More suds for Woody P
First came BierWerks. Then Paradox. And now Ute Pass Brewing Co. (209 E. Midland Ave., Woodland Park, utepassbrewingcompany.com). In line with the explosion and regular growth of craft breweries in Colorado (and many other places in the U.S.), even tiny Woodland Park is seeing nearly a brewery a year open these days.
In the former Maximillian's Café and Martini Hut space, co-owners Todd DeRemus and Scott Jones are underway with significant renovations, like refinished wood floors and new beetle-kill pine accents to complete a "rustic mountain cabin feel," says Jones. Both men have been homebrewing for the last five years and both have completed courses from Colorado State University-Pueblo's Zymurgy Institute.
Jones says he anticipates opening around early March with a tavern license allowing service of other Colorado beers (likely from Western Slope towns like Ouray and Ridgway, to be different than other area bars) until they can begin producing and selling their own, hopefully by May's end. The ultimate goal is an array of around 10 taps that would include four house flagship beers plus seasonals (like a wild-hop ale personally foraged by DeRemus) and a few guest taps.
"Our goal is to make Woodland Park a brewers town, where people can go to try out a number of beers," says Jones. "We see it as a draw and a benefit, not competition."
DeRemus actually owns a small share of BierWerks, and Ute Pass plans to sell Paradox's beers on account of them not having a tap room of their own, plus their fellow brewers "have been very supportive," says Jones.
Though the business will stay drink-focused, Jones notes a full kitchen on site that will allow "a nice simple menu" of appetizers, paninis and items like hot subs initially.
Full moon party
In the former House of Yakitori 7 at 7525 N. Academy Blvd., Sengchanh Thai Cuisine (594-4471) opened in mid-January.
Owner Jessica Vongnarat explains that the word Sengchanh means "moonlight," but it coincidentally incorporates parts of her mother and aunt's names; her aunt is the head chef at the eatery. Vongnarat moved to the Springs six months ago from the Bay Area, and though she's worked in restaurants before, this is her first ownership venture.
Sengchanh's menu of familiar Thai plates like noodle and curry dishes does incorporate a touch of Laotian flare, she says, which to her taste tends to be a little bigger and brighter. MSG is used in certain dishes, but can be left out by request.