The former Raven's Nest coffee business reopened in Sabi's old space as fifty fifty coffee house (330 N. Institute St., 445-1157) this past weekend under Jo Marini and Sara Crowell. The two formerly operated The Local food truck with prior business partner Phil Petty, but according to Marini, The Local "is taking winter off and we're hoping for a buyer by spring."
Meanwhile, fifty fifty will maintain the same focus on local products wherever possible, that list starting with beans for espresso drinks handled by neighboring Switchback Coffee Roasters (see p. 36), which recently moved into the original Raven's Nest spot. BuyWell coffee will remain the drip selection, while vegan, gluten-free and organic baked goods and pastries ("You can't tell the difference," says Marini) are provided by local commissary-based operator The Paisley Pantry. A small menu of other house-made items will soon expand and shift seasonally.
Following up on last month's announcement that Uchenna (uchennaalive.com) has jumped a few doors down to 2501 W. Colorado Ave., #105, owner Maya Hetman says she's ready to open Belle Provence European Bakery, Deli & Market on Saturday, Dec. 21, in the former space (#108).
A master pastry chef from France is still expected to arrive soon to run the kitchen; meanwhile Hetman says she has a diversity of offerings planned. Among them: pan-roasted and clay-pot boiled Ethiopian Harar coffee; classic French croissant sandwiches and vegan/vegetarian sandwiches; salads and soups; rotating European-style pastries and cakes; and a mini retail market with imported goods as well as some of her own Ethiopian items.
À la carte
• Ranch Foods Direct (2901 N. El Paso St., ranchfoodsdirect.com) frontman Mike Callicrate confirms that he's angling to purchase the old Gazette paper warehouse at 522 S. Wahsatch Ave., into which he'd significantly expand. See here for more.
• Buttercup's Frozen Yogurt (27 S. Tejon St., buttercupsfroyo.com) announced Monday that it will close its doors for good this Sunday, Dec. 22.
• Manitou Springs' Marika's Coffeehouse went out of business recently at 739 Manitou Ave., noting a tough year and that "the building owner wants to use the space for her own venture."
• The Craftwood Inn (404 El Paso Blvd., Manitou Springs, craftwood.com) recently announced Wednesday four-course chef's tables, seated in its opulent Captain's Room. Chef Matthew Schee will produce a new menu each week, dropping teasers on Facebook on the days leading up to chow time. Seats will run $30 per person plus tax/tip.