Food and Drink

Friday, October 19, 2018

FH Beerworks' huge east side taproom/brewhouse opens

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 11:14 AM

Expect 11 house taps to launch, and up to 20 online within a month or two. Pictured: The Extra Thicc Hazy New England IPA and gluten-free mango blonde. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Expect 11 house taps to launch, and up to 20 online within a month or two. Pictured: The Extra Thicc Hazy New England IPA and gluten-free mango blonde.
FH Beerworks has come a long way since its mid 2014 opening downtown. (We actually got our first taste of their beer in 2011, seeing an early sign of high quality and creativity. Originally the company was called Fieldhouse Brewing Company.)

We announced earlier this year their plans for an east side expansion, and on Saturday, Oct. 20, more than a year's hard work by owners Niki and Travis Fields pay off with FH Beerworks' east location grand opening.
Expect food trucks — including the newly opening house food truck Twelve Thirty-One, dishing tacos — live music, some giveaways and the special release of a dark cherry kettle sour, a smooth 5-percent ABV brew we got an early sample of: based out of a nut brown ale recipe with dark crystal malts, Travis pulled 100 gallons of the batch out to age in bourbon barrels for two weeks, re-blending it later to add some vanilla notes to the existing tart fruit and nutty elements. It's delicious.

This new location (formerly Timberline Landscaping, which moved) sits on a total of 4.4 acres, just under an acre of which is developed (later plans call for adding retails spaces to attract other local businesses to combat Powers Boulevard's chain row). The taproom's 1,300 square feet, next to a 700 square foot barrel room and 3,100 square foot brewhouse, plus a 6,000-foot beer garden landscaped with pergolas. Travis anticipates beginning brewing on site in mid December, after a new Alpha Brewing Operations brew system arrives. FH Beerworks downtown spot host a 5-barrel system, this one will be 20 barrels, which will enable some retail expansion as well with new cans coming soon. 
Location Details FH Beerworks East
2490 Victor Place
Colorado Springs, CO

Expect 11 taps at opening, with up to 20 house beers within a couple months; Travis says he's been double brewing since July to prep for stocking this location until it gets up and brewing. At the media preview we attended, in addition to the special release dark cherry sour, we sampled The Extra Thicc Hazy New England IPA; gluten-free mango blonde; and Dream Crusher Black IPA. The hazy IPA's as excellent at Goat Patch Brewing's rendition, while the black IPA leads with huge roasted notes, and the mango blonde bests previous FH Beerworks gluten-free beers we've sampled; it's still rice- and millet-based, leading to a thin texture, but mango purée influence folds a nice soft fruity undertone into the mild hops.

We were also treated to an early bite of Twelve Thirty-One's tacos (their name's a Bible reference about "loving our neighbors"): a carne adada (with local grass-fed beef) topped notably in a smoked paprika cream sauce; a chimichurri with orange-braised pulled pork and the piquant parsley sauce; and The Vegan Experience of veggies topped in a fun Sriracha vegan aioli. Chef/co-owner Tyler Baggett (who'll be assisted by his wife Becky and a couple employees) also dished a chef's special waffle-BLT sandwich with candied bacon and maple syrup. All fared beer friendly and showed early promise.

On the whole, this new FH Beerworks stands pretty impressive for its footrpint alone, feeling like a beer campus in its infancy; it'll be exciting to see what five years adds to the land (to include the retail shop space Travis alluded to). This is a scale unrivaled by other local breweries outside of Bristol Brewing Company's Ivywild complex, perhaps, though Red Leg Brewing's got plans for something of equal ambition, as we previously reported.

Fieldhouse-turned FH Beerworks is growing up, and seriously blowing up at this new space. Cheers to the ambition and fine flavors.
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UPDATE: Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck wins big on Food Network

Posted By on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck took home People's Choice in the 2018 Small Business Week food truck cook-off with their bulgogi tacos. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck took home People's Choice in the 2018 Small Business Week food truck cook-off with their bulgogi tacos.
UPDATE: Congratulations to Deanna Johnson and her team at Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck. They won on Food Truck Fan Fight last night, beating out J Street Food Truck of Denver, Boar & Castle of Denver, The French Twist of Boulder, and Jessie’s Smokin’ NOLA of Denver.

