Brass pro stop
The Bass Pro Shops complex off the North Gate Boulevard exit continues to bloom with new food and drink establishments. The latest addition is The Brass Tap (13271 Bass Pro Drive, brasstapbeerbar.com), the first local location of a franchise that's already up to nearly 40 stores nationwide since its 2008 Florida launch.
Though rows of big flatscreens grant a sports bar vibe, Brass Tap's firstly a craft beer bar, says co-owner Mike Warmouth, an IT guy and project manager who assists large corporations with data system mergers. As such, it hosts 60 taps of constantly rotating beers plus another 100-plus bottles and cans, alongside an approachable, eclectic pub menu.
His wife Darlene, formerly a Pro Football Camp and NFL client service director, worked in restaurants as a teenager and the two have lived in the Springs for 20 years. She says they were ready for a change, and here, "you can't go wrong with craft beer." So they visited existing Brass Taps and felt "the vibe was perfect," especially because outside the corporate hand-holding, they'd hold autonomy to promote a wide range of Colorado beers amidst their lineup.
Indeed, the Brass Tap's opening list shows a smart compilation of esteemed micro breweries and labels across nearly 20 beer styles. Look for monthly featured breweries (with promotional giveaways), an upcoming loyalty program, daily happy hours, and weekly community appreciation discounts for the military, first responders, the hospitality industry and teachers.
Mid-February is the target date, says co-owner Michelle Marx, for Coquette's — yes, the name will be shortened — to appear in a new spot farther down Tejon Street. Marx and her daughter Turu will continue service at 321 N. Tejon St. until Jan. 31, but are underway with the transformation of a former optometrist office at 616 S. Tejon, two storefronts down from SouthSide Johnny's.
Coquette's has purchased the building and will divide 6,000 square feet among its kitchen, retail bakery and dining room, leasing out another 4,000 square feet to other businesses. There'll also be a total of 600 square feet of patio space. Nor'wood plans to open a 187-unit apartment complex behind Coquette's in 2018, according to the Downtown Partnership.
By way of review, Coquette's Creperie first launched in 2009 in Manitou Springs, expanding downtown in early 2014 and consolidating its wholesale, retail and cafe functions under the Coquette's Bistro & Bakery brand. Keeping up with demand in the current space has become difficult, Michelle says, limiting options for growth. More space in the future will mean expanded breakfast hours daily plus the addition of new items like pizzas and more "gourmet comfort food" entrées. "We want to be part of the whole vibe" of The New South End (as it's being called), she says, noting her own investment, risk and energy in co-development of the area.