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Side Dish: New tacqueria and tequila bar 

Viva La Rosa

The Villa's Chris and Kerri Bohler are back in their former B&E Filling Station home at 25 State Hwy. 105, Palmer Lake, and they've brought friends.

To create La Rosa Southwestern Dining (368-7676), they've partnered with former B&E colleague Mike Elliott, O'Malley's Pub owner Jeff Hulsmann, and 27-year Margarita at PineCreek employee Marina La Riva.

"The basic goal is to do things fresh," Chris explains, "with the focus as a tacqueria and tequila bar."

Currently open for breakfast Sundays, dinner Thursdays through Saturdays and lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays — until a liquor license arrives and hours are expanded — La Rosa offers items like breakfast tamale plates and caldillo, a green chile stew with pork, potatoes and beans. Eight atypical tacos are served, ranging from a portobello mushroom or crispy chicken chicharrón to cumin lamb or ground buffalo.

House New Mexico-style red and green chiles (gluten-free and vegan) star, and a wide array of house aguas frescas (fresh juices) serve as non-alcoholic options and as margarita mixers. A newly built, beautifully backlit bar will feature around 30 tequilas, including an organic Dulce Vida on tap from an in-house oak barrel (which continues to age the product from a blanco to añejo).

Speaking to larger goals of the partnership, Chris says, "We want to make Palmer Lake into a destination dining spot ... a place where other businesses will want to be located, like a mini Manitou."

Cause and delect(able)

The longtime former home of Adam's Mountain Café at 110 Cañon Ave., Manitou Springs, which was most recently Naturally's/The Phoenix, became Good Karma Coffee Lounge & Deli (goodkarmacoffeelounge.com) in early November. It's operated by former Benny's owner (of seven years) Kelly Myers and her daughter Kirstin Gonyo.

Gonyo, the GM, says her mom does all the cooking, occasionally accepting "fine-tuning" input from Gonyo's brother, who is the chef at Aspen's Limelight Hotel Lounge. Karma's menu focuses on sandwiches with "all-natural" Metro Deli meats (also sold retail along with cheese, sliced-to-order), thick-cut BluePoint Bakery breads from Denver, and spreads like a homemade Portuguese mayo (a hot sauce-and-veggie-infused mayo).

Myers also bakes a variety of quiches and sweets like cinnamon rolls (alongside organic Barista Espresso products) and makes daily soups, including an always-available green chili; breakfast plates like croissant roll biscuits and gravy are served until 2 p.m. Current hours are from 10 to 5, but Gonyo says she'll likely add earlier and later hours (with dinner items and, hopefully, a liquor license) when the weather warms.

The family also aims to soon launch the Good Karma Caravan, a mobile version of the biz, likely to be located in Monument.

  • Also: Good Karma Coffee Lounge & Deli opens in Manitou Springs

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