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Seeds Community Cafe finds a home, Woodland Park goes Lush

Side Dish

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Seeds finds a home

In our April 17 issue, we told you of the soon-to-arrive Seeds Community Café (seedscommunitycafe.com), the Springs' first "pay what you can" café, where anyone is welcome. Now, co-executive director Lyn Harwell has announced a location: the former Alice's Mexican Cuisine space at 109 E. Pikes Peak Ave., behind Josh & John's. And a tentative soft-opening date: Aug. 12.

Building on the mission tenets established by the One World Everybody Eats Foundation, Harwell has established a list of more than 60 community partnerships, from local food groups like Arkansas Valley Organic Growers, Pikes Peak Urban Gardens and Ivywild Farm (see p. 7 of this week's SimpliCITY insert) to other nonprofits and community-minded groups.

Seeds aims to operate as the Springs' first zero-waste business, thanks to an alliance with a new "wastefarming" outfit called Future Pointe. The café will open at 7 a.m. daily for coffee and pastries (including vegan and gluten-free options), then move to lunch service (pizzas, soups, salads and sandwiches) from 10:30 to 2:30; the evenings will be reserved for catered community meetings.

The hub also will serve as an education center, offering six-week cooking classes for those on a food-stamp budget and culinary training for those overcoming drug addictions (programming similar to AspenPointe's). The intent is to fill the café's catering arm with those employees as it grows, with the Carter Payne being one key partnering venue.

Woodland wine

"My customers call me Ms. Lush," says Lush Wine Studio and Taphouse (121 W. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, 322-7720) owner Andrea Lowe, who quietly opened shop around nine months ago.

The Texas-bred sommelier and former marketing maven's overt playfulness continues with such touches as the Panty Raid Raspberry Blonde Ale, a custom label concocted by an area brewmaster (she won't say who) exclusively for Lush.

"People get a kick out of it," she says. "They're not ashamed to ask for it. ... You know this is a woman-owned business the moment you walk in — very classy, very feminine — but men feel comfortable, too."

Only open from 2 to 9 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, the small wine bar (whose decorative outdoor courtyard has three times the space of the tasting room) serves around 40 "compelling and captivating" wines that span all styles. There's also an IPA and stout on tap, and Lowe dishes customizable cheese plates with common, wine-friendly accoutrements, as well as house-made items like chipotle hummus, anchovy tapanade and paté.

Lowe also teaches wine classes every Saturday at 1 (minimum six people, reservations required), where $15 gets you six samplings plus take-home educational materials.

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