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Santa Fe swap

On Christmas Eve, El Tesoro Restaurant & Gallery (10 N. Sierra Madre St., el-tesoro.com) transitioned to new ownership. With the handover, expect a return of lunch hours on Jan. 1 and extended happy hours as well as small changes to the Santa Fe-style menu within the coming months.

"We're also going to get more involved with the gallery space and art community," says four-year employee and new owner Sage Church. The 24-year-old Springs native and his 25-year-old wife Jacqueline plan to continue waiting tables at the restaurant (where they met) while taking on the considerable task of operating it.

"I'm very confident that our restaurant is doing well. I saw a lot of potential or I wouldn't have jumped into this role. We have a great location and great staff," adds Church. "I decided to buy because of our regulars — there was too many people that said we couldn't close."

Former co-owner Kim Sandoval says she and her partners, having invested in extensive improvements in the past 10 years, were tired and wanted out of the restaurant business. Sandoval insists the reason for the sale wasn't financial, even though she concedes the downtown bridge construction projects took their toll.

New hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Raw talent

Martine Purdy, an 11-year Manitou Springs resident, is expanding her private chef and catering business into a full-fledged restaurant called Chevy Lee Raw Foods (515 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, 205-4639).

Operating out of Venue 515 and named after Purdy's son, Chevy Lee expects to offer take-out and free delivery on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, tentatively starting Jan. 26.

Purdy, 32, previously was a nurse's assistant before quitting her job, running into an old friend, and getting hired as his private chef though she had no prior experience.

"I just jumped into the project, not knowing a lot. I just thought I could do it," says Purdy. "I started researching, and writing recipes, which I'd been doing for a long time. ... It was something I really threw myself into."

Previous creations include an orange-blossom-infused carrot-apple toss, and zucchini noodles with cardamom-curry almond pâté and an avocado-currant topping.

À la carte

• Early warning: Adam's Mountain Café (934 Manitou Ave., 685-1430) will offer a series of cooking classes on Mondays in January and February, each limited to 10 people. The topics: Jan. 18, Japanese (not sushi); Jan. 25, Rural Italian; Feb. 1, Eastern Indian. Classes begin at 6 p.m. (and run roughly two and a half hours) and cost $35, which includes a communal meal with wine or beer.

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