Sunny prospects in OCC
As Elyse Smith and Jake Reed see it, the west side could use another breakfast-and-lunch eatery dedicated to morning plates, sandwiches, salads, wraps and fine coffee service — specifically one focused on organic and natural foods. So when Sun Mountain Cafe (2428 W. Colorado Ave., sunmountaincafe.com) opens, perhaps as soon as next month, expect to see items made with local breads and Boar's Head deli items, plus vegan and gluten-free options. Typical espresso fare, as well as pourovers and Turkish-style coffee, will use a Colorado Coffee Merchants blend and a La Cimbali machine.
Reed's leaving behind work as a military EMT, while Smith will continue working in the ICU at Memorial Hospital. She says their ultimate goal, depending on future legislation, might be a canna cafe, where "good, clean food" would be served with the medicine. She sees Sun Mountain — whose name refers to the Ute Indians' name for Pikes Peak — as an opportunity to master the food-service side before then.
Rock City's new tune
Around the turn of this year, local radio personality Aaron "Goose" Seller brought a taste of Detroit to the Springs via Rock City Sliders and Coneys at 405 N. Union Blvd. But due to personal reasons, Seller recently sold what's now called Rock City Cafe (rockcitycafe.us) to married couple Ricky Meggison and Angel Sanfilippo.
Sanfilippo served for six years at King's Chef Diner. Meggison spent 10 years as a corporate line cook at places like Fox & Hound and Johnny Carino's before moving into the local realm five years ago at King's Chef Diner and then Springs Orleans, where chefs James Davis and Jason Miller helped him "get in touch with my inner chef."
Meggison has kept the Detroit sliders and coneys around, but added a full breakfast and lunch menu from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. He and Sanfilippo run the show sans employees and make everything from scratch, with inspiration from "things I grew up loving," like biscuits and gravy, burritos and burgers. A grab-and-go menu is in the works, as are further menu additions.
Fútbol fare coming
Around the new year, SoccerHaus COS (4845 List Drive, soccerhauscs.com) will open, featuring two full fields and a practice field that will host the Colorado Blizzard semi-pro arena soccer team, league play, camps and youth clinics. The nearly 50,000 square-foot, $3.6 million facility will also hold a weight room, arcade, and, relevant to this food column, the Upper 90 Tavern.
There, says restaurant manager Kenny Offerman, guests can watch their friends and family play from above the action, with full service, Bristol beers on tap and wine offerings, too. A wide menu will offer smoothies and bar-food norms but also brats, schnitzel and goulash, reflective of the German heritage of some of SoccerHaus' owners.