The former High Country Home & Garden, today doing business as High Country Homebrew and Gifts, will next turn into Catriona Cellars (243 Washington St., Monument, catrionacellars.com) by the turn of the new year, tentatively.
Woody Woodworth, co-owner and winemaker of more than a decade, says it's been a dream that he and his wife Catherine have had for the last five years. They've done "a lot of R&D" while also networking with their good friends at Cañon City's Winery at Holy Cross Abbey.
"The market in the U.S. is very strong right now," he says, noting high sales of American-made wines.
Their new build-out will include a winery capable of producing 5,000 cases per year (about half the Abbey's turnout), as well as a tasting room and The Café at Catriona.
Woody, who earlier this year medaled in the 2013 WineMaker International Amateur Wine Competition, says he'll initially bring in juice from elsewhere to blend under his own label while his own barrels mature. Then, like the Abbey, he'll source from areas like Palisade as well as respected viticultural areas in California, crushing and pressing his own fruit, as he's unable to grow at Monument's altitude.
Craftwood's new chef
With the departure of Brother Luck — who left to launch Brother Luck Street Eats inside the Triple Nickel Tavern a couple weeks ago — the Craftwood Inn (404 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, craftwood.com) has named Matthew Schee head chef.
Schee comes from a three-year stint as executive sous chef at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort. The 38-year-old says he brings 20 years of cooking experience with him, many of those spent in Key West, Fla. He also cites New Orleans roots that gift his style a Cajun flair.
With his new menu, set to debut around the middle of next week, he says to look for bits of that culinary personality incorporated into the Craftwood's wild-game-heavy, continental menu. "I want to keep the core popular proteins like elk and bison, but put my spin on it," he says. Look out for a fresh treatment of the restaurant's eye-catching kangaroo plate: a kangaroo bourguignon.
À la carte
• R&R Coffee Café (11424 Black Forest Road, rnrcoffeecafe.com) launched a new Friday and Saturday night dinner service (4 to 9 p.m.) last weekend, featuring entrées like a 12-ounce Ranch Foods Direct coffee and spice-rub ribeye ($21), Beer Can Chicken ($14) and coffee-infused Asiago-sauce Fettuccine Alfredo ($12).
• New Panda II (newpandarestaurant.com) recently moved from 1213 N. Circle Drive to 1625 N. Union Blvd., just south of the new Walmart Neighborhood Market.