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Cleats expands with high-tech east location; Blank Canvas Cafe opens 

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Pair of Cleats

Cleats Bar & Grill (6624 Delmonico Drive, cleats.homestead.com) has added a second location after 20 years in business, the last two of which have been under Malorie and Paul Korney. The new Cleats takes over the former Stadium Bar & Grill at 6120 Barnes Road, which closed recently.

Paul, a former Air Force technical sergeant, holds a minority ownership of Manitou Brewing Company, too. He says the original Cleats has performed well since his purchase, remodeling and a few menu additions, encouraging him to tap the growth potential on the east side.

The new location has a larger kitchen, so Cleats' menu will expand, as will its bar. Twenty taps will offer majority Colorado beers and will be backed by some Colorado spirits. Food additions for lunch and dinner hours include "gourmet burgers" using Pat LaFrieda short-rib-blend burgers out of New Jersey, and "authentic Philly cheese steaks with rolls from Philly," he says.

But many patrons are going to want to visit for sports-watching, including Switchbacks FC remote viewing parties and possibly some similar Sky Sox events, plus UFC nights and all the major broadcasting. Why? Because a $100,000-plus investment has yielded 30 big screens for 165 seats, plus two 140-inch HD projector screens that will make Cleats "one of the most technologically advanced sports bars" around.

To nerd out for a moment: Local AV business Capalety Digital Media procured what's called a Slate screen from Austin-based Screen Innovations, which originally built a 60-inch version of the product for the International Space Station. That one had to be lightweight, compact and portable, but also deliver a good picture off a projector. The company pioneered a new material with special "ambient light rejection" that provides rich colors like a TV, even in daylight — "no washed-out look," says Paul.

A Blank Canvas

Last year here, we told you about a plan for a food-and-drink arm of Dream Catchers (103 S. Wahsatch Ave., #106, dreamcatcherscos.com), which provides vocational training for adults with developmental disabilities. Now, that plan comes to fruition with the birth of the Blank Canvas Cafe as of a First Friday party from 6 to 9 p.m., June 5 — then regular 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours weekdays, with food service until 2 p.m.

Curator Stephanie Von Fange says clients will now not only learn to create artwork, but also receive culinary training that includes input on health and safety practices from the El Paso County Health Department. Similar to AspenPointe Cafe's mission, the goal is to place clients into working kitchens.

Cafe operations manager Paola Acosta, with 15 years of restaurant experience, largely designed the menu, which features an Italian-inspired mix of loaded organic-green salads and fancy panini sandwiches, plus house-baked pastries and items like rosemary-lemonade popsicles. There's also a wide tea list and SwitchBack Coffee-roasted espresso drinks.

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