Smiling Toad moves, expands; Meadow Muffins to be reborn as something else 


Amphibian ale

Not-yet-18-month-old Smiling Toad Brewery (smilingtoadbrewery.com) has become the latest local nano outfit to expand quickly. The Toad has moved from the 900-square-foot, half-barrel brewery at 3668 E. Bijou St. (also the former Kevin Baity Kraft Beers) to 1757 S. Eighth St., #100. The new location, which opened last Friday, features a three-barrel system (formerly on loan to Red Leg Brewing) and enough space to take the Toad's seating capacity from 10 to 48.

"I've always wanted to get bigger," says co-owner Biff Morehead. "The support we've received from the community is what's made us able to move [so soon]."

Adding to its repertoire of beers like the Toad Lick IPA, and Bella Lavender, Smiling Toad tapped lemon-peppercorn, chili-lime and cherry stout brews last weekend. The brewery now keeps 10 of its own taps running (with one soon to be devoted to a local guest tap), and Morehead says he's planning to begin bottling for in-house sales at some point, as well as launching keg distribution.

Muff under Cover

Some locals were concerned by the closure of Meadow Muffins (2432 W. Colorado Ave.) last week, after its many-decade run in Old Colorado City. But the building's storied legacy will continue with a new eatery coming from Susan and Rob Hirt, who've operated The Hatch Cover (252 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.) for 13 years.

Susan says the new entity, which could open as soon as two months from now, will dish all three meals, host live music, and remain open until 2 a.m. What's more, it'll "completely respect the history of the building and what Meadow Muffins means to a lot of west-siders."

For now, though, that's all she'll say about plans for the architecturally unique space.

"We want to keep our concept quiet a little while longer," she says. "We're not reinventing the restaurant wheel, but this is something I've been dreaming about for almost a decade."

The business will receive a new name. Susan says that though she and her business partners had been interested in opening another operation at some point, they didn't seek out this purchase. Instead, they were approached by the building's owner.

Backyard bites

One more reminder that this Saturday kicks off a bounty of activities for Local Food Week (cspublicmarket.com/localfoodweek2014). That first day, in particular, features the second annual Urban Homestead Tour (see last week's SimpliCity column for more) and Pikes Peak Urban Gardens' fifth annual Garlic & Chili Fest. Also find film, food talks and Ranch Foods Direct's Poopapalooza IV — for real, look it up.

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