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It’s bacon. It’s cheese. It’s burger and fries. It rocks.

Over the summer, Trails End Taproom moved a couple of blocks east from the Red Rock Canyon shopping center on Colorado Avenue into the former Mason Jar restaurant. Serendipitously, owner Kevin Weese, tired of renting, wanted to purchase a place of his own just as the former owner of The Mason Jar was looking to retire. With a grand reopening on Aug. 27, they have transitioned from Trails End Taproom at The Mason Jar to Trails End Taproom and Eatery.

The location remains close to Red Rocks Open Space, and Trails End still supports mountain biking and the entire outdoor community locally. They also remain committed to area nonprofits, and will be partnering with Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado this fall.

But growing pains accompany change. The self-serve model means customers place orders at the counter, get their own drinks, and fetch their own silverware, napkins and condiments. Placing your order, getting cards to access the beers, and paying your bill all happen at the same main register, occasionally causing a logjam of customers. The owners are aware, working to train the staff and acquire handheld POS capability to combat slowdowns.

Longtime favorite menu items from the old Mason Jar still anchor the menu, with some updates and upgrades. For example, The Mason Jar’s signature cornbread is no longer on the menu, and iceberg lettuce has been replaced with locally sourced spring mix.

The back wall features pour-your-own taps with a big variety of beers, plus a couple of wines, cider and usually a cocktail. I could easily fill more than my allotted space praising the beer, but I limit my focus to the food. Suffice it to say there’s enough variety to provide something for everyone’s taste, as the cliché goes.

On the appetizer menu, the Baked Mac and Cheese disappoints. The white sauce lacks cheesy flavor and has an undercooked, floury taste under the topping of melted mozzarella and cheddar. Alternately, the sampler of fried mozzarella, mushrooms and zucchini rates superb. They cut and bread everything on the premises before those items hit the fryer, resulting in golden, crunchy perfection without being greasy.

The bacon cheeseburger rocks. Big rashers of smoky bacon top a juicy, well-cooked burger, the lettuce and tomato are impeccably fresh, and the bun holds it all together, beginning to end. By contrast, the flatbreads leave me a bit flat. The Red Rocks (red sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella and Parmesan) gets the job done, although the sauce tastes a little bland. The Captain Jacks combines ranch dressing, chicken, mozzarella, bacon and cheddar. Though the juicy chunks of chicken are nice, the ranch dressing, instead of being drizzled on top after baking, acts as the base sauce. I don’t find a mouthful of hot ranch dressing appealing, but your mileage may vary. Moving to the Mason Jar standards. The center cut pork chop chews thick and juicy, not always easy with modern pork, and holds a great pork flavor. The side cup of applesauce makes for a nice nod to tradition. The mashed potatoes rank fairly amazing, obviously made in-house and not reconstituted, chunky with just the right amount of salt and pepper. I also sample the excellent, homey stuffed pepper soup as one of the sides. Nice amount of chopped bell pepper, beefy, with rice and onions in a tomato base.

The Chicken Teriyaki doesn’t fare as well. The chicken, on the dry side, tastes of the grill more than chicken. The grilled pineapple shines, but the savory rice is bland and the slaw is limp and sweet. Order a side salad instead. It’s enormous and gorgeous, full of crisp greens, romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers and onion.

I have saved the best for last: If you are a fan of chicken fried chicken, this is the gold standard. Two big golden chicken breasts arrive under a blanket of savory white gravy, the perfectly golden brown breading staying crunchy throughout the meal. And that coating adheres to the chicken, not slipping off at the first touch of a fork. Kudos.

Trails End’s menu continues to evolve as they settle into their new digs, and so does the ambiance. Tons of outdoor seating, some covered, makes it an ideal location for hikers and bikers (and their well-behaved dogs) to enjoy good food and drink after communing with the great outdoors. The challenge will lie in managing the expectations of the old Mason Jar crowd with those of the modern taproom’s fans, while trying to keep the best aspects of both.