“We battled so hard to do it,” says Johnson. “It was quite a process, the whole thing was a process, but the win was incredible.”

The first round took place at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace, and working with manager and right hand gal Sarah Wynn, Johnson took second with the truck’s bulgogi steak tacos, coming behind J Street’s signature BBQ brussel sprouts.

Round two was tragically delayed by the death of Johnson’s husband, Dodd, who also co-owned the truck. Filming ultimately picked back up in March, when the two finalists competed for sales at the St. Patrick's Day parade, each coming up with a new dish featuring a surprise ingredient: beer.

“And of course, being the St. Patty’s Day parade, we both did corned beef,” says Johnson. While J Street served theirs with potatoes and brussel sprouts, Johnson and her crew whipped up a corned beef taco they dubbed the Ragin’ O’Hagan, for Wynn’s grandmother.

For Johnson, the most intimidating part of the competition was the fact that she and her team were up against Denver-area trucks on their home turf. But that’s made the victory all the sweeter. And in the months since, she’s already seen familiar faces from Denver showing up at the gastrotruck in the Springs. Long-term, she hopes her win will continue to draw attention to the Springs’ culinary scene.

“We have some great things going on, and we came right on the heels of Brother Luck on Top Chef,” she says.

————————— ORIGINAL POST 2:26 P.M. THURSDAY OCT. 18, 2018 —————————
Local food truck Black Forest Chew-Chew Gastrotruck will appear on Thursday's premier episode of Food Truck Fan Fight on Food Network. According to the Food Network website, owner Deanna Dodd and her all-female crew be competing against four other food trucks from Denver, Fort Collins and Boulder.

"First, the chefs head to Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, Colorado, to hand out samples of their signature dishes to savvy locals who then vote for their favorites," explains the Food Network site. "The top two trucks move on to downtown Denver where they must sell a new dish featuring a surprise ingredient at the St. Patrick's Day parade."

If the Springs' response to the truck is any indicator, they'll be strong competitors — the Indy praised them in our initial review, and they took home People's Choice in this and last year's Small Business Week food truck cook-off. We'll be pulling for Springs pride and girl power when the episode airs on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 9 p.m.
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Snooze: an A.M. Eatery announces Colorado Springs expansion

Posted By on Fri, Oct 12, 2018 at 5:03 PM

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, is known in part for its gourmet pancake flights. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, is known in part for its gourmet pancake flights.
Morning and afternoon meals just got tastier, as beloved Denver-based chain Snooze: an A.M. Eatery, has announced its first Colorado Springs location. Set to open in April 2019, the spot will anchor a new 8,295-square-foot development at 7587 N. Academy Blvd., according to the Gazette. The company, known in part for its pancake flights and morning-centric cocktails, has 28 locations nationwide and seven in Colorado.

If that sounds like something the Springs already has, it's because that is in fact the case — when we spoke with Rocky Mountain Restaurant Group CEO Randy Price in 2012, before he opened the first Over Easy, a daytime eatery, he acknowledged cribbing plenty of notes from the Denver chain, as well as from many other major-city breakfast spots.

The Snooze announcement comes on the heels of two other Denver-based restaurant businesses, Dos Santos Taqueria and Atomic Cowboy Provisions, opening Springs locations as the city's image shifts from stodgy and hyper-conservative to something more cosmopolitan. And while three data points isn't enough to declare a trend with any degree of certainty, it's certainly interesting timing, and if more well-known Denver eateries decided to expand to the Springs, it would be far from surprising.

In any case, Indy sister paper the Colorado Springs Business Journal reports that Snooze will neighbor Bishops Cuts/Color, a Portland, Oregon-based barbershop and salon chain, also already present in Denver. Karas further reports that Snooze plans on hiring 75 employees — keep eyes open for a hiring event tentatively scheduled for March.
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Thursday, October 4, 2018

Happy Hour: It's not hard to act like an expert bartender at your next party

A classic Rye Old Fashioned
  • A classic Rye Old Fashioned
With Halloween right around the corner, the holiday party season is about to begin. Cocktails can make or break any get-together, so it's always good idea to have a handle on a few go-to recipes to keep your guests buzzing.

