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Five-year-old Red Gravy just expanded its offerings via Blue at Red Gravy (23 S. Tejon St., facebook.com/blueatredgravy), a live-music-driven cocktail lounge in the restaurant’s back area (in what was formerly banquet space; rear-entry after hours). It will be open from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, with shows from 7-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

“I’m a musician also,” says Red Gravy chef/co-owner Eric Brenner, “and I have a lot of friends who are musicians who are still struggling from loss of work during the pandemic.” So, as part of Red Gravy’s ongoing give-back mission (which includes the launch of Meals to Heal last year), Brenner decided to give new life and energy to underutilized space in his building, creating an intimate, 30-person venue to support performance artists (which adds to their support of local visual artists inside the eatery’s long hallway leading from the still-socially-distanced front dining area to the rear lounge).

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Blue will launch with just four small-bite options: a fine Italian meat tray; a gourmet Italian cheese plate; cannellini bean vegan hummus; and marinated olives. The menu will expand soon with dishes like an Italian wedding soup-inspired meatball bowl.

Meanwhile, Red Gravy beverage director and bartender Zak Popovich has created an eclectic new lounge cocktail menu to complement existing front-room drinks. It’s primarily Colorado-spirit focused, but plays to popular drinks like mezcal, and Brenner and Popovich worked to make sure it’s not pretentious, but welcoming; meaning they’ll make whatever you want. 

Food & Drink Editor

Matthew Schniper is the Food and Drink Editor at the Colorado Springs Indy. He began freelancing with the Indy in mid-2004 and joined full-time in early 2006, contributing arts, food, environmental and feature writing.