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Side dish: Craft distillery to open 

291 hits 719

Exciting news for Colorado Springs' drink scene: On top of our plethora of breweries, we're now getting our first craft distillery in the form of Distillery 291 (291coloradowhiskey.com).

The man behind it is Michael Myers, a post-911 New York transplant and part-time fashion photographer, featured in publications like Vanity Fair and GQ. (Learn more about him and the significance of the number 291 in a Sept. 16 Denver Off the Wagon interview.) Myers is currently looking for a location for his business, while continuing to work on his recipes, recently tested to acclaim at Breckenridge's Still on the Hill (see IndyBlog for review) and Denver's 2011 Colorado Distillers Festival.

His Fresh Colorado Whiskey and Colorado White Dog Rye, both clear spirits that aren't barrel-aged, will likely soon be available at the Blue Star and in select local liquor stores, he says. The Fresh was developed as a replacement to other clear spirits in drinks like margaritas or Bloody Marys, and the White Dog is intended to be sipped neat or on the rocks.

One cool note on Myers' pot still, which "melds two of my passions": With the help of local crafters, he constructed it out of copper photogravure plates which he'd used to print photography for an art show shortly after 911. Some of the etchings remain visible on the outside; others face inward to "help add friction in the distillation process and make a different, smoother flavor."

El Pas-sing on

After a decade in business at 3840 N. Nevada Ave., Café El Paso (634-3940) plans to close its doors permanently on Saturday, Oct. 29. Co-owner Paul Sherer says he and his wife Sandra, after a "difficult" past few years, are shifting their focus fully to their Dos Pistolas salsa, now sold in Whole Foods, Albertsons and other major retail chains. Though the salsa is now manufactured in Texas, the Sherers' Santoscoy Food Group will remain headquartered in Colorado Springs; Dos Pistolas will soon be available at Safeway and Kroger stores as well, says Sherer.

(Game)field-to-table

In the former space of Eric's Monument Grille at 1455 Cipriani Loop, Monument, 1st & 10 Sports Bar & Grill (1stand10monument.com) recently opened under new ownership. Its menu offers wood-oven pizzas, burgers, sandwiches and standout touches like duck wings and an elk jalapeño bratwurst and New Belgium 1554 black ale beer brat. Monument-born co-owner Todd Freidlund, who recently moved back to town after operating some bars in Florida, says the eatery features more than 25 televisions with college and NFL tickets, plus free UFC fights (for which many other bars charge a cover).

  • Also: Café El Paso closes.

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