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Cascade gets a wine-tasting venue, The Villa teems with news 

Side Dish

Grape expectations

After 15 years of proprietorship at The Wines of Colorado (8045 W. U.S. Hwy. 24, Cascade, winesofcolorado.com), owner Marv Parliament says he's realizing another business dream he's envisioned for the past decade. By mid-August, tentatively, he anticipates opening The Winery at Pikes Peak, across the street at 4455 Fountain Ave., the former Drummer Tweeds location.

The 8,000-square-foot, Spanish-adobe-styled space, originally a Cascade community center built in the 1920s, will now function as a private banquet venue as well as an espresso bar and ice cream shop. Matching the theme of its sister business, it will also act as a tasting room for six Winery at Pikes Peak wines to be exclusively produced for Parliament by Grand Junction's Two Rivers Winery. (Garden of the Gods Gourmet, by contrast, acts as a tasting room for Two Rivers' own labels.)

Parliament hasn't finalized all the details yet, but expects to be open (outside of banquet bookings) from about 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, offering a light food menu ideal for a wine pairing. Josh & John's will provide the sweet licks, and Barista Espresso will deliver the caffeine. Wines — a Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Rosé and Parliament Blend — will be sold by the glass (around $6.50) or bottle (around $18 to $22).

Feed Palmer Lake

The Villa (75 S. Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, thevillapalmerlake.com) has released a seasonal menu with around 80 percent new items, according to chef/owner Chris Bohler.

"We've gone more upscale — away from the traditional Italian stuff ... more pizazz, more flair," he says, noting customer requests for popular dishes that once starred at the B&E Filling Station, which he and his wife Kerri ran in the area for nearly 15 years.

In addition to the reintroduction of a bacon-wrapped beef tenderloin with mango chutney sauce ($24), there's also an array of salads, lighter pastas and risotto dishes, several new seafood plates such as veal Oscar prawns, and an option to make almost anything gluten- or dairy-free.

Bohler, a key member of the Palmer Lake Restaurant Group, has also added a 30-by-16-foot elevated stage onto the Villa's rear for live performances. At events, he vends wines, spirits and eight tap beers plus pizzas and sandwiches. Two of five scheduled Awake the Lake benefit concerts (awakepalmerlake.com; next dates Aug. 4, Aug. 25 and Sept. 15) have already raised $10,000 toward the half-million to million-dollar project to revive the now-dry Palmer Lake.

"This helps us show community interest and involvement when we go to the state for matching funds," says Bohler, noting several grant applications and alliances with other organizations vested in restoring the historic lake. Aside from its natural beauty, Bohler points to its value for economic impact, considering fishing and other tourist activities.

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