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Manna in Castle Rock celebrates 10-years in restaurant business in a place you might least expect

Head chef Danial Skay opened restaurant in Castle Rock's AdventHealth Hospital
manna in castle rock_hospital restaurant.png
Posted at 3:55 PM, Nov 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-24 08:48:10-05

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — If the secret to success in the restaurant industry is good food and stellar service, Manna in Castle Rock has nailed it.

“You start with the visual aspect of it and the next thing is the taste,” said Daniel Skay, head chef and operations manager of Manna. “This week – we’re doing a roasted herb chicken on French toast. It’s a crispy, crunchy French toast. The orange mascarpone just sets it off.”

Manna has been serving up delectable dishes for decades now, delighting metro Denver diners from all over.

“We have a good following,” Skay said. “Local clientele that like to come back and dine in the restaurant. We built this restaurant here in Castle Rock to sort of, bring healthy, natural foods to the community. And everything that we do is talked about now.”

That is because this sophisticated spot exists in a spot you might least expect.

“It’s cool that we still get that reaction from people that haven’t come in before,” said Adam Freisem, executive chef at Manna. “They’re like – what do you mean you’re in a hospital?! Word of mouth spread quickly for us here at the restaurant, which was great.”

It's a fine dining experience tucked inside AdventHealth Castle Rock.

“And we are hospital employees,” Skay said. “So, we work for the hospital.”

One side of the kitchen serves patients in the hospital, like 83-year-old Dick Walker.

“I’m a little mesmerized here with all this action,” Walker said while sitting in a chair in his hospital room. “The food is beyond good. It’s awesome. And I’m a very big fan of food. I would imagine I’ve gained five pounds since being in here.”

The other side of the kitchen at Manna serves guests who come from all over.

Hospital restaurant in Castle Rock serving up fine dining experience

“It’s fabulous,” said Beth Weatherford of Colorado Springs. “We make a point to come here every month.”

“Our husbands think it’s kind of ridiculous that we go to lunch at the hospital," said Connie McKenzie of Aurora. “But – we do.”

The name of the restaurant also has a story.

“I was thinking about what to name the restaurant and wanted a one-word name,” Skay said. “One night just before bed I said, ‘Hey God – I got nothing. What do you got for me?’”

That’s when Skay said it came to him.

“Bounty came into my mind, then Manna soon thereafter,” Skay said. “Manna is from the Bible, where Moses took the Israelites out of Egypt and into the desert and God fed them manna because they were hungry.”

Here at Manna most ingredients are locally grown.

“Our fresh vegetables, our meats, our produce, our dairy is local, as well,” Skay said.

And Skay’s team clearly trusts his concepts.

“We keep growing,” Freisem said. “Expanding and coming up with new things.”

Skay said they're all having fun with it.

“And if we’re having fun – a lot of times what comes to the table reflects that.”

And on its 10-year anniversary, Manna just launched a new app-based ‘to-go’ service so that everyone in the community can enjoy it.

“We just went live with Toast which sends orders directly into the kitchen and we’re able to see how long our ticket times are for to-go service,” Skay said. “It prints right to the person’s text message and says their order is ready for pickup.”

Both customers and staff alike the restaurant has become a Castle Rock mainstay.

“It’s really, really good food,” Skay said. “Impeccable service.”

And in a location that’s just a little outside the box.

“My idea was to change the paradigm of what people think for health care,” Skay said. "And I think we’ve done that.”