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Side Dish: Gotta Love It! regroups 

Communal cross-over

The Gotta Love It! Market at 2521 W. Colorado Ave. closed its doors recently; not because of turmoil, but expansion. The Gotta Love It! Kitchen plans to open around early October in the more spacious 1625 W. Uintah St., Ste. K (in the Mountain Mama Natural Foods shopping center).

To be clear, the format has changed, and the space will function more as a shared commercial kitchen than a market, though organizer Debbie Downing (who vends three separate product lines, including the popular Pockitz sandwiches) says some weekday access will be provided for retail pick-ups.

All but one of the former commissary members moved with Debbie and her husband Jerry. Tabor Mountain Bakehouse (tabormountainbakehouse.com) has taken a sublet in its own adjacent market space in Suite J. It opened last week and will stay solely devoted to allergy-friendly, gluten- and dairy-free products. Owner Kristi Hayes also partnered with Angela Valencia of Tinta De Toro for weekend cooking classes, naming Valencia as Tabor's pastry chef.

Caterer come-together

Last week, Garden of the Gods' Gourmet and The Pinery announced a merger, and for the time being, patrons of each shouldn't expect any changes.

"We're excited to show folks where we're headed down the road — just not yet," says Lynn Schlemeyer, newly named vice president of Garden of the Gods's Gourmet Market and retail operations.

Schlemeyer says the The Pinery financially absorbed GOG, "but how we're operating is more like a merger than an acquisition — the branding and identity of both remain."

The Pinery still plans to open Pinery on the Hill by mid-2013 in the former Fish Market at 775 E. Bijou St. Schlemeyer says her role at GOG will be focusing on expansion of the market component: "improving Old Colorado City and looking at other locations."

In the deal, Schlemeyer and her husband Mike Cookson did retain full ownership of The Carter Payne event center (320 S. Weber St.), for which GOG is the in-house caterer.

À la carte

• Only a handful of tickets ($10) remain for Pikes Peak Urban Gardens' Garlic Fest at the Harlan Wolfe Ranch (907 W. Cheyenne Road, ppugardens.org), from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22. RSVP required on PPUG's website.

• The Colorado Springs Fall Food Festival will be held at the Academy Hotel (8110 N. Academy Blvd., restaurantandfoodexpo.com) from 5 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 26. Tickets ($10/advance, $20/door) will get you samples from more than 30 eateries.

Spice Island Grill (10 N. Sierra Madre St., spiceislandgrill.com) will launch an $8.99 all-you-can-eat lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekdays, starting Sept. 17, with daily themes such as a "meat-less Monday."

  • Also: Big changes for Garden of the Gods Gourmet, Garlic Fest 2012, and more.

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