Much has happened on the food/drink scene around the beginning of 2023. Here’s a roundup of some notable food and drink news:
• The Swiss Chalet has reopened as of Friday, January 27. It was closed for all of the month prior, as incoming co-owner/executive chef Roberto Calcagno and his wife/co-owner Elizabeth reset the space after their recent purchase of the legacy Woodland Park business. The new menu features an array of fine European dishes, ranging from Swiss fondue, French onion soup and Spanish paella to Norwegian salmon and Portuguese-style chicken. (Entrees: $20-$38.)
“I’m buying the top ingredients I can find,” he says, noting a mix of European imports and some more local products too. “And we aren’t taking any shortcuts,” he adds. “We aren’t par-cooking anything.” (He tells me this as I linger at the kitchen pass, watching him stir giant stock pots; one of a vegetable stock, another of a demi-glace that simmers for three days until ready.) Calcagno has appointed Theron Gillen as his head chef; Gillen’s a Woodland Park native.
As for the decor of the small (roughly 50-seat) restaurant, Calcagno describes it as “modernest alpine.” That being influenced by resorts in the French and Swiss Alps. It’s a minimalist approach, inspired by fine Michelin eateries, where white tablecloths have disappeared (“away from 90s’-style fine dining”) in favor of blank wood tables with modest settings, other than furry white pillows and chair backs.
Click through the gallery of images below to see a few of the new dishes and read their descriptions.
And now more food/drink news in brief:
• Spice Island Grill Jamaican restaurant has ceased operations at both its locations after 12 years in business. A note to customers on their Facebook page in-part said: “The lack of quality and qualified workers, increasing prices and decreasing demands are some of the factors that have contributed to this decision. Also, as a small family business, the business of ‘Life’ has gotten in the way and therefore we have collectively, and individually decided to move on to other pursuits.”
• Trivelli’s Hoagies recently announced that they were closing their Space Village location, and moving operations fully to their recently reclaimed, original Nevada Avenue location. A note on their Facebook page explained: “This closure is due to many unforeseen circumstances such as the Air Force base’s north gate staying closed, Covid-19 shutdowns, the current inflation associated with the cost of doing business, and a lack of new customer support through these times at this specific location.”
• Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023 will be Rocky Mountain Brewery‘s final day of operations after nearly 15 years in operation. A letter to the community posted on their Facebook page on January 13 explained that no brewery will replace them at the location. It didn’t cite a specific reason for the shut-down, but simply said “it has come time for us to close our doors.”
• Voodoo Brewing Co., a chain, will soon gain a Colorado Springs location. On the new outfit’s Facebook page, they explain: “Voodoo Brewing Co. was founded in 2005 in Meadville, PA, with our first taproom opening in 2012. Since that time, our brand has seen explosive growth. Colorado Springs Pub is a locally owned and operated franchised pub. Our owner was born and raised here in the Springs and an Army veteran.” A note says they’re hoping for a March opening.
• Look for a new spot named Bella’s Bagels soon. A placeholder note on their website says: “After selling our home-baked bagels at Farmers Markets and Online since 2021, we’ve decided to take a HUGE leap of faith and BUILD a traditional NY Style Bagel Shop in the Cordera neighborhood!”
• And, lastly for now, Brother Luck recently announced on his Facebook page that Lucky Dumpling will serve its last meal on February 18. That’s after expanding at the location three times since the pandemic began, he notes. But it’s not going away; instead he’s soon going to announce a new concept in the building . I’ll have more on that, soon. Meanwhile, he wrote: “Please know that so much thought went into this decision. I’m very excited about what comes next. I’m also very sad to finally close a very personal chapter in our business. Regardless, it’s about what makes sense for everyone involved.”