Mixing drinks, though, can be a chore — especially with larger parties — so it's best to stick with some simple classics you can churn out quickly. Montana Horsfall of Craft Cocktail Inc. knows all about that, and created a simple drink menu of familiar classics for us to master mixing earlier this summer for our first-ever Drink Issue.
Among our staff favorites were the Bee's Knees, a stupid-simple gin drink, the ever-customizable Mimosa, and the Brazillian Cachaca-based Caipirinah. More importantly (perhaps) we learned that it's not that hard to be an expert bartender at your next party — or at least act like one.

But if you're one to leave the expertise up to the, uh, experts, here's this week's Happy Hour map:
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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Dos Santos Taqueria shows promise, a possible Denver restaurant wave

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 5:50 PM

Jason Wallenta says he was hesitant to open a second Dos Santos in Colorado Springs, until his buddy, Atomic Cowboy Provisions founder Drew Shader, brought him down to take a look at the space where he was planning his own Springs expansion. Wallenta was sold immediately on both the neighborhood and the view, and since, he and wife Riley have moved to the Springs full-time. Over the coming years, Wallenta and his brother/business partner, Kris, hope to open another four Dos Santos locations in the Springs, plus four locations for his currently-Denver-only pizza joint, White Pie. (Wallenta also owns two eateries in Mexico, dating back to 2006 and 2008; the Denver Dos Santos opened in 2015.)

While Wallenta's restaurant buddies have been hesitant to invest in a city they still perceive to be run by conservative bastions like Focus on the Family and New Life Church, they now have one more reason to come by and check things out. Whether the death and renovation of Southside Johnny's, the Springs standby that Dos Santos and Atomic Cowboy Provisions have taken over, will catalyze a wave of Denver restaurateurs expanding southward, only time will tell.
For now, we've stopped by Dos Santos' Springs location on its opening day and found plenty to enjoy. We start with cocktails and discover surprising quality — they're not slouching behind the bar. The Mezcalina has a mezcal nose, but it's not overly smoky on the sip. Agave notes sing with a measured hibiscus syrup and St. Germain elderflower liqueur, backed by nicely sweet yet subtle orange juice. The spicy margarita comes with a tajin rim, a slow-burner with plenty of complexity thanks to a three-pepper tincture. The sole vodka cocktail on the menu, basil limeade, is herbaceous and refreshing.

For starters, the taqueria's chips come seasoned, and while chips and salsa are extra, they're good, served with a smoky molcajete salsa, deep red from roasted tomato, and a fresh, sharp verde with lime brightness for days. Elote Is magical as it should be, creamy with aioli, salty with cotija cheese, roasty-sweet and delicious, finished with fried cilantro. As for the shrimp ceviche, my editor compares it to what he's had in Puerto Vallarta for excellence. There's a killer acidity, fresh radish and onion for more complexity, and it's all served with more of those seasoned chips.

We visit on taco Tuesday and sample the four $3 tacos they have available, all street-sized but generously filled. The Porky taco's full of tender meat, fresh with a nice spice level and a bright finish. The taco of the day, fried avocado, comes very creamy with a nice warm flavor, good seasoning and a pleasant spice level. Also vegetarian-friendly, the roasted cauliflower stands up to its seasoning and accompaniments without overwhelming; vegetarian diners should not feel left out. And the chicken tinga's ludicrously savory and tender, brightened by pickled onions.

For dessert, a seasonal flan comes with caramel corn and hibiscus syrup, and it's stupid creamy and rich. Overall, for a day one preview, we're pretty damn impressed. 
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Dos Santos Taqueria de Mexico opens in Colorado Springs

Posted By on Tue, Oct 2, 2018 at 9:53 AM

Dos Santos' Springs location opens on Tuesday, Oct. 2. - CHANDLER KIM
  • Chandler Kim
  • Dos Santos' Springs location opens on Tuesday, Oct. 2.
In January, Denver-based Dos Santos Taqueria de Mexico owner/operator Jason Wallenta announced that he and brother Kris, Dos Santos' owner/chef, would be opening a new location in Colorado Springs, in the former Southside Johnny's next to fellow Denver food expansionists Atomic Cowboy Provisions. Now we have an opening date: Dos Santos Colorado Springs will open today, Tuesday, Oct. 2.

