Friday, October 27, 2017

Brooklyn's on Boulder to welcome head bartender Stephen Winchell

Posted By on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 at 2:04 PM

Stephen Winchell, pictured at a February cocktail competition at Brooklyn's on Boulder. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Stephen Winchell, pictured at a February cocktail competition at Brooklyn's on Boulder.
After of Saturday, Oct. 28, Stephen Winchell will no longer be behind the bar at The Warehouse, where he's worked for the past two years. He's taking the role of head bartender at Brooklyn's on Boulder Street, effective Wednesday, Nov. 1. He’s replacing Brooklyn’s co-founder and storied Springs barman Nate Windham, who’s concluding his time bartending at Brooklyn’s after the following Saturday, Nov. 4, before moving out of state. Winchell will be working with Carlos Garcia, who's being promoted from bartender to tasting room manager. Going forward, they'll be collaborating on drink menus and new products.

“There’s been a lot of legwork put in by Nate into recreating a lot of recipes from the prohibition era,” Winchell says. He and Garcia will continue working on recreating prohibition-era Curaçao, Fernet and Amaro, as well as house tonic syrups and bitters. Winchell notes that while Brooklyn's isn't at the point of bottling tonic or bitters for retail sale, they're open to it in the future.

Winchell's last night coincides with The Warehouse's Saturday Night Speakeasy special, which we've praised recently. It runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Through November, Brooklyn's will be serving Windham's fall menu. Related, Lee Spirits will be releasing bottles of its new Creme de Rose liqueur next week.
  • Favorite

Tags: , , ,

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2South Food + Wine Bar closing

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 4:36 PM

2South Food + Wine Bar announced its closing on Monday, Oct. 9. - VIA FACEBOOK
  • Via Facebook
  • 2South Food + Wine Bar announced its closing on Monday, Oct. 9.
2South isn't long for this world.

On Monday, Oct. 9, 2South Food + Wine Bar announced on its Facebook page that the restaurant will close on Sunday, Oct. 15, after its Sunday Supper Club.

This marks the end of a five-year Westside run, during which the spot has picked up many accolades, with Indy readers regularly lauding them in Best Of Colorado Springs — they even picked up gold awards for best wine menu in 2016 and in 2017.

Recently, they hired a new general manager, David York, formerly of the Broadmoor, and a new executive chef, Patrick Swetnam.

We've got a call in with co-owner Jerry Paulison and will update when we hear more regarding the reason for closure.
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Surly Brewing Co. expands into Colorado market

Posted By on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 at 9:44 AM

Surly Brewing Company sent us samples of its helles lager, pale ale and hybrid IPA. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Surly Brewing Company sent us samples of its helles lager, pale ale and hybrid IPA.
Can-centric Surly Brewing Company of Minneapolis, MN, has announced plans to enter the Colorado market. Last week, we received pint cans of three different Surly beers in the mail for sampling and, per my stated "review any booze that shows up in the mail" policy, we gave them a shot.

The first, Hell lager, is a 5 percent ABV, unfiltered Munich-style helles lager, or light lager. To be clear, that's light in color, not body. Finishing clean with that crisp quality lager-yeast imparts, this one still carries some malt sweetness, and it's certainly on the more substantial side of golden-colored lagers I've sampled. Fortunately, there's a significant noble hop bitterness that balances reins it in and makes for a beer that, while not conforming to a "sexy" style, certainly scores a few beer-nerd points and shows off technical chops.

The Xtra-Citra pale ale, 4.5 percent ABV, erupts with a nose of sweet citrus fruit, all tangerine and candied orange. The beer itself, crystal-clear with some light caramel notes, serves primarily to accentuate that delicate bouquet, sipping like a glass of summer. It's bitter, but not overly so for the style, landing between Bristol Brewing Company's Red Rocket and Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale.

Furious IPA clocks in at 6.7 percent ABV. The can hypes its darker-than-common grain bill, suggesting it's some hybrid with a red or amber ale. Either way, the roasty malt flavor serves to mellow the hop bitterness and the very slight booziness. There's not a huge hop aroma, but we smell a ruddiness and sweetness. Maybe it won't please as a hop-forward IPA, but it's a fine ale that feels appropriate for a chilly autumn day.

According to a press release from Surly they've paired with beer and spirits distributor Elite Brands, which also distributes Boulder's Redstone Meadery; San Diego, California's Green Flash Brewing Co. and many others. Expect to see it on shelves starting the week of Oct. 30.
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, October 6, 2017

Oskar Blues' craft empire announces Tejon Street opening dates

Posted By on Fri, Oct 6, 2017 at 10:39 AM

Oskar Blues Colorado Springs, located in the historic DeGraff building that used to house an Old Chicago, will hold its soft opening on Sunday, Oct. 8, at 4 p.m. The grand opening is slated for Saturday, Oct. 21, and according to general manager Brian Mark, the eatery will be distinct from existing Oskar Blues Fooderies locations.

“When I came onto this company, it was very important that I’d have a lot of creative freedom,” he says, and it looks like that’s what he, chef Eric Bowen and bar manager Devin Silk got. The menu’s “about 70 percent” the same as at OB’s Longmont restaurant, Home Made Liquids & Solids, heavily featuring OB Fooderies’ signature barbecue. But the rest of the menu is unique to the Springs eatery, mostly driven by Bowen.

“He’s a pretty eclectic guy,” says Mark. “For how experienced he is, you’d think he’s in his 40s, but he’s 28.” Bowen’s a Woodland Park native, recently returned from a cooking job in Ireland. One of his dishes that’s gotten Mark most excited is a pork belly beignet. Available Sundays, it’s a beignet stuffed with pork belly, onions and caramel.

