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Red, white and ... green chili

click to enlarge MATTHEW SCHNIPER

The shiny aluminum box with flashy red trim, perched on the corner of Cimarron and Sahwatch streets downtown, is getting a fresh start.

Steve Gargon, owner and sole employee of the new Stevie G's diner, is revitalizing the secondhand building with some 1950s charm and dashingly good green chili.

"[The secret] is freshness," Gargon says. "I make the chili fresh every morning."

The tiny diner is just-shy-of-elbow-touching intimate Gargon likens it to an old boat and its dcor puts it on the retro side of traditional. The prefab building from Kansas made its debut in Colorado Springs at Cimarron and Nevada Avenue in 1954, two years before King's Chef diner opened downtown.

"I think [Stevie G's and King's Chef] can complement each other, being the only two original diners in the area," Gargon says. "I'm doing more of a traditional diner style."

With "Big Bopper" half-pound burgers and brimming breakfast burritos, Stevie G's is collecting the building's previous customers, as well as new ones looking for good food and friendly atmosphere. Gargon plans to add shakes and floats to the menu, including a "red-and-white" strawberry-and-vanilla shake to match the building.

Gargon plans on showing some staying power and building some traditions. He hopes to one day give away Christmas trees in December and pumpkins in October, and possibly give meals to the children's board at a city hospital.

"I want to give back to those who are less fortunate," Gargon says, "because I really appreciate what I have here."

  • Red, white and ... green chili

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