"We’re just excited to open our doors to the public," Jason says, saying that friends-and-family soft openings over the preceding weekend went smoothly.

The Springs location will have a menu largely identical to their Denver spot, though they're adding tuna poke nachos for Springs diners. For beer, they'll have only three taps. One will feature Dos Santos Mexican lager, brewed by Denver's Station 26 Brewing Co. As a local nod, they'll be pouring Goat Patch Brewing Company's It Takes a Tribe red ale, which recently won bronze for Best Scottish-style ale at the Great American Beer Festival. They'll also have a full, tequila-centric bar.

“Arguably, we have the best margaritas in the Springs now," Jason boasts. "Everything is juiced and made fresh daily.”

Bold words, but Springs diners can see if they hold up soon. To celebrate, they'll be offering their taco Tuesday specials — four select tacos for $3 each, $4 Dos Santos lagers and $6 tequila mules. For hours and more info, click here.
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Monday, October 1, 2018

The Archives releases fall menu

Posted By on Mon, Oct 1, 2018 at 2:16 PM

A classic sidecar blends brandy, lemon and orange liqueur; Currier serves it with a sugared rim to mellow the tartness. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • A classic sidecar blends brandy, lemon and orange liqueur; Currier serves it with a sugared rim to mellow the tartness.
Bartender Dylan Currier's new spot, The Archives, has released its fall menu. Keeping in line with the bar's theme, the menu highlights a selection of vintage recipes, more recent classics and originals. 13 drinks are featured, and on Currier's invitation, we sampled each of them.

Starting with traditional drinks, the whiskey sour's mix of bourbon, lemon, sugar and egg white gets shaken into a rich sipper, delicately creamy from the egg white, finished with bitters for aroma and garnish. The sidecar, a mix of brandy, lemon and orange liqueur, lands clean and refreshing, especially thanks to a sugared rim that cuts the tart lemon. Similarly, the negroni's to style, nicely sweet and bitter, with plenty of orange essence that keeps the drink fairly friendly.
The Negroni's a classic, and Currier's gin-Campari-sweet vermouth drink bears stand-out orange zest on the nose. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Negroni's a classic, and Currier's gin-Campari-sweet vermouth drink bears stand-out orange zest on the nose.

Currier, it seems, has no fear of putting two-ingredient drinks on the menu, as evidenced by both his gimlet and dark & stormy. The former's a simple combination of gin and house lime cordial, nice and clean with a small lime wedge as garnish being the only deviation from tradition. Currier's also sourced a mighty gingery ginger beer for his dark & stormy, which stands up to dark rum and makes a spirit-and-soda drink seem at home alongside more complex classics.

Moving on to more recent recipes, Currier's Singapore sling sips fruity with a mellow rum flavor, friendly but with complexity from Bénédictine and cherry brandy. A Bonded Vieux Carré, the French name for New Orleans' French Quarter, uses rye and brandy bottled in bond, a particular US government regulation that, among purity and authenticity concerns, requires spirits be bottled at 100 proof. Mixed with sweet vermouth, Bénédictine and bitters, it's a strong, bitter, complex drink. A Blood and Sand combines Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch with sweet vermouth, cherry brandy and orange for a mouth-filling combo of cherry and peat smoke. Last in that category, Archives bartender Luis Rodriguez compares the Adonis to a tootsie pop — three sips, and this luxurious, fruity mix of sherry, sweet vermouth and orange bitters is gone.

The Cimarron's an Archives original, grassy and fresh on the sip with a big sage nose. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The Cimarron's an Archives original, grassy and fresh on the sip with a big sage nose.
Currier's menu has four originals. His favorite is the Cimarron, Spanish for runaway or wild. It uses sotol, a spirit from Chihuahua, Mexico, similar to tequila, but lighter in flavor. In the Cimarron, it's paired with lime, sugar and blackberries, then finished with a slapped sage leaf for a drink that's fresh and herbaceous, almost grassy and finishing very clean. The brandy-based El Pomar blends brandy and Distillery 291's Decc citrus-clove liqueur for a fruity, crisp sipper with subdued spice notes. The O.N.E.'s a revision of Currier's Old North End, developed at his former digs, Sakura Speakeasy, here made with rye, vermouth, black walnut liqueur and aromatic bitters, an intense, dark drink with big Manhattan vibes. And, lastly, the most challenging drink on the menu's the Witch's Brew, a drink of dark rum, Italian Strega liqueur, Fernet-Branca and sweet vermouth that drinks minty and mouth-filling, with a rounded feel.
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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Happy Hour: Not your college dorm room Green Dragon

