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Little Market's incubators, Cliff House's new chef, Bingo Burger finally opens 

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Little experiment

The Little Market & Deli (749 E. Willamette Ave., 635-0769), which closed at the new year, remains up for sale, says owner Chris Bettendorf, despite much current activity in the space. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays through September, Bettendorf is allowing two high-school-aged women to learn entrepreneurial skills by selling a short menu of runza (pocket sandwiches) based on the market's longtime recipe.

On weekends, starting Aug. 16 and 17, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., local musician (and neighborhood resident) Molly Boyles will test out Molly's in the The Little Market, to see if a bakery and mini café with ice cream, tea and espresso drinks might prove itself viable; if so, she'll seek investors to purchase.

Molly's will feature Boyles' own pastries, such as croissants and strudel, and items like banana splits and affogatos (ice cream under espresso), plus a jalapeño cheese bread popularized back when she worked at the old Manitou Bakery. She'll also host a "children's creativity zone" and spontaneous acoustic sets with local musician pals.

As for a previously publicized idea to turn the space into a restaurant and drink house, Bettendorf and the duo behind that proposal both confirm that it isn't currently moving forward.

The Chris House

When Chris Lynch held the executive chef role at Denver's Le Central restaurant, over the course of a decade, he routinely went through 2,000 pounds of mussels in a week, he says — such was the popularity of the "affordable French" spot. The now-45-year-old had worked his way from the Brown Palace Hotel to high-end spots in Beaver Creek and Vail, and after Le Central, would land at the Broadmoor (as a chef tournant in the main kitchen). Just last week, he took over leadership of The Cliff House at Pikes Peak (306 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, thecliffhouse.com).

Longtime Cliff House chef Scott Savage took off in the summer of 2013, and Cajun-inspired chef Justin Boudouin has filled in since. By September or so, Lynch aims to have his own menu ready for the veranda and main dining hall, while the Red Mountain Bar & Grill selections at the property's other end will hold through next spring, he says.

"My background is pretty classical," he says, "so we'll stick with that, but with some modern touches — cutting-edge would be a stretch, but it's creative ... flavor is paramount."

Bingo opens

Four months after initial projections, Pueblo's Bingo Burger (bingoburger.com) will open its Colorado Springs expansion at 132 N. Tejon St. on Thursday, Aug. 21. Regular hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily. Visit our dining archives for extensive coverage of the popular spot's burger boldness.

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