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Side Dish: An update on this year's food stories 

Inspired by the "Whatever happened to ...?" series in our News section, here are updates on three initiatives, all of which (oddly enough) we first reported on in May.

Purgatory soon over

Ruffrano's Hell's Kitchen Pizza (hellskitchenmanitou.com) owner Nelson Rufran planned to have Ruffrano's Heavenly Squeeze open at 10 Ruxton Ave. by June, but the business has yet to crack its doors. Rufran says after the Waldo Canyon Fire hurt his business, he opted not to rush expansion. He says he's very close to finally opening, by Valentine's Day at the latest.

The initial vision of fresh-squeezed, organic fruit and veggie juices remains in place alongside smoothies, teas, and gluten-free pastries. But continuing to brainstorm thematically around the concept of heaven, Rufran has added another feature, aroma oxygen from "top-of-the-line" machines. He envisions the oxygen bar assisting Manitou Incline climbers and tourists from sea level.

"A breath of heaven," he says, unable to resist the pun that plays into his heaven-and-hell branding, which includes custom-made tables carved into cloud shapes and respective Adam and Eve bathroom signs. Once open, look for 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily hours.

Pork and barrel

The star-power-driven, barbecue-and-bourbon concept Southern Hospitality (1433 17th St., Denver, shdenver.com) had previously been aiming for an October-ish opening. But a common string of permitting and construction delays now has them announcing a January launch date on its website, where an employment application (around 80 will be hired) and menu are also available.

Gary Tedder, the Springs-based president of Southern Hospitality Franchisee Holding Corp., says he hopes that his son, famous OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, will be on hand for the eventual opening, possibly alongside Justin Timberlake, co-creator of the original New York Southern Hospitality locations.

After this opening of the franchise's flagship Denver location (independent of the NYC stores), Gary says the plan is for two more of some 30 scheduled locations to be open by 2013's end.

Mani-brew still coming

Manitou Springs was slated to get its own brewery by year's end at 725 Manitou Ave., in the Promenade Building that in part houses LeGrande Accents Boutique. Building owner and brewer Kevin LeGrande now says he's aiming for summer 2013, citing no particular reasons for the setback other than "trying to plan for success."

LeGrande says he'll likely launch with his own beers. But he still plans to partner with a larger brewing outfit that would potentially bring "more of a presence than a nanobrewery," as he phrased it back in May.

  • Also: More on a Manitou brewery, juice bar and Denver's Southern Hospitality.

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