  • Dionne Roberts
As we enjoy the latest installment of our fall ReLeaf cannabis guide, our sights are focused on everything green. Once relegated to musky college dorm rooms, the canna-booze concoction known as Green Dragon is making something of a comeback in our modern "craft" era. Early iterations of the mixture called for crappy brick weed mixed with Everclear, and it was pretty disgusting (shocker). But when we set out to find a palatable version of the taboo cocktail last year, we found it's not very difficult to make a dank drink.
Green Dragon is not liquor or strain specific — just weed and some booze of your choosing — so in an attempt to demonstrate that the green dragon doesn't have to resemble or taste like bong water, we opted to try vodka, gin and tequila as our solvents for some homegrown greens.
The vodka really allows the weed to shine, since it doesn't have a lot of flavor of its own. It can easily be used in a Moscow mule that receives a complementary note from the spicy ginger beer. We really dig the tequila, as the earthy harmony from the sweet agave sets off the bitterness from the bud. We made a straightforward margarita with what we nicknamed "the Latin Lizard" — a shot (or two) with a generous amount of fresh-squeezed lime juice and a splash of simple syrup. (One cup water to one cup sugar, heat until sugar dissolves completely.) The gin was a winner too as the flowery botanicals couple up with the cannabis nicely. A classic gin and tonic yields a deeper profile than anything you're used to ordering at your neighborhood watering hole.
Mixing your Green Dragon cocktails is the easy part; it's the weed-to-booze ratio you should focus on to ensure a pleasurable experience (measure twice).

But if you're one to leaving the experimentation to the pros, here's this week's Happy Hour map:
Happy Tails Happy Hours are happening at local breweries throughout the summer and $1 of each beer sold goes right back to the homeless pets at HSPPR. Plus, our popular 2018 collectible pint glasses will be available for $10 each! Join us this summer by drinking a beer for a great paw-se!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Brooklyn's on Boulder announces fall menu

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 10:56 AM

Brooklyn's on Boulder has changed up the menu once more, offering a selection of drinks made for Autumn. Recently, they invited the Indy to sample a few of their new offerings, which turned into quite a few samples indeed. Check out the slideshow below for details, and remember: drink responsibly!
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Happy Belly Tacos opens for business

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 10:33 AM

Happy Belly Tacos is colorful and decorated in a straightforward fashion.. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • Happy Belly Tacos is colorful and decorated in a straightforward fashion..
The menu's simple, and Burke plans to keep it pretty consistent year-round. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The menu's simple, and Burke plans to keep it pretty consistent year-round.
 Belly Tacos has opened for business in the shopping center on the corner of Bijou and Spruce streets. The business is owned by Elevated Carnivore Group, which is the Mark Henry-helmed umbrella company that also owns Rooster's House of Ramen. The kitchen's run by chef Troy Burke, former noodle chef at Rooster's.

We stopped by the spot Tuesday afternoon to sample a few of Burke's signature tacos, and we were impressed overall. Almost everything's available as a taco, tostada or burrito, and the menu also includes sides like borracho beans, rice and elote.

Sticking to a budget, we tried a taco al pastor, a carne asada taco and a calamari taco. The pastor bears great seasonings. Asada chews magically tender. And that calamari's fried in a super-light batter and finished with a flavorful sweet chile sauce. And while we only sample a house red salsa from the salsa bar, it's fresh with tomato and pepper flavors, mildly roasty and delicious.

For info on the spot's hours, check out their Facebook page here.
From left to right: Taco al pastor, carne asada taco, calamari taco. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • From left to right: Taco al pastor, carne asada taco, calamari taco.
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Friday, September 7, 2018

Sakura Speakeasy closes, at least for now

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 4:10 PM

With Dylan Currier now in charge of The Archives, hidden bar Sakura Speakeasy lacks a head bartender to guide it and, as such, co-owner Sean Fitzgerald has decided to close it — for now.

