“When I came onto this company, it was very important that I’d have a lot of creative freedom,” he says, and it looks like that’s what he, chef Eric Bowen and bar manager Devin Silk got. The menu’s “about 70 percent” the same as at OB’s Longmont restaurant, Home Made Liquids & Solids, heavily featuring OB Fooderies’ signature barbecue. But the rest of the menu is unique to the Springs eatery, mostly driven by Bowen.
“He’s a pretty eclectic guy,” says Mark. “For how experienced he is, you’d think he’s in his 40s, but he’s 28.” Bowen’s a Woodland Park native, recently returned from a cooking job in Ireland. One of his dishes that’s gotten Mark most excited is a pork belly beignet. Available Sundays, it’s a beignet stuffed with pork belly, onions and caramel.
“It’s a meat donut,” Mark says. “If you don’t like it, I don’t know what to say.” As proof that the whole of the menu won’t be indulgent madness along those lines, Mark also teases a smoked trout fish and chips plate, a muffuletta and a seafood tower, including cockles and raw oysters.
As for alcohol, the spot will have no more than 12 of its 48 taps dedicated to Oskar Blues beers, according to Mark.
Location Details Oskar Blues Grill & Brew
For spirits, they’ll have offerings from 291, Axe & the Oak and Lee Spirits, to name a few, and their well vodka will be Loveland-distilled Spring 44. Mark says he and Silk are building their cocktail program around local spirits, rather than finding local spirits to fit existing recipes.
“We’re making our own coffee liqueur out of [Oskar Blues-owned] Hotbox coffee,” he says, hinting also at a martini featuring smoked pink peppercorns and lavender Lee Spirits gin. In the future, they’ll also have spirits from Spirits by Oskar Blues, the parent company’s forthcoming distillery arm. For entertainment, there will be a bocce ball court, pool tables and a small stage.
“Our [music setup] is more like a 10-by-16 [foot] lighted corner that’s a stage,” Mark says, but it should provide another accessible spot for bands to play their first shows.
For the grand opening night, that stage will host locals Mark’s Midnight Carnival Show. They’ll also host a charity food and cash drive for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. Two cans of food or a $2 donation gets customers their first pint of Oskar Blues flagship beer for free.