On the move
• Nourish Organic Juice (nourishorganicjuice.com), the partly mobile business that distributes its products to a handful of local natural-foods markets and eateries, will finally establish its own home retail base sometime in early April at 303 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Co-owner Evelyn Steel says that in addition to the existing menu of smoothies and juices, the expanded space, somewhat of a "mini café with comfy seating," will allow for grab-and-go salads "and other healthy snacks" from a small retail market of local products. She'll also add Switchback Coffee Roasters coffee pour-overs and some baked goods from her new kitchen, which will be dedicated gluten-free.
• Rita's Mexican Kitchen (667-7268) has moved from 405 N. Union Blvd. to the former Gotta Love It! Kitchen space at 2521 W. Colorado Ave. With the move comes a new name, Wraps by Rita's, and an entirely new menu and concept. Described by Rita Real's grandson, a member of the family staff, the new format is much like that of a Subway or Chipotle, wherein guests build their own burrito or taco plate at a counter for between $5.75 and $6.75. Hot dogs with Mexican toppings have also been added, with Old Colorado City tourists in mind.
• Orchard Ovens Bakery (orchardovensbakery.com), formerly located inside Manitou Springs' Business of Art Center, recently procured the former Opb&j and Cake Crumbs space at 3 E. Bijou St. In addition to serving breakfast items like quiches and lunch items like Cornish meat pies, the business (which will rent kitchen space to others) offers a full espresso bar, smoothies and a wide array of breads and baked goods, including gluten-free items by special order.
À la carte
• Ahead of the Ivywild School opening next month, The Blue Star (1645 S. Tejon St., thebluestar.net) will cease lunch operations April 1 to focus on efforts across the street, as well as to place new emphasis on its new 3-to-10-p.m. dinner menu. Patrons looking for lunchtime sustenance will find plenty of options inside Ivywild, according to a Blue Star Group representative, including pub items at Bristol Brewing Company. There'll also be house-cured meats, sandwiches, breads, pastries, coffee and cocktails from other Ivywild entities like The Old School Bakery and The Principal's Office.
• I'll be assisting chef Jay Gust of TAPAteria (and Pizzeria Rustica, as of March 1) in the chef-media cooking competition at the 18th annual Pikes Peak Food and Wine Expo on Sunday, March 24 at the Broadmoor's Broadmoor Hall (1 Lake Ave., ppcra.org). Tickets to sample widely from more than 65 food and drink vendors are a worthwhile $30. That'll let you see the new bartender competition as well.
Side note: Congrats to Gust for recently making the inaugural edition of Best Chefs in America (bestchefsamerica.com).