"We are currently discussing our options of whether to continue with it at its current location or if we should move it to its own location," he says via text. Whatever direction he and wife/co-owner Inez decide to take the Japanese inspired bar, that decision will come only after they've selected a new head bartender to direct the space.

To that end, the Indy has removed Sakura Speakeasy from this year's Best Of Colorado Springs ballot. Though you can still vote for the Fitzgeralds' other establishments, the Wobbly Olive, and The Collective.

The garden geisha, early iteration pictured, blends Tanqueray Rangpur gin with Domaine de Canton, apple juice, fennel syrup, and lemon. - GRIFFIN SWARTZELL
  • Griffin Swartzell
  • The garden geisha, early iteration pictured, blends Tanqueray Rangpur gin with Domaine de Canton, apple juice, fennel syrup, and lemon.
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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Atomic Cowboy/Denver Biscuit Company/Fat Sully's imminently opening, set to impress

Posted By on Sat, Sep 1, 2018 at 5:30 PM

The Franklin biscuit sandwich is the best-seller, with buttermilk fried chicken, Tender Belly bacon and cheddar with sausage gravy. The Atomic Bloody Mary is composed of Family Jones Vodka, house mix and Left Hand's milk stout nitro. - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • The Franklin biscuit sandwich is the best-seller, with buttermilk fried chicken, Tender Belly bacon and cheddar with sausage gravy. The Atomic Bloody Mary is composed of Family Jones Vodka, house mix and Left Hand's milk stout nitro.

Things are about to go Atomic in downtown Colorado Springs — not in the constant nuclear threat NORAD kinda way, to be clear. But in the Atomic Cowboy/Denver Biscuit Company/Fat Sully's kinda way.

As the Indy recently reported, the eatery/drink trifecta (all under one roof) is opening its fifth location in state, in downtown Colorado Springs in the former Southside johnny's location at 528 S. Tejon Street. Doors officially open to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 8 a.m.

The initial four locations are in Denver. The city's Westword newspaper is fond of the spots, nostalgic even, in a recent write-up; and the overall outfit has been no stranger to TV either.
Based on our limited media preview Friday, Aug. 31, we were pretty impressed by the comfort food items and a couple quality cocktails. See the slideshow below for a tour through items like enormous biscuit sandwiches.

Founder Drew Shader, who shared some backstory with us while we sampled, noted this new location is his biggest, at around 10,000 square feet, which includes a year-round, 2,500-square-foot rooftop deck/patio. He said he'd been searching for the right spot here over the course of three years, as he loves older, historic buildings like this former Trolley Building.

He's outwardly trying to invest in the Springs, not just with partnerships locally with the likes of Loyal Coffee, Lee Spirits Gin and Red Leg Brewing (specifically with whom beer sales will go to the area nonprofit Angels of America's Fallen), but also by investing in his staff. He tells us 18 different managers and staffers opted to make the move to the Springs, some for the reason of wanting to get out of Denver's hustle and bustle. He says he likes to develop people, and so far 180 folks have been hired, with a plan to hit 215 when an ice cream shop called Frozen Gold opens soon on the west side of the complex. (There's more to come, including a Dos Santos expansion from Denver, too.)

Given how many folks he sees in Denver, who drive up for the town's culinary culture, he's confident the Springs is more than ready to embrace his concepts. And again, based on our enjoyment of the comfort-items set before us, we're pretty certain that embrace they will, especially during weekend late-night hours.

Full hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sunday through Thursday, with New York-style pizza slices (they're awesome) available at Fat Sully’s walk-up window until 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Denver Biscuit Company will serve from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (3 p.m./weekends), while Atomic Cowboy, the spirits arm, will serve throughout all operating hours.
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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Happy Belly Tacos announces planned opening, pop-up dinner

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 6:34 PM

  • Courtesy Happy Belly Tacos
Mark Henry’s metric for success has changed over his time as owner of Rooster’s House of Ramen. He’s more invested in helping his staff grow and improve as chefs, as servers and as businesspeople, he says. To that end, he’s financially backing former Rooster’s noodle chef Troy Burke and opening Happy Belly Tacos just outside of downtown Springs, currently set to open on Tuesday, Sept. 11. While Henry will own the place, it’s Burke’s baby, and he’s head chef. Burke’s from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and he’s worked with Henry for almost a decade, by Henry’s estimate, going back to The Blue Star.

