French restaurant,” she said. “We want it to be beautiful decor, but that doesn’t mean it is fancy.”

Early on, Loghry said they received a one-star review from a diner who asked what kind of a French restaurant serves water in mason jars.

“Well, I don’t know. I don’t visit a ton, but that’s not who we want to be,” Loghry said.

Executive Chef Chris Parks, left, and owner Corey Loghry collaborate to keep the menu filled with items customers love. Bestsellers maintain their spot on the menu, unpopular items go away and popular specials make their way onto the frequently revamped menus. (Wyoming Truth photo by Elizabeth Sampson)

While two of the bestselling items are French — crème brûlée ($8) and beef burgundy stew ($29)  — many items on the menu are simpler fare. My favorite is on the brunch menu: the pork carnitas hash ($13), topped with sautéed onions and peppers, green chili, cheese, two eggs with tortillas and crispy potatoes. It’s a huge portion, and it is delicious. When my husband and I recently went to Paris West for a lunch date, he ordered the cowboy grilled cheese (12), which includes pulled pork and house-made whiskey fire sauce. He added the tomato bisque ($8) and called both superb.

With an extensive brunch menu, there are plenty of other reasons to linger awhile on a weekend morning. For something French, try the Croque Madame ($14) which is baked ham, Swiss cheese and a poached egg on a croissant with cream sauce. Biscuits and gravy ($11), complete with a sausage patty and two eggs, offer up a more cowboy-like experience.

A delightful glass-fronted pastry shelf tempts with treats like lemon tarts, orange creamscicle cake and candy cake—with everything made from scratch on site.

Loghry, a construction worker by trade, is just as likely to order a burger as anything else, and there are several options, including a French onion burger ($16) and the cowboy burger ($16). 

The interior of Paris West features a black and gold color scheme. It’s fancy enough for date night, but casual enough for family brunch. (Wyoming Truth photo by Elizabeth Sampson)

As a Cheyenne native, she wanted to create a great hangout space for the community. Paris West had a soft opening last July—right in time for Cheyenne Frontier Days—and  officially opened for business in September.

“Our goal is really good food, really great service and the most comfortable environment we can provide,” Loghry said. 

The restaurant is nice enough for a date-night dinner, but casual enough for a family brunch. The children’s menu includes mac and cheese ($8), but also Nutella crepes ($9) for kids who want to try something a little more French.

Paris West part of extensive hotel renovation

Loghry said the restaurant’s name is a nod to Cheyenne’s early history and the story of the building that houses the restaurant. In the late 1800s, people would get off the train and discover Cheyenne had an opera house, hotels with electric lights and social clubs. Visitors described it as the “Paris of the West,” and Loghry said they wanted to pay homage to that story. 

Paris West is housed on the main floor of remodeled Central Plaza Hotel in downtown Cheyenne. (Wyoming Truth photo by Elizabeth Sampson) 

The building itself is part of a huge hotel remodel Loghry took on with her business partner Carter Ward. They are revamping the rundown 1961 Central Plaza Hotel in the heart of downtown Cheyenne that also has a connection to the town’s railroading history. Loghry said railroad workers would walk from the depot to stay in the hotel on their layovers in Cheyenne, but when the railroad began transporting workers to another hotel, the Central Plaza started going downhill. 

Now Loghry and Ward are turning the Central Plaza rooms into extended-stay studio apartments; they have over 50 completed and are working toward making 88 available by Aug. 20. The restaurant takes up a portion of the first floor, and the decor is a mix of gold and black chic with industrial pipes overhead.

The duo built the restaurant in 28 days last summer. With a little more experience under their belt this year, Loghry is looking forward to offering more than just food for people who make their way downtown during CFD. They will have live music throughout the week, outdoor dining,  bleacher seating and food for parade goers. 

“We’re hoping people will stay downtown a little bit longer,” Loghry said. 

Paris West, located at 1719 Central Ave. in Cheyenne; 307-224-2170.  Brunch is served Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m.  to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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