In mid-2010, a former Quiznos in Pueblo became Bingo Burger (101 Central Plaza, bingoburger.com), a sustainability-minded, gourmet outfit catering to Americans' propensity for burger worship and fast food. And the people rejoiced. Still today, I know Springsters who make the Pueblo commute just to punish a loaded Bingo burger.
Which explains the excitement surrounding news of Bingo Burger's Colorado Springs expansion, into the former Bruegger's Bagels spot at 132 N. Tejon St. Owner Richard Warner confirms that after a year-long search for the right space, he's signed a lease and hopes to be opening doors as early as March or April, following an overhaul that will create an open kitchen similar to the Pueblo eatery's.
The menu will mostly remain the same, but with more vegan-, vegetarian- and gluten-free-friendly options. Colorado craft beer taps will also be added (Pueblo only has bottles), and Warner is working with Ranch Foods Direct to create a proprietary burger blend (say X-amount of sirloin, chuck, etc., with a certain fat content) for both locations.
Branch to burritos
The Olive Branch's (theolivebranchrest.com) long run at 23 S. Tejon St. will end with 2013's passage. But Lucha Cantina (luchacantina.com) aims to start a new legacy there come Feb. 1, following a cosmetic overhaul. A Breckenridge location six years ago launched the "gringo-Mex"-style business, as co-owner Chris Verikas describes it, and a Georgetown location plus one out-of-state franchise has thus far followed.
Verikas says everything save the tortillas is made in-house, with a focus on all-natural foods such as grass-fed beef and healthier fillers like brown rice and sweet potatoes. "This is food you can eat every day," he says, noting best-sellers like wahoo tacos and rellenos plates with a choice among five smothering sauces.
"Our house burned down in the Black Forest Fire and the insurance company didn't give us enough money back," says Melissa Burton, "so we decided to make a good thing out of a bad thing."
On Oct. 15, Burton and her parents opened The Butcher Block (2817 Dublin Blvd., thebutcherblockfreshprimecutmeat.com). Contrary to some of what you'll read on the shop's website, the Block mostly purveys "high choice"-grade meats from ranches all over the U.S., procured through companies like Shamrock and Cargill, though some inventory is on occasion hormone- and antibiotic-free. And by request, 25-year-experienced butcher Dennis Burton can obtain special items like 30-day dry-aged beef.
Pork and poultry products are available, too, with wild game offerings coming soon.