Ray of light extinguished
• When Steve Link turned what had been Ruby's Diner into an independent food venture a few months ago, it seemed to indicate a certain optimism that non-franchise businesses could indeed hang with the chains along Powers Boulevard (see "Powers struggle," April 30). But now, Stevie Ray's Eastside Grill (3020 New Center Point) has shut its doors.
Considering that Stevie Ray's menu remained largely the same as Ruby's, one might argue the corporate brand alone is more alluring than the slightly upscale decor Link added during the changeover. Lesson: Never underestimate the sales potential of a vintage Oldsmobile on your building. (Groan.)
• Hungry's (112 N. Nevada Ave.), an affordable breakfast and lunch spot at the former site of the Avenue Café and Grill, recently closed after a little over a year in business.
Head of the class
Colorado State University-Pueblo Continuing Education has teamed with Bristol Brewing Company (1647 S. Tejon St., bristolbrewing.com) to offer an 11-month Zymurgy Institute course at the brewery. (Zymurgy being the chemistry field that deals with fermentation.)
The suds studies begin Aug. 10 with the "World History of Beer from 6000 B.C." and continue from 7 to 8:30 p.m. every second and fourth Monday of the month (except December) through June 28, 2010. Topics include Prohibition, microbiology, packaging, marketing, homebrewing and nutrition. Tuition costs either $15 per lecture or $249 for all 20 classes. Enrollment forms are available at the brewery and the CSU extension in the Citadel Mall.
• The Family Outreach Coalition and the USO will hold a fund-raiser featuring Southern food and more from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., July 31 and Aug. 1 at 2712 E. Fountain Blvd.
• The Old Colorado City Community Garden (2825 W. Pikes Peak Ave., 614/315-3507) will host its Art in the Garden Gala, featuring produce samples, live music and a local art auction, from 6 to 8 p.m., Aug. 7.
• The Vino and Notes Jazz, Food and Wine Festival to benefit young adults with special needs will run from 1 to 7 p.m., Aug. 8, in Old Towne Woodland Park (off Henrietta Avenue, vinoandnotes.com). Your $20 admission also buys a commemorative tasting glass.
• Venetucci Farm will host its second year of "Starlight Dinner" fund-raisers from 6 to 9 p.m., Aug. 10, Sept. 3 and Oct. 1, featuring local chefs preparing foods picked fresh from the farm. Only 30 $100 seats are available; call 389-1251 to reserve a spot.
• The National Mill Dog Rescue will hold its first wine-tasting fund-raiser from 6 to 9 p.m., Aug. 14 at the Norris-Penrose Event Center (1045 W. Rio Grande St., milldogrescue.org). Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door.