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Skeleton crew

When Frank Molina first launched his mobile barbecue cart around a year ago, he had just healed from being T-boned in a car accident. All his broken bones had left him unable to resume his career in construction, so the 31-year-old Arizona transplant had decided to try food service — and to name his business Broken Bones Smokin' Pit (brokenbonessmokinpit.com).

Molina could regularly be found around 30th Street and U.S. Highway 24 until roughly four months ago, when he and his wife America settled into the former Bayou BarBQ location at 481 State Hwy. 105 in Monument. They now endure the wind and fickle weather at his outdoor smoker, for which he uses mesquite and pecan wood. Otherwise, they cook with a Southwestern style, he says: Look for a stuffed jalapeño appetizer — a favorite, apparently — plus brisket sliced to order, dry-rubbed baby-back ribs and all the staple sides you'd expect. "It's a mom-and-pop place," says Frank, so don't be surprised to see the couple's 10-year-old daughter helping out.

Winter warmings

• Old Colorado City's new Spanish wine and tapas outfit, TAPAteria (2607 W. Colorado Ave., tapateria.com) plans to open at 11:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 29, for its first day of service.

Shuga's (702 S. Cascade Ave., shugas.com) is currently in the process of transitioning to a "new and yummy winter-warming menu," says proprietor Alexius Weston. Look for returning seasonal favorites like the hot roast beef sandwich on ciabatta bread with shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions, white cheddar and horseradish mayo, as well as new creations like an arancini appetizer plate, which features a trio of cheesy baked risotto cakes covered in a warm, smoked tomato sauce. Also catch new soups such as a chunky vegetable, comfort sides like mac and cheese, and hot drinks including a Spanish coffee infused with brandy, rum, Kahlúa and Grand Marnier.

Drink Colorado

• Beer drinkers: Plan now for the All Colorado Beer Festival (allcoloradobeerfestival.org), which will offer two tasting sessions from noon to 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6, at Mr. Biggs Event Center (5825 Mark Dabling Blvd.). Tickets, which benefit three local charities, are $30 ($25/military) and feature access to 70-plus beers.

• Locavore/wine lovers: Reserve a $60 (plus tax/tip) seat at the Experience Colorado Wine Dinner at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Charles Court at The Broadmoor (1 Lake Ave., 577-5774). Enjoy a three-course menu by chef Greg Barnhill featuring local ingredients paired with winning wines from the recent Celebration of Premier Colorado Wines at the governor's Denver residence.

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