The Local food truck returns; Manitou gets a barbecue joint 

Side Dish

The Local, revived

The Local food truck (see Facebook page) became so quickly beloved following its launch in Summer 2012 that readers of the Springs' daily paper recently voted it the top mobile food business in town ... even though it's been out of service since around last fall.

But unlike the dead candidate who wins an election (always a classic headline), The Local is coming back to life — on May 9 to be precise, at Fifty Fifty Coffee House's pop-up art show and patio party from 6 to 10 p.m. Former truck owners Jo Marini and Sara Crowell (who last year bought the Raven's Nest and turned it into Fifty Fifty) just sold the business to Diana Kane, who does plan to park often at said coffee spot.

Kane says she'll otherwise not reside at The Local's former haunt, Curbside Cuisine, and instead focus on private events and seek out "collaborative efforts" with other businesses, perhaps to include permitted block parties. Formerly a co-owner of the west side's Hotel San Ayre, and currently human resources director at a small hospital, Kane says she's hiring a staff to handle day-to-day operations, including co-creating weekly menu specials — some vegan and vegetarian to highlight area growers, others inspired by time spent by Kane traveling throughout Hawaii and absorbing its local-food resourcefulness.

The core menu that earned said posthumous votes won't disappear, Kane assures, saying "we're trying to make it seamless," with the same local food suppliers, including Sangres Best beef for the popular Local Burger. "I want to maintain the integrity," she says, "and grow it from where it is."

BBQ for Manitou

To the best of our knowledge, Manitou Springs has lacked a dedicated barbecue spot since Charlie's Pit BBQ closed years ago. But that will change around mid-May, tentatively, with the opening of Suzy Q's BBQ (282-0206) in the former Coquette's Bistro & Bakery at 915 Manitou Ave.

Jim Rood, a former fiber-optics "cable guy" for military installations and the like, will head up the venture, along with his wife and 23-year-old son. Rood, who jokes, "If you saw me, I'm 250 pounds — I eat barbecue," says he's been a longtime tinkerer inside the smoky trade at home.

He notes being partial to a Texas-style dry rub pre-smoking, then saucing at the table. Suzy Q's will mix its own rubs; smoke with hickory for its brisket, and apple and/or pecan woods for its pork and chicken; and craft its own sauces. Almost everything will be made in house, including sides like ranch beans and potato salad, plus peach cobbler and gluten-free brownies.

The menu will be small, consisting only of sausage and baby back ribs in addition to the aforementioned meats and sides. Beyond basic sodas, six house taps and a short bottle list will balance local craft beers with some of the big-name brands.


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