As a Burqueño, Burke grew up eating an array of Mexican and Southwestern flavors. His menu will feature a few seasonal and other specials, but it’ll mostly stay consistent, anchored on a variety of New Mexican, Mexican and Central and South American offerings.

“I know we want to do an authentic al pastor,” he says. “We’re going to have a spit grill, and we’re going to be carving off the al pastor to order.” They’ll also offer tacos de parrilla, tacos with caramelized cheese on the inside of the tortilla, under the fillings.

Happy Belly’s bar will be managed by Sarah Helfrich, general manager for Elevated Carnivore Group, which is the Henry-helmed umbrella company that owns both Happy Belly and Rooster’s. “We want to do an educated mezcal program,” says Burke. “Most people aren’t really mezcal drinkers or don’t even know what mezcal is.”

So, Burke and crew will stand ready to teach: “I climbed the ladder, busted my ass, and it looks like I get to do something I have my heart in,” he says.

Want a preview? Drop by The Archives between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. on August 31 and September 1 for a late-night pop-up event. Archives owner Dylan Currier and his team will offer specialty tequila cocktails to pair with Burke and crew's tacos.
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Boulder Street Bites food truck gathering launches with block party

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 6:31 PM

  • Courtesy Boulder Street Bites
Piglatin Food Truck and others have staked out the lot at 116 E. Boulder Street in the past, but now, that spot's going to be even more happening. The Piglatin team have partnered with Bob Derian of Chef Bob's Lobstah Truck and the folks at Epicentral Coworking to spearhead a new food truck meeting place, dubbed Boulder Street Bites.

“Think of it like a co-op,” says Aaron Ewton, brand manager for Piglatin Cocina & Food Truck. "We’re all trying to pull our networking resources together to make it more than just a truck sitting in a lot.”

He hopes that, as more food trucks contribute and commit to the space, they'll be able to turn it into a more desirable hangout spot, adding ambience and extending operating hours. After the spot launches on Aug. 31 — click here for details — it'll be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.

“We would like to expand that to weekends and evenings within the next couple of weeks," says Ewton. When we speak, he says around a dozen trucks have signed on through September and October, with three or four trucks set to serve lunch each day. Check out the Boulder Street Bites Facebook page here for regularly posted schedules.
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Monday, August 27, 2018

Wayfinder Coffee Company in northern Springs plans opening for mid-September

Posted By on Mon, Aug 27, 2018 at 7:35 AM

Wayfinder Coffee Company's owners plan to open their doors in mid-September. - MEGAN LIBBY
  • Megan Libby
  • Wayfinder Coffee Company's owners plan to open their doors in mid-September.
When Anna Summers and her best friend, Megan Libby, decided to at long last start a business together, their first step was to make a list. They wrote down everything they loved in life, and four things that brought them both joy — coffee, pastries, wine and cheese — formed the foundations of Wayfinder Coffee Company.

“We love coffee shops," says Summers. "We love the atmosphere. And we love the coffee.”

Summers says she worked in restaurants through her twenties, but most recently, she was a manager at a travel agency. Libby, on the other hand, describes herself as a "serial entrepreneur," raised by small businesspeople — she adds that she previously owned a delivery restaurant in Denver. They chose the name Wayfinder in the hope that their coffee shop would embody both definitions of the word: a landmark for bringing community together, and a guide to the global nature of food and coffee.

Currently, they're working with a few importers to source a range of coffees — while they prefer extra-dark Italian roasts for espresso, they intend to roast a range of lighter beans with flavor profiles for all comers. As they're both avid home bakers, they'll be producing their pastries in-house, including cupcakes and more, perfect for customers to enjoy on their sizable deck space.

“One thing that we’re really excited and proud of is that we’ll be making our own croissants in house," says Libby, teasing a variety of house-made fillings. On the savory side, they'll be offering small plates — think tapas, charcuterie and cheese boards, made to pair with a selection of wines and beers. For booze, they hope to offer a few old-world wines and global beers alongside beloved local options.

They plan to soft-open the café and roastery in northeastern Springs in mid-September, with a grand opening to follow a week later.
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