Coquette expands, Manitou wants a market and Gertrude's becomes Alchemy 

Side Dish

Curry to Coquette

Coquette's Bistro & Bakery (915 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, coquettesbistroandbakery.com), playing off a thus-far successful holiday pop-up market at 104 N. Tejon St., as well as a bustling six-month-old production facility off 21st Street, plans to be open around Valentine's Day in the former Flavors on Tejon and Curry Leaf space at 321 N. Tejon St.

Plans call for a full bar and expanded dining menu, as well as a retail shop peddling the outfit's signature gluten-free goods baked on-site. Co-owner Michelle Marx says the expansion into downtown "has been a long time in the making" and that between all the offerings it's "gonna be a really cool experience" for patrons.

View our IndyBlog for a full press release from Coquette with further details. And see here for more on the Curry Leaf, which is supposedly opening soon on the east side of town despite recent evidence of tax liens against the business and defaulted rent.

Manitou market movement

Elise Rothman d'Hauthuille, organizer of Manitou's Local First Grocer (transitionmanitou.com), is holding a second community discussion from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6, at Marika's Coffee House (739 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs). A November meeting at the same spot was standing-room-only, she says, with the community expressing great enthusiasm for the impending co-op.

Details, including a location and pricing structure, remain forthcoming, but Rothman d'Hauthuille says the venture revolves around a new type of business model. It's not based on selling as much as possible, but on sustainability through truly local sourcing.

"I'm working on developing and creating a point of sale for all the things in between kale and coffee," she says, noting a strategy to "incentivize" local growers. She also envisions bulk sales, "prices in line with or below Safeway," and "radical labeling" that displays not only the carbon footprint of items, but graphic pictures of factory vs. small farming. View the IndyBlog for examples and follow-ups as plans unfold.

Gertrude's goes golden

The former Gertrude's Restaurant at 2625 W. Colorado Ave. reopened as Alchemy (471-0887) in November, the product of former owner Tom Lazaron and Scott Sultzbaugh partnering up.

Sultzbaugh has been a regular face on the downtown dining scene for many years; Lazaron contributes 35 years experience.

Beyond creative cocktails, Alchemy offers a dozen beer taps, a third of those being Irish in a nod to Sultzbaugh's heritage, which also explains the shepherd's pie and the outfit's branding. But "we're not just a pub," says Lazaron, quoting the restaurant's motto. Instead, he reaches for the modern term "gastropub" to define the eclectic menu, which fuses several plates from Gertrude's with newbies, all averaging in the $12 to $15 range, "to cater to a wider range of people."

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