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Side dish: New ownership at Arabica 

Shawarma switch-up

Open since mid-2008, Arabica Café (12 S. Tejon St., 471-2444) came under new ownership June 2, when Kamel Elwazeir sold the outfit to Jerry and Barbara Sondree.

Jerry is a former environmental clean-up project manager who's new to restaurants, but Barbara brings eight years' experience from a hotdog cart in Cheyenne, Wyo. Barbara was originally looking to launch a cupcake business, which she still may do in the future, but both liked Arabica's food and feel that it has a "wonderful following."

Elwazeir is helping with the transition this month, and all his recipes and methods will continue to be used permanently, though the Sondrees plan to add a few American items to please kids and picky eaters. Soon, look for a new lamb and beef Mediterranean burger, grilled cheeses and hotdogs, and downtown delivery during lunch hours.

Jasmine java

Locally roasted, fair-trade and organic BuyWell Coffee, as well as fair-trade and organic Numi teas, both star on the menu at three-month-old Jasmine's Coffee & Tea Cafe (4120 N. Nevada Ave., 359-5895). Manager Dottie Rankin says all house beverages receive the extra benefit of being brewed with purified water from the adjacent business Springs Mountain Water, which is also run by Jasmine's owner Wendy Miller.

Currently, breakfast burritos are available as are assorted pre-made baked goods; look for Olde World bagels soon and a free cookie with each drink purchase through summer.

À la carte

• Inspired by a recent trip to compete in Napa, Calif., that she earned by winning Denver's Taste of Elegance back in January, Restaurant Fifteen Twentyone (123 N. Main St., Pueblo, restaurant1521.com) co-owner Nancy Nguyen says she and co-owner Duy Pham have changed their menu to include more local foods, lowered prices, and added more comfort food items. Catch a family-style, Farm to Table Charity Dinner at 6 p.m., Sunday, June 26 ($55 plus tax/tip), featuring up to 10 locally sourced courses and wine, with all proceeds going to small area farms.

The Black Bear (10375 Ute Pass Road, blackbearrestaurant.com) recently launched a Thursday prime rib night beginning at 5, featuring either a $12.95 or $16.95 portion that includes vegetables and potatoes.

• A Thai and barbecue eatery named Memphis-N-Mayo (390-6848) opened at 3219 S. Academy Blvd. in late April. Asked whether the two cuisines overlap, a man identifying himself as the owner's husband replied, "All you need to know is we got good food."

Thai Mint Restaurant (598-7843) opened at 1725 Briargate Blvd. last month.

Johnny's Navajo Hogan will open at 2817 N. Nevada Ave. on Wednesday, June 22.

  • Also: Local foods now at Restaurant 1521, Navajo Hogan ready to open and more.

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