“It’s a meat doughnut,” Mark says. “If you don’t like it, I don’t know what to say.” The whole of the menu won’t be indulgent madness along those lines, though. Mark also teases a smoked trout fish-and-chips plate, a muffuletta and seafood, including cockles and raw oysters.

As for alcohol, the spot will have no more than 12 of their 48 taps dedicated to Oskar Blues beers, according to Mark.

“Once we couldn’t [source] Colorado Springs [beers] anymore, we went to Colorado, and once we couldn’t do Colorado, we went to our favorite national beers,” says Mark. They don’t want to host flagship beers if they can avoid it, preferring instead to stock more obscure selections — “the best beer we think nobody knows about,” Mark explains. Plus, for macro-only drinkers, they’ll have one PBR tap.

That spirit of beer curation fits also with Silk's background. Before joining the OB team, he spent 13 years working at Old Chicago, most recently acting as beverage buyer and head bartender at their Commerce Center Drive location.

For spirits, they’ll stock locals 291, Axe & the Oak and Lee Spirits, to name a few, and their well-vodka will be Loveland-distilled Spring 44. Mark says he and Silk are building their cocktail program around local spirits, rather than finding local spirits to fit existing recipes.

“We’re making our own coffee liqueur out of [Oskar Blues-owned] Hotbox coffee,” he says, hinting also at a martini featuring smoked pink peppercorns and lavender Lee Spirits gin. In the future, they’ll also have spirits and canned cocktails from Spirits by Oskar Blues, the parent company’s yet-forthcoming distillery arm. For entertainment, there will be a bocce ball court, pool tables and a stage for live music.

“Our [music setup] is more like a 10-by-16 [foot] lighted corner that’s a stage,” Mark says, but it should provide another accessible spot for bands to play their first shows.

For the grand opening night, that stage will host locals Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show. They’ll also host a charity food and cash drive for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. Two cans of food or $2 donation gets customers their first pint of Oskar Blues flagship beer for free.
  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blue Star closes (for now)

Posted By on Thu, Oct 5, 2017 at 2:04 PM

We spoke with BSG marketing director Sarah Arnold, who was able to share more information. She says that the decision to close the Blue Star came as a direct result of a more desirable downtown location becoming available. They haven't closed on the new location just yet, which is why they haven't announced the address. Further, the new Blue Star will require construction and remodeling, so they're setting a reopening date far enough out to account for that.

One thing Arnold can say for certain, though, is that it's not going into the former Nosh location inside the Plaza of the Rockies. That BSG project is still waiting on renovations. Additionally, this shouldn't have any effect on BSG's other restaurants: the Old School Bakery, the Principal's Office and La'au's Tacos. She does note, though, that expansions on both the Ivywild School, which hosts Old School Bakery and Principal's Office, and La'au's are being planned for 2018.

“Where the Blue Star currently is will be rented out to new businesses," she says. "We’re not 100% sure who." She adds that it may be split to host multiple businesses.

With regards to the Blue Star's staff, Arnold says they're moving as many as they can to other BSG restaurants. They're also working with other industry people as well in order to find work for those who aren't staying with the BSG.

———————-ORIGINAL POST 11:08 A.M. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017———————-
The Blue Star Group (BSG) has announced that as of Saturday, Oct. 7, the Blue Star will close, ending a 19-year tenure at its South Tejon Street location. According to a press release, the restaurant will reopen at an unnamed downtown location sometime in 2019.

This marks the second major BSG restaurant closing in 2017. Earlier this year, BSG's downtown Asian fusion spot, Nosh, closed suddenly. BSG owner Joseph Coleman has not returned calls for further comment. We'll update this posting if that changes.

This is as much as we know, from the press release:


Colorado Springs, CO, October 4, 2017 - As they say, “when one door closes, another opens” — After twenty-two years in business, The Blue Star is temporarily closing its doors to reimagine and renovate. We will close our current location on Saturday, October 7, and we will be opening again in a new location (to be announced) in downtown Colorado Springs in 2019.

The guiding principles of The Blue Star will continue to be the foundation of the reinvented restaurant: a commitment to an experience of flavors grounded in simplicity, the use of fresh, local ingredients, and creating a community around craveable experiences for every guest. We relish the opportunity to reinvigorate and craft a truly memorable experience for our beloved, longtime patrons and new guests who will be discovering this Colorado Springs gem for the first time. When the Blue Star reopens its doors, our goal will be to continue to inspire you and elevate the vibrant culinary landscape in Colorado Springs.

Join us for a celebration to bid farewell to our South Tejon location and toast to the Blue Star’s second act. We want to celebrate the many wonderful years on South Tejon with you, our loyal patrons! Help us close this chapter and open a new one — from Thursday, October 5 thru Saturday, October 7, please join us for half-off bottles of wine and chef’s specials nightly starting at 5pm.

Blue Star Group, which operates The Blue Star, La’au’s Taco Shop, and Principal’s Office and Old School Bakery inside the Ivywild School, is excited at the new opportunity ahead for The Blue Star and the opportunity to invite new, exciting experiences to the Ivywild neighborhood in our old location.

“We remain committed to the culinary scene in Colorado Springs and elevating the food, service and experiences for our city,” said Joseph Coleman, owner of Blue Star Group. “I’m excited about the mark The Blue Star has made on our community, our team members and myself, and we will continue to sharpen our skills and craft unique experiences in the rebranded Blue Star. The face of the restaurant business is evolving with a generation of diners that value experience in dining; with that in mind, we move with intention and excitement towards reimagining The Blue Star.”

  • Favorite

Tags: , , , , , ,

Recent Comments

All content © Copyright 2020, The Colorado Springs Independent

Website powered by Foundation