»»   About Us

Inspiration from the Beginning! 

Jay’s Bistro is a locally owned family business that began in 1980 by Chef Jay Witlen and his wife, Jacki.  From humble beginnings at Café Columbine through the evolution of Jay’s Bistro and Jazz Lounge, Jay’s entrepreneurial spirit combined with Jacki’s encouragement have inspired them as they continue to maintain the perfect mix of hospitality, entertainment and cuisine in their Bistro for the past 33 years.  The combination of a family run operation with swanky attitude, fine-tuned by a professional kitchen and welcoming unpretentious staff, creates their recipe for success.

“Being a restaurateur is my passion, my journey, my legend,” says Jay.  “We get tremendous satisfaction creating memories and memorable meals for our guests.  Life is good when you share bountiful things.”

Jay and Jacki are proud of their commitment to the community. Jay’s involvement has included chairing SOS’s Taste of the Nation (“The Taste”) which now infuses over $100,000 into the community each year, involvement in the Downtown Business Association as well as commitments to organizations such as Hospice and Respite Care, Project Self Sufficiency, CASA, the Mission, United Way and more.  Jacki’s contributions to the arts include the Symphony, Opera Fort Collins, Openstage Theatre, Bas Bleu Theatre and Fort Collins Children’s Theatre. Their passions have given them great satisfaction over the years.

At Jay’s Bistro, we champion our entire staff including our Chefs Rhys Edmunds and Eric Inscho and our front of house management team – General Manager, Norm Koch; Nia Williams & Jesse Hardie, Assistant Managers  – for their unending supply of energy and drive committed to making Jay’s Bistro the finest dining destination in Fort Collins.

Jay and Jacki have been inspired by their love of travel and that inspiration is reflected in their Bistro. We’d love to meet you. 

Join us tonight and dine in the glow of downtown! Our friendly staff awaits you. 




"Jay and Jacki are an important part of this community and we compliment them for the many contributions they have made in support of the arts and other worthwhile endeavors."

Pam and Dave Pettigrew