Side dish: Big, fat Greekness 

Restaurant Opa!-ning

You probably saw 2002's My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and so did Ryan Field, who now owns six My Big Fat Greek Restaurant locations (eatmoregreek.com), including one set to open in mid-August in the former Macaroni Grill location at 7605 N. Academy Blvd. The first location launched in Arizona seven years ago, and has been propelled by a "high-energy dining" atmosphere that includes "a little louder than normal music" and hourly traditional dancing, fire-blowing and plate-breaking. No joke.

Fields, who also owns a standalone Greek concept called Taverna in Fort Collins, says he's proud to use Colorado-raised lamb, to make everything (except gyro cone meat) fresh in-house, and to offer a solid happy hour featuring $3 drinks and $4 apps. Plates otherwise range from around $6 to $10 at lunch and $8 to $19 at dinner.

Oh, and by the way, he did get permission for the name from Tom Hanks' people.

A new will

Will's Sports Pub (424 S. Nevada Ave., 475-2122), now owned by Carlos Bassatt, hired a new chef named Ignacio "Nacho" Baltacar last week. Nacho, formerly at the Thirsty Parrot, has put Mexican, Italian and Puerto Rican items such as ceviche and mussels alongside the bar standards, like burgers and steaks.

Eatin' season

The next couple months are jammed like a brimming bus tub with food and drink events, so here's your early heads-up:

• Sample from 15 Colorado wineries for free from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 30, at the Colorado Wine Festival at Springs Liquor Outlet (6010 N. Carefree Circle, slo1.net). Also, see p. 19 for details on Fiddles, Vittles and Vino, taking place the following day.

• Food Network's Kid in a Candy Store star Adam Gertler joins former Nosh chef Shane Lyons for the Ageless Cuisine: An Evening to Savor fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m., Aug. 4, at The Lodge at UCCS (1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy., 667-0187). Seats are $125.

• TESSA hosts its 19th annual Pasta in the Park cook-off and fundraiser from 5:30 p.m. to midnight, Aug. 6, at the Myron Stratton Home Campus (435 Gold Pass Heights, tessacs.org). Tickets are $75.

• The newly named and expanded ninth annual Craft Lager & Small Batch Festival is set for 1 to 6 p.m., Aug. 13 and 14 in Manitou Springs' Memorial Park (502 Manitou Ave., craftlagerfestival.com). Gluten-free beer and micro-distillery samples join the wide beer offerings; tickets are $40 (or $30 online pre-sale).

• And into September, the inaugural Chile Chili Fest takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the 3rd at Rock Ledge Ranch (30th Street and Gateway Road, thatsnatural.info); tickets are $5.

— Matthew Schniper


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