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Personal Space:

Home, sweet home for Adam's


  • Photo by Jon Kelley

For months, Farley McDonough pushed and pushed Murphy Constructors crews as they turned much of the Manitou Spa building's ground floor into what she envisioned.

Finally, on Feb. 9, McDonough's dream became reality with the reopening of her popular restaurant, Adam's Mountain Caf.

Despite her informing customers only via e-mail, hordes of happy patrons made their way past the outside construction work to have breakfast, lunch or dinner in the new location.

"It has been so wonderful," McDonough said after the chaotic first weekend. "We're off to a great start."

Adam's has built a loyal clientele in its 23-year existence, especially since moving to Cañon Avenue in 1995. McDonough had hoped to stay on Cañon, but after she was unable to buy the building, she looked elsewhere in downtown Manitou.

"But nothing seemed appropriate, especially because we needed room for a kitchen with a hood," McDonough says. "Then Chuck [Murphy] called out of the blue and said he was buying the Spa building."

Murphy is bringing the Spa back to life, starting with Adam's. Built in 1920 and home to many businesses as well as historic Soda Spring, the Spa has been vacant since the flood of April 1999. More businesses will open in months ahead, and lofts on higher floors are pre-sold.

Adam's is literally the cornerstone. It's much larger than the previous location, but McDonough has added only a handful more tables. Regulars will feel at home seeing the same wallpaper, moved from the Cañon Avenue site. Mixed with the many large windows are at least 40 pieces of Manitou artist Charles Rockey's work, with more on the way.

McDonough's concern is keeping quality with quantity, especially when the weather is warm enough for 12 more tables outside.

"We want to maintain the reason people like us and keep coming back," she says. "We're consistent. People always know what they will get, and we never want to alter that."

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